For the latest information on this degree programme, see the open day brochure >> Ecology Degree Brochure (276kB)
What is Ecology?
Ecology is the study of the interactions between animals, plants and microbes and their environment. It includes the study of how individual organisms interact in communities and how communities interact with the surrounding ecosystem. It addresses such questions as what controls animal and plant distribution, abundance and biodiversity, how energy and nutrients move around ecosystems and how species interact with each other. It also examines the biology of various habitats from marine and freshwater to terrestrial habitats and the soil.
Ecology uses the understanding of basic ecological principles and concepts to predict and manage environmental change caused by the human impact on natural ecosystems. It includes subjects such as:
· Wildlife and Fisheries Management
· Resource Management
· Pest Control
· Pollution and Ecotoxicology
· Climate change and Biodiversity
The benefits of taking an Ecology degree
A degree in Ecology provides graduates with a sound scientific knowledge and experience of a wide range of scientific techniques relevant to addressing current environmental issues. In particular graduates possess field skills and theoretical knowledge required for ecological work such as Environmental and Pollution Monitoring, Toxicity Testing, Impact Assessment, Nature conservation and Management. In addition Ecology graduates learn laboratory techniques relevant to other biological fields including, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Environmental Sciences, Aquaculture, Fisheries and Zoology.
The Ecology Degree
The Ecology degree is the only ecology degree in Ireland and was established in response to the increasing awareness of environmental issues. The Ecology degree is run by the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES) and takes four years.
Field courses form an important part of the degree. Second Years go to West Cork, Third Years go to Portugal and Fourth Years go to the Burren in Co. Clare. You may also have the opportunity to study for a term in another European country through the SOCRATES scheme.
What career opportunities are there in Ecology?
A degree in Ecology allows you to work in many different fields in Ireland and abroad.
· Research in government agencies such as OPW, Teagasc, EPA, ERU, Forestry, Fisheries, and the Marine Institute.
· Research carried out in universities or the industrial sector.
· Administration within the Civil Service, County Councils or industry.
· Environmental scientists in industry, agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries, government & county councils.
· Management conservation working in habitat management, nature reserves, landscape planning, fisheries.
· Teaching at second and third level.