Course Description

Laboratory Techniques: Pre-University Science


This is a Full time one year course, which runs from September to May.


This hands-on laboratory skills course provides an introduction to the world of science and covers a variety of subjects related to laboratory and physical sciences. The purpose of this award is to enable the student to acquire the knowledge, skill and competence to work independently and under supervision in a science laboratory and or to progress to science-based programmes at third level. Students throughout the year on this course, will have the opportunity to meet scientists, researchers, and postgraduate students in a vast array of scientific fields.  This generally takes the format of talks, workshops, and field trips.

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate (LC Established, LCVP, LCA) or equivalent
  • A Full QQI Level 4 Award (or equivalent)
  • For Mature applicants (aged 21 or over) – appropriate experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications. Note: Mature applicants may be entitled to VTOS funding. For details about VTOS, please contact the college.
  • As there is an emphasis on the science subjects, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, a background in science is desirable

Course Modules

  • Laboratory Skills
  • Microbiology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Communications
  • Word Processing
  • Work Experience

Module Information 


  • Level 5 QQI Award Laboratory Techniques (5M3807)

Special Features

  • Work placement
  • Hands-on laboratory experience
  • Field trips/Lab Tours: Rye River Brewing, Kildare, Annual Brewery Trip, Lab Scientific Lab Tour, Dublin, Department of Agriculture and Food Lab Tour, Kildare, Kerry Group Headquarters, Kildare, Botanic Gardens, Dublin, Killiney Beach Trip, Science Gallery, Trinity College, Annual UCD Open Day for FET students, Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant, Dublin, Maritime Museum, Dún Laoghaire
  • Workshops: Spectroscopy in a suitcase workshop by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Amgen Biotech Experience
  • Guest speakers from industry and academia give talks about real-world STEM applications and careers: Science Communicator Dr. Niamh Shaw, Dr. Claudia Rocha, School of Physics, TCD, The Irish Astrobiologist, Stewart Gault, PhD Researcher, Dr. Conor Dowling, Smart Sandyford, Natalia Garcia Domenech, PhD candidate, School of Chemistry, TCD. Dr. Joseph Crispell, Data Scientist, UCD, Anne McCormick, Bloom Health, Sandyford, Joseph Ahern, Functional Blends Manager, Kery Food Group
  • This course is also supported by FIT, which offers students the opportunity to acquire essential skills to gain employment. Students are given training in job interview techniques and CV preparation
  • CAO advice


Amgen Biotech Experience

Students will be encouraged to develop a scientific mindset open to ideas and experimentation along with analytical, problem-solving and research skills, through the Amgen Biotech Experience which DFEi takes part in each year. This innovative science education program brings cutting edge biotechnology into the classroom. It introduces students to the importance of scientific discovery through a molecular biology learning experience that links core science concepts to real-world applications. One of these concepts is DNA fingerprinting which is a technique employed by forensic scientists to assist in the identification of individuals or samples by their respective DNA profiles.

Work Experience

Students will be required to undertake a period work placement in an organisation connected to their vocational area during the academic year.  Work Experience is mandatory for all of our full-time Level 5 courses. Students are required to source their own work placement but will be assisted in this by the work experience teacher.  The work placement is usually for a period of 10 days or a minimum of 60 hours.  Students usually find the work experience element of the course to be invaluable and should bear in mind that a successful work placement can sometimes lead to further opportunities.

Additional Information

Students should use this course as a stepping stone into a recognised degree programme to achieve a high-level qualification. The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs has identified that scientific-related jobs are difficult to fill due to a lack of suitable graduates. Nine out of the top ten global Biopharma-Pharmachem companies are located in Ireland (for example Pfizer and Merck, Amgen). These companies operate research, manufacturing and service activities in Ireland and the sector is expected to grow. There is an acute need for technicians, senior process scientists and engineers.

Twenty of the top thirty medical global device companies (Abbot, Boston Scientific and Medtronic) are also located in Ireland. They operate large production facilities, which are expected to grow. The sector is strong on exports and Ireland has an international reputation for delivering products and services in the following growth areas: agri-food, medical devices, chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Scientific vacancies exist in three scientific sectors (1) manufacturing (mostly pharmaceutical), (2) professional scientific and technical activities and (3) human health activities.


Assessment techniques will be used to assess the knowledge and skills that students will have achieved on successful completion of modules:

  • Student Record
  • Collection of Work
  • Assignments
  • Examination (Written)
  • Project
  • Skills Demonstration

A full major award is granted on passing the relevant eight components.  On successful completion of each component, you will be awarded a pass, a merit or a distinction grade. See for more details

Progression Opportunities

Graduates are eligible to apply through the CAO and/or the Higher Education Links Scheme for entry to year one of a range of higher certificate and degree programmes, at Universities, Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities using their full QQI Level 5 major award. Places are not guaranteed in these Institutes and are subject to students meeting certain criteria.  It is the students’ responsibility to consult with the relevant HEI for information on the admissions process and any specific entry requirements. Students may also refer to the individual HEI prospectus or may also refer to the QQI FET section of the CAO website.

There are progression options in a wide range of areas including general science, biotechnology, forensic science, pharmaceutical science, sports science, food science and many other related areas.

Students may also progress onto a number of apprenticeships for example Laboratory Technician or Laboratory Analyst that are now available in Ireland.

Our 2021 graduates of this course have progressed onto UCD, TCD, TU Dublin, NUI Maynooth, DCU and Waterford IT.  For example, Six of our graduates got into Science and four got into Food Science in UCD. Two of our graduates got into Science in TCD, and three of our graduates got into Science in Maynooth.  One of our graduates has progressed onto an apprenticeship in Science related area.

Examples of CAO progression opportunities are listed below.

Progression Examples

Bachelor of Science (DN200)

BSc Sustainability with Environmental Science (DN240)

Bachelor of Agricultural Science (DN250)

BSc Food Science (DN261)

BSc Agri-Environmental Sciences (DN253)

BAgrSc Dairy Business (DN252)

BSc Computer Science (DN201)

University College Dublin –

Bachelor of Science (MH201)

BSc Biotechnology (MH202)

BSc Biological and Biomedical Science (MH208)

BSc Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Chemistry (MH210)

BSc Computer Science (MH602)

BSc Biological and Geographical Science (MH203)

Maynooth University –

BSc Biological and Biomedical Sciences (TR060)

BSc Geography and Geoscience (TR062)

BSc Chemical Sciences (TR061)

BSc Physical Sciences (TR063)

Bachelor Dental Technology (TR803)

Trinity College Dublin –

BSc Science (TU854)

BSc Pharmaceutical Science (TU876)

BSc Pharmaceutical Healthcare (TU875)

BSc Physics Technology (TU877)

BSc Environmental Health (TU869)

BSc Science with Nanotechnology (TU855)

BSc Clinical Measurement Science (TU868)

BSc DNA and Forensic Analysis (TU752), (TU864)

BSc Nutraceuticals in Health and Nutrition (TU882)

Technological University Dublin –

BSc Biotechnology (DC181)

BSc Sports Science and Health (DC202)

BSc Analytical Science (DC161)

BSc Genetics and Cell Biology (DC168)

BSc Biological Sciences (DC180)

BSc Chemical Sciences (DC163)

BSc Environmental Science and Technology (DC166)

BSc Science Education (DC203)

Dublin City University –

BSc Biological and Chemical Sciences (CK402)

BSc Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (CK404)

BSc Chemical Sciences (CK406)

BSc Nutritional Sciences (CK504)

BSc Food Science (CK505)

BSc Medical and Health Sciences (CK707)

University College Cork –

Bachelor of Science (GY301)

BSc Biomedical Science (GY303)

BSc Biotechnology (GY304)

BSc Environmental Science (GY308)

BSc Marine Science (GY310)

BSc Environmental Health and Safety (GY313)

Galway University –

Career Paths

This course prepares students for careers typically found in the following sectors: chemical industry, biopharma-pharm chem, cosmetic science, food and beverages, physical and mathematical sciences, medical devices, education and research, environmental science, human biology and health, covid testing worker, science journalism. Students may seek employment in many other types of companies such as business, requiring an aptitude for science.

CollegeDun Laoghaire Further Education Institute
Course LocationDublin
Location PostcodeCo. Dublin
Course CategoryLaboratory Practice, Science
Course TypeClassroom Based
Course QualificationLevel 5 Certificate
Awarding BodyQQI
Awarding Body DetailsLevel 5 QQI Award Laboratory Techniques (5M3807)
Course Start Date16th September 2024
Course End Date30th May 2025
Course Duration1 year
Course TimeThis is a Full time one year course, which runs from September to May.
Course Fee50.00
Entry RequirementsOne of the following: • Leaving Certificate (LC Established, LCVP, LCA) or equivalent • A Full Level 4 QQI Award (or Equivalent) • For Mature applicants (aged 21 or over) - appropriate experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications are welcome. Note: Mature applicants may be entitled to VTOS funding. For details about VTOS, please contact the college. For applicants who do not meet the above entry requirements, please contact DFEi • As there is an emphasis on the science subjects, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, a background in science is desirable
Carear PathStudents should use this course as a stepping stone to obtaining a high-level qualification in the progression areas listed below. Alternatively, students may seek immediate employment in a range of companies and projects that seek graduates with a science aptitude. Career opportunities such as food technologists, food scientists, microbiologists, food safety consultants, covid testing workers, technicians, food engineers, laboratory assistants and product development managers exist for graduates who complete further or higher education qualifications.
Course Code5M3807
For information about Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute, please visit their college page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute

17 Cumberland Street, Dún Laoghaire, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Eircode: A96 EP44

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Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute
17 Cumberland Street
Dún Laoghaire, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin
Republic of Ireland
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