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UCC Undergraduate courses


Course Fact File
Duration4 years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBSc (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesStudent Contribution + Capitation: €3,138 See Fees and Costs for full details.

Course Outline

BSc Biochemistry is the study of living organisms, particularly the human body, at cellular and sub-cellular levels and is an excellent stepping stone for entry into medicine, dentistry and pharmacy.

Core subjects are cell biochemistry and biology, genetics, biotechnology, metabolism and protein science, with an emphasis on understanding normal and disease states. The lecture course is supplemented by practical classes, where you learn the principles and methodology of research.

The School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology is highly active in research. Final-year research projects are carried out in state-of-the-art laboratories, under the supervision of internationally recognised researchers. BSc Biochemistry provides you with a solid foundation in research, analytical approaches and critical thinking.

Biochemistry graduates have excellent career prospects in the biopharmaceutical and biotechnological industries and in the broad biomedical research area, including drug development and disease diagnoses. BSc Biochemistry is recognised by the Teaching Council.

Refer to CK402 for more details on modules.

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

Applied Plant BiologyBiochemistryBiotechnologyChemistryChemistry of Pharmaceutical CompoundsChemistry with Forensic SciencesScience Education (Chemistry or Biology Route), MicrobiologyNeurosciencePhysiology

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.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture hours: Biochemistry lectures are held in the mornings between 9am and 1pm. There are approximately 8-12 lectures per week.

Expected lab/practical hours: Laboratory practical classes are in the afternoons between 2pm and 6pm. There are approximately three laboratory classes per week. Final year research projects are a major component of final year and generally span a full semester.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May.  Not all modules will have formal examinations.  Many modules use other types of assessment including essay and short answer examinations, multiple-choice-question examinations, evaluation of laboratory practical skills, laboratory reports, literature reviews, independent laboratory research project, research mini-thesis and seminar presentation, oral presentation and oral examination.

Why Choose This Course

My BSc in Biochemistry was an essential part of my acceptance onto a PhD programme in cancer research at Oxford University.

Fiona Cahill


Find Out More

The School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology is highly active in research, which gives you access to a wide range of cutting-edge expertise.

Undergraduate students in Biochemistry have the opportunity to engage in research first hand through an independent research project in their final year.  Masters and PhD research opportunities for Biochemistry graduates are excellent.

Biochemistry graduates enjoy excellent employment opportunities and have a wide choice of career options in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, biomedical, environmental monitoring and medical diagnostic areas.

A degree in Biochemistry is an excellent foundation for all careers relating to human health and is a very appropriate foundation degree for graduate medicine.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

While there is no work placement incorporated into this course, the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology facilitates you in finding summer laboratory work at the end of Year 3. In addition, in Year 4, each student carries out an independent research project in a biochemistry research laboratory, which our students find to be one of the highlights of the course.

Skills and Careers Information

BSc Biochemistry provides you with a broad scientific knowledge and research skills. You also gain transferable skills including: team-work, communication, writing, presentation, problem-solving and analytical skills.

Biochemistry graduates work in a broad range of areas. Biochemists work in companies and research laboratories in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, biomedical, environmental monitoring, and medical diagnostic areas. Biochemists also work in the education sector as teachers and lecturers.

Job opportunities are plentiful, salaries are competitive and career development opportunities are good. A large number of BSc graduates opt for further training through MSc and PhD degrees, as this enhances job opportunities and career development prospects.


Refer to CK402

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants 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 and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • 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.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Refer to CK402.

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact