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About the BSc Degree in Neuroscience

Neuroscience is the study of the structure and function of the nervous system and is one of the most challenging and exciting fields of science today. It is a rapidly expanding field of study and this course is intended to provide graduates with a thorough basic training in this area of ever increasing importance. 

The BSc Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary degree course hosted by the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, with significant contributions from a number of other departments. We study neuroscience from the molecular and cellular level through to behaviour, psychology and clinical neuroscience. Staff in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience participates in teaching the second, third and fourth year modules of the Biological and Chemical Sciences (CK402) programme leading to the BSc (Hons) Neuroscience degree.

I am interested in studying Neuroscience in UCC. How do I proceed?

I am interested in studying Neuroscience in UCC. How do I proceed?

To study Neuroscience at degree level you should enrole for the Biological and Chemical Sciences Entry Module CK402. This course offers a range of modules in first year offering a variety of degree outlets in  1. Biological Sciences,  2. Chemical Sciences  or 3. Science Education.

Upon successful completion of first year, students from first Biological and Chemical Sciences (CK402) and who wish to study Neuroscience will in second year select to choose modules in the  Biological Sciences area of study which will allow progression to a BSc (Hons) Degree in one of the following: Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Microbiology, Neuroscience, or Physiology (see UCC College Calendar for details).

Students who have succesfully completed second year Biological Sciences will upon entering third year apply for three degree programme outlets of their choice in order of preference from the following; Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Microbiology, Neuroscience, or Physiology. So it is at the end of 2nd year of Biological sciences that you are eligible to apply to the Neuroscience honours degree programme

To be eligible for entry to the BSc honours degree programme in Neuroscience in 3rd year you must have successfully passed 2nd year. However a quota of 15 places exists in 3rd year. Quota selection will be based on the aggregate of all second year results. In filling the quotas, preference will be given to students passing the Second University Examination in Science at the Summer Examination in the first year of registration for the Second University Examination in Science, and in order of merit of aggregate marks obtained thereat. Once this quota of 15 has been filled there is then no places remaining in the Neuroscience degree programme.

For this reason it is vital that you get good marks in the 2nd year Summer exams. Merely passing 2nd year exams does not guarantee entry to your first choice of degree programme.


Tell me more about the course content. What will I study?

Tell me more about the course content; what will I study?

See below for details of CK402 Modules for first and second year, and Neuroscience Modules for third and fourth year

Year 1

Core Modules:

  • Introduction to Biochemistry and the Biological Basis of Disease (BC1001)
  • Cells, Biomolecules, Genetics and Evolution  (BL1002)
  • Physiology and Structure of Plants and Animals (BL1004)
  • Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry Part 1  (CM1200)
  • Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry Part 2a (CM1201)
  • Calculus for Science Part 1 (MA1001)
  • Calculus for Science Part 2 (MA1002)
  • Microbiology in Society (MB1003)
  • Physics for Biological and Chemical Sciences (PY101)

Year 2

In the Second Year, foundation modules in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry deal with molecule, cells and tissues, the principles of human structural organisation and the relationship of structure to function.

Core Modules:

  • Biochemistry:  Biomolecules (BC2001), Principles of Metabolic Pathways (BC2002)
  • Molecular Biology: Introductory Molecular Biology (ML2001)
  • Microbiology: Fundamentals of Microbiology (MB2005),  Principles of Microbiology (MB2006)
  • Neuroscience:  Principles of Human Structure (AN2003), Neuroscience, Brain and Behaviour (AN2020)
  • Physiology:  Introductory Physiology I (PL2021),  Introductory Physiology II (PL2022)
  • Statistics:  Introduction to Health Statistics (ST2001)

Plus one 5 credit module from the following: Chemistry: CM2001 (5 credits), CM2002 (5 credits), CM2003 (5 credits) Plant Science: PS2001 (5 credits) Zoology: ZY2000 (5 credits). Chemistry: CM2007 (5 credits) Ecology: AE2001 (5 credits)

Year 3

In the Third Year the detailed study of the human nervous system commences and this is placed in the general context of the structure and development of the human body as a whole. Other modules concentrate on the principles of research methodology, molecular biology, biochemistry, pharmacology and diseases of the nervous system. A library research project in an area of current Neuroscience research is supervised by academic staff of the Department. A work placement module is offered as an option in the summer before year 4, to provide students with experience in a professional environment relevant to neuroscience.

Core modules:

  • Research Methodology in Neuroscience and Biomedical Science (AN3001)
  • Neurobiology of Regulatory Systems (AN3003)
  • Human Regional Neuroanatomy (AN3004)
  • Human Embryology and Developmental Anatomy (AN3009)
  • Library Project (AN3011)
  • Human Nervous System (AN3012)
  • Neurobiology of Disease (AN3013)
  • Molecular Biology (BC3006)
  • Biochemistry of the Central Nervous System (BC3008)
  • Introduction to Pharmacology (PT3001)

Plus one elective module.

  • Work Placement (AN4015) Summer prior to Fourth Year

Year 4

The final year entails detailed study of the nervous system, focusing on its internal architecture, microscopic structure, development and aging. Modules in behavioural and cognitive neuroscience, neurodegeneration and biomedical imaging and devices are also taken. A substantial research project is undertaken and is supervised by academic staff of the Department, each of whom is an active researcher in Neuroscience. Research is supported by modules in advanced research methodology, and in research literature in Neuroscience to develop critical analysis skills.

Core Modules:

  • Developmental Neurobiology (AN4008)
  • Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience (AN4009)
  • Research Project (AN4011)
  • Medical Imaging and Biomedical Devices in the Neurosciences (AN4012)
  • Advanced Topics in Neuroscience (AN4013)
  • Advanced Research Methodology in Neuroscience (AN4014)
  • Molecular Basis of Brain Disorders (BC4011)
  • Neuropharmacology (PT4005)


See the College Calendar for more detailed information on the programme and the Book of Modules for a more detailed description of programme modules.

Sounds Interesting. What are the course entry requirements?

Sounds interesting. What are the course entry requirements?


Leaving Certificate entry requirements: 

At Least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H4 in one subject, minimum grade H5 in one subject and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish.

The following are considered Lab Science subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physics with Chemistry and Agricultural Science.

Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:





Lab Science

Additional Requirement



O6/H7 or H4*

O6/H7 or H4*

H4 in either a Lab Science subject, Maths or Applied Maths or Computer Science*

If the H4 is in Maths, Applied Maths or Computer Science an 06/H7 in a Lab Science subject is also required.

Mature students:
  Applicants should apply directly to the CAO, include a statement of interest and may be called for interview. Applicants must have studied a Laboratory Science subject at second-level or QQI/FETAC level or demonstrate involvement in Science related areas. Approximately eight places are available on this course for mature students.

International Students should visit the International Education website.

FETAC Requirements.

Non-EU Candidates: Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Mature Students: Please refer to the mature student entry requirements for details. 

Course Code: CK402

Entry Points: 2018: 487. Points may vary from year to year

Refer to CK402, Biological & Chemical Sciences

See the College Calendar for more detailed information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for a more detailed description of Programme Modules.

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Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

Anatamaíocht agus Néareolaíocht

Room 2.33, 2nd Floor, Western Gateway Building, University College, Cork, Ireland