Biochemistry course Information

Biochemistry course information

Biochemistry course information

Biochemistry course information for current students

Entry to Biochemistry at UCC (BSc Degree in Biochemistry)

Entry to Biochemistry is via Biological and Chemical Sciences CAO code CK402.

The points required to enter CK402 vary each year and can be viewed on the Central Application Office (CAO) website. The Central Applications Office processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Decisions on admissions to undergraduate courses are made by the HEIs who instruct CAO to make offers to successful candidates.

There are approximately 200 places on Biological and Chemical Sciences.

A student pursuing an honours degree in Biochemistry will complete Biological and Chemical Sciences in year 1, Biological Sciences in year 2 and Biochemistry in year 3 and year 4. Modules amounting to 60 credits are taken in each year.


First Year Biological and Chemical Sciences (CK402)

The first year of Biological and Chemical Sciences (CK402) is a general year focusing on Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics. Students must complete core modules to the value of 60 credits.

Core Modules                   

BC1001 (5 credits) Introduction to Biochemistry and the Biological Basis of Disease

BL1002 (5 credits)Cells Biomolecules, Genetics and Evolution

BL1004 (5 credits)Physiology and Structure of Plants and Animals

CM1200 (10 credits) Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry Part 1 

CM1201 (10 credits) Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry Part 2

MA1001 (5 credits) Calculus for Science Part 1

MA1002 (5 credits) Calculus for Science Part 2

MB1003 (5 credits) Microbiology in Society

PY1010 (10 credits) Physics for Biological and Chemical Sciences


Second Year Biological Sciences

Students must complete modules to the value of 60 credits -55 credits of core module and a 5 credit elective module.

Core Modules

ML2001 Introductory Molecular Biology (5 credits)

ST2001  Introduction to Biostatistics (5 credits)

AN2003 Principles of Human Structure (5 credits)

AN2020 Introduction to Neuroscience, the Brain and Behaviour (5 credits)

BC2001 Biomolecules (5 credits)

BT1001  Biotechnology (5 credits)

BC2002 Principles of Metabolic Pathways (5 credits)

MB2005 Fundamentals of Microbiology (5 credits)

MB2006 Principles of Microbiology (5 credits)

PL2021  Introductory Physiology I (5 credits)

PL2022  Introductory Physiology II (5 credits)


Elective Modules

Students select 5 credits from the following elective modules:

AE2001 Fundamentals of Ecology

CM2001 Main Group and Transition Element Chemistry

CM2002 Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry

CM2003 Energetics and Kinetics

CM2007 Spectroscopy

PS2001 Introduction to Plant Biotechnology

ZY2000 Vertebrate Diversity


Third Year Biochemistry

Your entry into Biochemistry 3 is dependent on your exam results in second year exams. Once you decide on your degree choice at the end of second year and gain entry to the discipline of your choice (based on your performance in your exams) you commit fully to a degree programme in the subject and continue your chosen course for the following 2 years.

In third year if you decide for a degree programme in Biochemistry, you will specialise in Biochemistry and complete a course consisting of ten Biochemistry modules (50 credits) and two additional elective modules of your choice from other Departments. Entry into biochemistry in third year is subject to a quota of 30 places (quotas operate in all Departments for entry into third year). Places are awarded on the basis of your performance in the essential modules in second year.

In 2001, students with an average of 48% or higher were offered places in biochemistry. Once accepted into biochemistry in third year, you are accepted for the degree programme in biochemistry and continue right through to the end of the fourth (final) year.

In third year you will complete a course consisting of ten Biochemistry modules (50 credits) and two additional elective modules. The Biochemistry modules in third year are at an intermediate level and are:

Core Modules

BC3001 Structural Biochemistry

BC3003 Introduction to Cell Biology and Biomembranes

BC3004 Cell Signalling

BC3005 Biochemical Immunology

BC3006 Molecular Biology

BC3007 Principles of Medical Genetics

BC3008 Biochemistry of the Central Nervous System

BC3009 Biophysical and Biochemical Methods

BC3010 Bioinformatics

BC3012 Literature Project


Elective Modules

Two elective modules are chosen. Students select 10 credits from the following 5-credit elective modules:


MB3001 Medical Microbiology

MB3002 Virology

MB3012 Transmission and Epidemiology of Infectious Disease

PE4010 BioPharmaceutical Engineering

PL3005 Cell and Epithelial Physiology

PT3001 Introduction to Pharmacology

PT3002 Introduction to Toxicology

PT3005 Chemotherapy and Pharmacology of Inflammation


The Fourth Year

In your fourth and final year, you will specialise extensively in Biochemistry and complete a course consisting entirely of Biochemistry modules (60 credits). This includes a major research project (15 credits), which you will carry out in one of the research laboratories in the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. The research project is one of the highlights of the degree programme and is a stimulating, challenging and rewarding experience in independent experimental research.


Fourth Year Biochemistry Modules

BC4001 Advanced Cell Biology

BC4002 Protein Science

BC4022 Immunobiology of Health and Disease

BC4006 Current topics in Biochemistry

BC4009 Cancer Biology

BC4010 Biochemical Analysis and Research Methods

BC4011 Molecular Basis of Brain Disorders

BC4012 Research Project

BC4016 Advanced Metabolism in Health, Disease and Cancer

BC4017 Principles and Applications of Biotechnology


On completion of a BSc in Biochemistry, you will:

  • have a solid foundation and understanding of human and animal biochemistry at the biomedical level
  • be proficient in a broad range of biochemistry laboratory techniques and research methods
  • be able to design, implement and evaluate scientific investigations and assess, interpret and present scientific data
  • be able to analyse and critically appraise research literature in the biochemistry and biomedical fields
  • be able to work effectively, ethically and professionally as an individual, in teams, and in multidisciplinary settings, with the capacity for leadership and innovation.


Further Information

Where can I get further information?

There are several ways to get further information on Biochemistry at UCC

Career Opportunities for Graduates

The majority of career opportunities for biochemists are in the biopharmaceutical, biomedical, analytical science areas, and also in pure and applied research across the broad biochemistry, cell biology and biomedical science areas. The undergraduate degree is a strong basis for teaching biology and is recognised by the Teaching Council. Biochemistry is also an excellent stepping stone degree to careers in other areas including medicine, pharmacy, sales and management. 

Career Opportunities for Graduates

What do Biochemistry graduates offer employers?

Graduates of Biochemistry will have developed the ability to:

  • Demonstrate a wide knowledge of essential facts, major concepts, principles and theories associated with the chosen discipline.
  • Apply their knowledge to analyse, interpret and critically evaluate data.
  • Demonstrate laboratory skills and knowledge of planning and designing experiments.
  • Execute independent research centred on data generation.
  • Demonstrate critical analysis and application of results obtained.
  • Take account of and act in accordance with health and safety policies, good laboratory practice, ethical considerations and risk and control of substances hazardous to health assessment.
  • Recognise the importance of quality control and quality assurance.
  • Design research protocols and use statistical techniques to enable valid analysis and interpretations of experimental results.
  • Interpret data derived from laboratory observations and measurements.
  • Conduct risk assessments concerning laboratory procedures.
  • Apply numeracy and IT skills such as word processing, spreadsheets, data logging and storage.
  • Demonstrate organisational and team work skills through planning and executing experiments.
  • Communicate complex information clearly and engagingly through the sharing of research findings via written and oral presentation to a range of audiences.

Further Information

See graduate testimonials and career profiles for some of our graduates.

Degree Outlets from CK402 Biological and Chemical Sciences

Degree outlet choices for CK402 Biological and Chemical Sciences

At the end of Year 1 in CK402 Biological and Chemical Sciences, a student progressing to Year 2 can select one of the following honours degree programmes:

  1. Chemistry 
  2. Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds 
  3. Chemistry with Forensic Science 
  4. Science Education (Biology or Chemistry route) 


Progress to Biological Sciences. During Year 2 Biological Sciences, students will complete Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Microbiology, Neuroscience and Physiology modules, and at the end of Year 2, students can select one of the following honours degree programmes:

  1. Biochemistry 
  2. Biotechnology 
  3. Microbiology 
  4. Neuroscience 
  5. Physiology  

Entry to the degree programmes is subject to quotas. 

Once you decide on your degree choice at the end of Year 2, and gain entry to the degree of your choice (based on your performance in your exams and quota), you commit fully to that degree programme for Year 3 and Year 4.

Transfer from 2nd Year Chemistry (UCC) to Biochemistry

Students who have taken second science Chemistry with BC2001, BC2002, and ML2001 may apply to the Head of the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, by the first Friday in August, to transfer to the third year Biochemistry degree programme. Awarding of places is subject to the approval of the Head of the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and will be included in the Biochemistry quota of 30 places.

Please complete the "Transfer from Second Science Chemistry UCC to Third Science Biochemistry Degree Programme” application form (Transfer Form - 2nd Chemistry to 3rd Biochemistry) and submit to the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology Administration office 3.19, Western Gateway Building, Western Rd, UCC.

School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Scoil na Bithcheimice agus na Cillbhitheolaíochta

University College Cork, Western Road, Cork.