UCC Undergraduate courses

Science Education

About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

This degree enables you to become a fully qualified science teacher in four years. Training takes place in UCC's state-of-the-art Eureka Centre for Inquiry-Based Education in Science and Mathematics.

In Year 1 students undertake a common first-year science course with other science students, allowing time to settle in to UCC and think about a career in science teaching.

At the beginning of Year 2, you register for the BSc(Ed) and choose to specialise in either biology or chemistry or the physics stream. You will obtain an introduction to science teaching and science education and spend some time on Teaching Placement at a local secondary school, as well as studying second-year science modules.

Year 3 is made up of another module in science education and Teaching Placement in a local secondary school as well as third-year science modules. In Year 4, all modules are education modules, with increased time spent on Teaching Placement and also time spent at lectures and laboratory practical sessions at UCC.

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • recognise and apply the basic principles of classroom management and discipline;
  • identify the key characteristics of excellent teaching in science;
  • & develop comprehensive portfolios of lesson plans relevant to the science curricula in schools.


Year 1: Refer to CK402, CK404CK406, and CK408 for more details.

Year 2

  • Route 1 - Chemistry: Main Group and Transition Element Chemistry; Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry; Energetics and Kinetics; Aromatics, Carbonyls and Alkenes; Spectroscopy; Structure, Bonding and Quantum Mechanics plus Education: Science Education; Teaching Practice Placement
  • Route 2 - Physics: Classical Mechanics; Quantum Physics; Electrostatics and Magnetostatics; Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics; Astrophysics and Special Relativity; Experimental Physics plus Education: Science Education; Teaching Practice Placement
  • Route 3 - Biology: Habitats and Ecosystems; Biomolecules; Fundamentals of Microbiology; Principles of Microbiology; Molecular Biology; Physics for the Environmental Sciences* or Plant Biotechnology* plus Education: Science Education; Teaching Practice Placement

*Students who enter through CK404 take Physics for the Environmental Sciences. Students who enter through CK402 choose Plant Biotechnology

Year 3

  • Route 1 - Chemistry: Physical Chemistry I & II; Inorganic Chemistry; Synthesis, Structure and Reactivity of Organic Compounds plus Education: Science Education; Teaching Practice Placement
  • Route 2 - Physics: Optics; Quantum Mechanics; Electromagnetism; Condensed Matter Physics; Nuclear and Particle Physics; Experimental Physics plus Education: Science Education; Teaching Practice Placement
  • Route 3 - Biology: Conservation Biology; Medical Microbiology; Environmental Microbial Genomics; Plants and Hostile Environments; Plant and Animal Genetics; Adaptions to Extreme Environments plus Education: Science Education; Teaching Practice Placement

Year 4

  • Science Education; Teaching Practice Placement Science Education; Conceptual Foundations in School Placement Research Portfolio A; Conceptual Foundations in the Philosophy and History of Education; Conceptual Foundations in the Psychology and Sociology of Education; Conceptual Foundations in Curriculum and Assessment; Conceptual Foundations in Inclusive Education; Conceptual Foundations in School Placement Research Portfolio B.

See the College Calendar for additional information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for further information on modules.

Course Practicalities

Lectures/lab work/placement

  • Year 1: A mixture of lectures and laboratory practical sessions.
  • Years 2, 3, & 4: A mixture of lectures, laboratory practical sessions, and teaching placement in local secondary schools. Since the term is short (two semesters each of 12 weeks duration).

Your workload will consist of studying lecture notes, writing up practical laboratory notes, and preparing lesson plans for the lessons that you teach in school. In years 2 and 3 you fit in your teaching placement around your normal lectures in UCC.

Other practicalities

  • You will require a white laboratory coat for lab work.
  • This programme is subject to UCC's Fitness to Practise Policy – full details may be found here.
  • Garda vetting is carried out by the Admissions Office in UCC once a student has accepted their place on this progamme.


Written exams take place before Christmas and in May. Not all modules will have formal examinations. Many modules use other types of assessment. In Year 1, the assessment methods consist mainly of written examinations and continuous assessment of laboratory practical work. In years 2 and 3, the assessment consists of written examinations, continuous assessment of laboratory practical work, and teaching practice. Your teaching practice will be supervised by a member of staff of UCC's School of Education. In year 4, the entire year is assessed by means of continuous assessment involving project work, laboratory practical work, and supervision of teaching practice.

Who teaches this course

Teaching is carried out by the staff of the College of SEFS and staff of the School of Education, UCC.

Why Choose This Course

I found it a huge advantage to be a fully qualified science teacher in four years...

Kevin Buckley, BSc(Ed) Graduate

Find Out More

This course takes only four years and is fully recognised by the Teaching Council as a qualification to teach science in secondary schools.

This course is unique in that you will be trained to teach science in the state-of-the-art Eureka Centre for Inquiry-Based Education in Science and Mathematics in UCC.

The Eureka Centre consists of science education laboratories that are fully equipped to teach Leaving Certificate physics, chemistry and biology, a Science Resource Centre with all the teaching resources that you need for teaching these subjects, and a seminar room that is fully equipped for online teaching and learning activities.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Teaching placement is carried out in schools within commuting distance of UCC. You will be assisted in finding schools convenient to you.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduates of this degree are fully qualified science teachers, recognised internationally. Teaching opportunities exist not only in Ireland but also abroad and graduates of this course are currently teaching in Ireland, UK, USA, Australia, etc. 


Refer to CK402, CK404, CK406 and CK408.

Mature entry applicants: Find out about the mature entry requirements here.

Garda Clearance: All students on this programme will come into contact with the public and assume positions of trust through educational and training opportunities. To ensure the protection of the public, and to justify public trust and confidence, UCC is committed to ensuring only suitable candidates are allowed to undertake this programme.

Garda vetting is carried out by the Admissions Office in UCC once a student has accepted their place on the programme. It involves a police check to establish whether the individual being vetted has had criminal convictions in the past or whether there are any criminal proceedings pending. The Garda Síochána provide this information for students who have resided in Ireland for a period of six months or more (including permanent residence).

All students who have resided outside Ireland for a period of six months or more must furnish a Police Clearance Certificate from their country or countries or residence. This certificate should state that the student has no convictions recorded against them while residing there. 

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.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

How Do I Apply

If you are interested in applying for direct entry into year 3 of the BSc Science Education programme, follow this link.

EU Applicants

The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions. Refer to the Central Applications Office 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/FETAC Applicants

See the CAO QQI FET/FETAC Applicants page.

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information.

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 term 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