UCC Undergraduate courses

Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

  • Code


  • College

    Science, Engineering and Food Science

  • Duration

    4 years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BSc (Hons)

  • Fees

    Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,130 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

    2020: 467

  • CAO Points Range

    2020: 465-601

Course Outline

BSc in Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences is the foundation year for different degree outlets in the School of Biological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, BEES. You will receive a solid grounding in the fundamental disciplines that support your choice of degree from Year 2 onwards.

Please refer to the information on each of our degree outlets for more specific details.


All modules 5 credits unless otherwise stated.

Year 1 Modules:

  • BL1002 Cells, Biomolecules, Genetics & Evolution
  • BL1004 Physiology and Structure of Plants and Animals
  • BL1006 Habitats and Ecosystems
  • CM1003 Introductory Chemistry for Environmental Scientists (10 credits);
  • ER1006 Applied Earth Systems 
  • EV1002 The Environment
  • GL1001 Introduction to Geology
  • GL1004 Geological Evolution of Ireland
  • GG1010 Introduction to Physical Geography
  • MA1001 Calculus for Science Part 1
  • PY1009 Physics for the Environmental Sciences I 

Years 2, 3 and 4 Modules:

Students select one degree stream from:

Applied Plant Biology;  Earth Science;  Ecology and Environmental Biology;  Environmental Science;  Geography;  Geology;  International Field Geosciences;  Science Education (Biology route only);  Zoology

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

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture hours: Lectures are held in the mornings 

Expected lab/practical hours: Practical classes are held in the afternoons

Field trips: There are a number of field days and one residential field trip.

Students may incur the costs of some laboratory items, such as lab coats and manuals, as well as some of the costs costs associated with field trips. 

Why Choose This Course

The field trips are by far the best because you get to know everyone in the group, the lecturers, and what it is you're actually studying.

Fionnuala Joyce

Graduate, BSc Environmental and Earth System Science

This degree provides an essential grounding in the relevant science disciplines. Our degree courses have a strong emphasis on practical components, including fieldwork and laboratory skills, which provide relevant hands-on experience.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study abroad: The School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science operates an exchange system with North American and European universities which allows students to substitute a year abroad for Year 3 in UCC.

Work placement: A work-experience module is also available, in Year 4, enabling students to spend 6-10 weeks in a structured working environment, where they are evaluated both on their contribution to the placement institution and on a report of their experience.

Skills and Careers Information

Please refer to the information on each of the degree outlets for more specific details.


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:




Lab Science




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 through the CAO, include a statement of interest and may be called for interview. Applicants are assessed on education, life and/or relevant experience as demonstrated in the CAO application and statement of interest.  There are approximately eight places available for mature applicants.

International Students should visit the International Education website. 

FETAC Requirements.

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 for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Mature Students Requirements

Please refer to the mature student entry requirements for details. 

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 2021/22 the Student Contribution Fee will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee will be €130.

Please see Fees Office for more information.

Non-EU Fees

The Undergraduate Fees Schedule is available here.

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

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can apply online.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these 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