UCC Undergraduate courses

Biological & Chemical Sciences

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Biological & Chemical Sciences

  • Code


  • College

    Science, Engineering and Food Science

  • Duration

    4 years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BSc (Hons)

  • Fees

    Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,138 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    1 x H4, 1 x H5, 4 x O6/H7; Maths and a Lab science subject are required. See Requirements for full details.

  • CAO Points

    2022: 553

  • CAO Points Range


Course Outline

Our Biological and Chemical Sciences degree programme is the largest and most flexible entry route for you in science, with eight degree streams available through it.

Our programme is carefully constructed to foster an interdisciplinary approach across a wide range of biological, biotechnology, medical, chemical and pharmaceutical research areas.

If you enjoy Biology and/or Chemistry as Leaving Certificate subjects, enjoy working in a laboratory environment and like the challenge and excitement of scientific research and development, then Biological and Chemical Sciences, with its broad range of opportunities, may be the CAO entry route for you.


All modules are 5 credits unless otherwise stated.

Year 1 Modules:

  • BC1001 Introduction to Biochemistry and the Biological Basis of Disease 
  • BL1002 Cells, Biomolecules, Genetics and Evolution
  • BL1004 Physiology and Structure of Plants and Animals 
  • MB1003 Microbiology in Society 
  • CM1200 Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry Part 1 (10 credits)
  • CM1201 Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry Part 2a (10 credits) 
  • MA1001 Calculus for Science Part 1 
  • MA1002 Calculus for Science Part 2 
  • PY1010 Physics for Biological and Chemical Sciences (10 credits)

Years 2, 3 & 4 Modules:

Students select one degree stream (depending on choice of Year 1 Electives) from:

Applied Plant BiologyBiochemistry, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds, Chemistry with Forensic SciencesMicrobiology, NeurosciencePhysiology

The subjects you will study from Year 2 onwards depend upon which programme you enter from the options above. Please see the individual course information pages for details of each of these programmes.

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

Course Practicalities

This course comprises a combination of lectures, practicals (experiments) and tutorials/workshops.

Why Choose This Course

In secondary school I loved chemistry and biology...

Ailbhe Woods

Click & Listen to Ailbhe's testimonial
The biology route introduced me to a wide range of subjects from genetics and ecology, to computational and molecular biology...

Ronan Harrington


Find Out More
It's very much like the Arts of Science... You go into it as a broad course and then you specialize each year as you go on...

Aaron Blake, Graduate, BSc Biological & Chemical Sciences

A unique aspect of the Biological and Chemical Sciences programme is the large degree of flexibility available to you after you have entered the programme.

You will have ten different degree streams available to you and you can choose to be flexible regarding what course you want to study until the end of Year 1. Depending on what route you decide to pursue, your final decision on which area you wish to focus your studies will be made at either the end of Year 1 or the end of Year 2.

Skills and Careers Information

An extremely wide variety of career opportunities are available to graduates of the degree streams. For further information on career opportunities from each are of study, please see the information for the relevant degree programme. 


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:

EnglishIrishMathsLab ScienceNote:
O6/H7 O6/H7 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.

Other qualifications: EU/EFTA/UK students presenting an alternative school-leaving qualification (e.g. A-levels or International Baccalaureate) or QQI/FE course should visit our Entry Requirements pages for further information. 

International Students should visit the International Education website.

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 visit our qualification comparison page.

Refer to our International Office page for more information on how to apply to UCC.

Fees and Costs

Course fees include a tuition fee, student contribution fee and capitation fee. The state will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student Contribution and Capitation Fees are payable by the student. In 2022/23 the Student Contribution Fee will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee will be €138.

Please see Fees Office for more information.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

How Do I Apply

EU Applicants: Application to Year 1 of the degree programme is made directly through the Central Applications Office (CAO). Applicants should apply online at www.cao.ie. The normal closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of entry.

Non-EU Applicants

Mature Applicants:  Application is made through the CAO and the closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of proposed entry. Find out about the mature entry requirements here

EU Applicants: The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions. Refer to the CAO page for further information.

Mature Applicants (age 23 or over): See the CAO Mature Applicants page and the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) page for essential information on the application process for mature students.

QQI FET: See our QQI FET Applicants page.

Non-EU Applicants: Non-EU applicants apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page.

All Applicants: Please note that the modules listed are indicative of the current set of modules for this course and are subject to change from year to year. Please check the College Calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

  • In UCC, we use the terms programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact