Molecular Medicine Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Molecular Medicine?

Molecular medicine is the branch of medicine that develops ways to diagnose and treat diseases by understanding the way genes, proteins and other cellular molecules work.

Molecular medicine aims to provide an understanding at the molecular level of how normal cellular processes change, fail or are destroyed by disease so that research and practical clinical work can contribute towards better diagnostic practices and treatment of diseases.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Molecular Medicine courses in the following subject areas:

  • Molecular and Cell Biology – A study of the processes common to all life forms, with emphasis on animal cell biology, learning about molecular biology and cell functions, differentiation, ageing and tumorigenesis.
  • Diploma in Molecular Science – The study of molecular activity in and between cells.
  • Exploring the Molecular World – Learn practical experimentation, problem-solving, recording and reporting techniques in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry.
  • The Molecular World – This course offers a broad introduction to modern chemistry and its applications, integrating the three main branches of chemistry: organic, inorganic, and physical.
  • Fundamentals of Human Molecular Genetics – The study of the science of human genetics.
  • Molecular Basis of Human Disease – Investigate the molecular basis of human disease, including how variation or mutation at the gene level affects protein function.

Studying Molecular Medicine in college

There are many Molecular Medicine courses that take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification. You could also consider work experience or volunteering to help at local hospital diagnostic departments or medical laboratories to get a feel for the type of work carried out.

Competition for trainee positions is fierce as there are limited opportunities, so check job adverts regularly and contact hospitals directly. Most hospitals will have an approved training laboratory, although this doesn’t automatically mean that they will take on a trainee. A placement or other work experience in a laboratory and evidence of medical interest is useful.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a course in Molecular Medicine you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of the science of molecules and their functions.

As a molecular scientist, you will likely carry out a range of laboratory and scientific tests on tissue samples and fluids to help clinicians diagnose and treat diseases. You may also work in a position where you evaluate the effectiveness of treatments.

Molecular medicine work is extremely important to many hospital departments and the functions of careers in the molecular medicine field are wide-ranging. For example, you could work on medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes or AIDS, screen for and monitor a range of diseases, or carry out tests for emergency blood transfusions.

Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a facility with set business hours or if you are contracted to various facilities or companies. The hours are usually full time, Monday to Friday. A flexible approach to work is essential to cover day, evening, night and weekend working.

Common employers in the field are public hospitals, private sector hospitals, clinical pathology laboratories, forensic laboratories, food standards agencies, government departments, health and safety agencies, medical research councils, manufacturing firms, universities and even veterinary services.

Related jobs include:

  • Anesthetist
  • Cardiologist
  • Clinical radiologist
  • General practice doctor
  • Hospital doctor
  • Neurologist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Pathologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Surgeon
  • Adult nurse
  • Children’s nurse
  • Clinical scientist, genomics
  • Epidemiologist
  • Higher education lecturer
  • International aid/development worker
  • Medical sales representative
  • Medical science liaison
  • Research scientist
  • Science writer

Further study

After completing a course in Molecular Medicine you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as cellular pathology, clinical biochemistry, clinical immunology, cytopathology, hematology with hospital transfusion practice, histocompatibility and immunogenetics, medical microbiology, transfusion science or virology.


Why is Molecular Medicine important?

Molecular imaging is a very important diagnostic tool in early assessment and evaluation of a range of diseases, movement disorders, seizure disorders and psychiatric disorders.

Where can I study Molecular Medicine?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Practically everything we experience is made up of molecules. These vary in size from simple pairs of atoms, like an oxygen molecule, to complex organic structures.
  • It is hard to grasp just how small the atoms that make up your body are until you take a look at the sheer number of them. An adult is made up of around 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (7 octillion) atoms.
  • The atoms that make up your body are mostly empty space, so despite there being so many of them, without that space, you would compress into a tiny volume. The nucleus that makes up the vast bulk of the matter in an atom is so much smaller than the whole structure that it is comparable to the size of a fly in a cathedral. If you lost all your empty atomic space, your body would fit into a cube less than 1/500th of a centimetre on each side.
  • Every hydrogen atom in your body is likely 13.5 billion years old because they were created at the birth of the universe

Mariza Halliday

Physics: Physical Sciences Courses
Physics and Astrophysics Courses


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