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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

A biotechnologist takes an understanding of life science and applies it to the benefit of mankind. The BSc (Hons) Biotechnology will provide students with an excellent training in modern biotechnology, including molecular biology, food biotechnology, immunology, protein science, bioinformatics and process engineering. Students will also be expected to complete a work placement and a final year research project.

The entry route to the BSc Biotechnology is through the general Biological and Chemical Sciences (CK402) entry. At the end of the degree you will have an excellent training in the life sciences with a skill set that will equip you for a career in research and/or industry.

Refer to CK402 for more details.

Year 1 Modules:

Comprises core modules in the four main branches of science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths. Biology modules include Microbiology, Biotechnology and Biochemistry.

Year 2 Modules:

You will begin to specialise but you will still be able to choose modules that will leave you with 3 or more degree choices at the end of the year. Core biology modules include Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry.

Year 3 Modules:

You commit to your degree choice. In the BSc Biotechnology you will take a dedicated course of lectures and practical laboratory modules encompassing Microbiology, Biochemistry, Process Engineering and Pharmacology.


At the end of year 3 you will carry out a 5 month (from May to October) work placement in an industry and/or laboratory that is relevant to biotechnology. The placements are organised with the support of the Careers Office in UCC.

Year 4 Modules:

You will take a dedicated set of courses in Microbiology, Biochemistry and Process Engineering. You will also undertake a supervised research project in a research laboratory in UCC.

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: Lectures are conducted between 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. You will have approximately 288 lectures hours per year and these may include directed study/reading hours on the module.

Expected lab/practical hours: Your laboratory practical/tutorial hours will amount to approximately 216 per year. In Year 4 you will also complete a 6 week lab-based project in the area of Biotechnology. This will be performed under the supervision of a member of staff. The project aims to enhance your laboratory skills and critical abilities in identifying, analysing and solving problems in scientific research and to develop your skills in communicating your research.

Costs for lab manuals/lecture hand-outs vary from year 1 through to year 4 but on average costs about €15 per year. Textbooks: students typically spend between €50-100 per year on books.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May. Not all modules have formal examinations. Some modules use other types of assessment.

Modules that contain practical components also assess this aspect by reviewing laboratory reports. Some year 3 and year 4 modules include assignments, dissertations and reports as part of the assessment. The placement and the final year project will be assessed using a combination of laboratory/placement performance, written report and oral presentation.

Who Teaches this Course

The BSc Biotechnology will be taught by members of staff from the Schools of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Process Engineering and Pharmacology. All academic staff are leading experts in their field with PhDs and they are actively engaged in research that is relevant to biotechnology.

Learn more about some of the staff teaching on the BSc Biotechnology:

Dr David Clarke (Director) School of Microbiology (

Prof Tom Cotter School of Biochemsitry and Cell Biology (

Dr Maria de Sousa-Gallagher Department of Process Engineering (

Dr Ashley Allshire School of Pharmacology (


Why Choose This Course

Using R and other languages to approach these problems allows me to be creative and innovative when exploring new ideas.

Rachel Fitzgerald

MSc in Bioinformatics with Computational Biology

This experience really helped me understand the area I wanted to work in and the career path I wanted to pursue

Conor Coughlan

MSc Food Science

I was interested in how the world works and how we, as global citizens, can engage with the system to make the world a better place.

Laura Cashman

MA International Relations

The BSc Biotechnology is the only degree outlet from CK402 that offers a placement.

The BSc Biotechnology offers an unique combination of modules from Microbiology, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Pharmacology and Process Engineering. 

Placement or Study Abroad Information

The BSc Biotechnology incorporates a mandatory 5 month industrial placement at the end of Year 3.

Skills and Careers Information

What can I do after I graduate with a BSc Biotechnology?

The BSc Biotechnology is ideal for you if you have a broad interest in the application of life science. The BSc Biotechnology will also equip you with a skillset that is very popular with employers e.g. critical thinking, data analysis, the ability to communicate ideas and independent thinking. These transferrable skills are useful in a wide range of career fields, even outside of science.

Occupations associated with BSc Biotechnology

The biotechnology industry is a major source of employment in Ireland and particularly in the Cork region. Indeed most of the worlds top companies in Pharma and Biotechnology (e.g. Janssen, DePuy, Pfizer, GSK, MSD, Novartis) have research/manufacturing facilities in the Munster area.

Industry: quality control/assurance, project leaders, research and development

Academia: research (towards MSc and/or PhD), lecturer

What are our graduates doing?

The BSc Biotechnology is a new programme in UCC (starting 2016) and we have worked closely with our industry partners to ensure that our graduates will be very attractive to the Biotechnology sector in Ireland and abroad. BSc Biotechnology graduates will also have an excellent degree in the life sciences and will therefore be well-equipped to undertake post-graduate research (either MSc or PhD). 


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