UCC Undergraduate courses

Ecology & Environmental Biology

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

Course Outline

The BSc Ecology and Environmental Biology degree is the only one of its kind in Ireland. The course was established in response to the increasing awareness of environmental and wildlife issues. It is the study of the interactions between animals, plants and microbes and their environment. It includes the study of how individual organisms interact in communities and how communities interact with the surrounding ecosystem.

This degree addresses such questions as; what controls animal and plant distribution, abundance and biodiversity? How do energy and nutrients move around ecosystems? How do species interact with each other? It also examines the biology of various habitats from marine and freshwater to terrestrial habitats and the soil. It uses the understanding of basic ecological principles and concepts to predict and manage the environmental change caused by the human impact on natural ecosystems.

It includes subjects such as:

  • Conservation
  • Pest Control
  • Wildlife Management
  • Pollution and Ecotoxicology
  • Resource Management

You enter Ecology and Environmental Biology from Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (CK404).


Year 1 

Refer to Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (CK404) for more details on Year 1 module options for this programme.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue (Ecology and Environmental Biology) for the complete and up-to-date content including current core and elective module options for Years 2and 4. 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

Field courses form an important part of this course. You will visit a variety of sites in County Cork in Year 2, go to Portugal in Year 3, and choose between the Burren, Co Clare, or Millport, West of Scotland, in Year 4.


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 essays, assessed practical exercises, field reports, multiple-choice questionnaires, assessed presentations and project work. The range of assessments provides a broad base of skills relevant to future employment. 

Why Choose This Course

I found the range of modules offered provided students with key skills required for future employment in the ecology sector.

Joe McElheron

BSc, Ecology and Environmental Biology

This course provides students with a broad-ranging education into a wide spectrum of scientific subjects whilst providing the freedom to explore their interests in-depth, especially in the final year.

Lily May Duggan, BSc EEB

Ecology and Environmental Biology is the only degree of its kind in Ireland and was established in response to increasing awareness of environmental and wildlife issues.

A degree in Ecology and Environmental Biology provides you with a sound scientific knowledge and experience in a wide range of scientific techniques relevant to addressing current environmental issues. In particular, you will possess field skills and theoretical knowledge required for ecological work such as environmental and pollution monitoring, toxicity testing, impact assessment, and nature conservation and management.

In addition, you will learn laboratory techniques relevant to other biological fields including biochemistry, biotechnology, environmental sciences, aquaculture, fisheries and zoology.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

The School of BEES operates an exchange system with North American and other European universities that allows students to substitute a year abroad for Year 3 in UCC.

A work-experience module is also available to students in Year 4, enabling you to spend 6-10 weeks in a structured working environment, where you will be evaluated both on your contribution to the placement institution and by a report on your experience.

Skills and Careers Information

A degree in Ecology and Environmental Biology allows you to work in many different fields in Ireland and abroad such as: 

  • research in universities or industry
  • research in government agencies such as OPW, EPA, ERU, Forestry, Fisheries
  • consultancy
  • journalism
  • teaching at second and third level
  • administration in civil service, county councils or industry
  • environmental scientists in industry, agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries and government
  • management conservation working in habitat management, nature reserves, landscape planning, and fisheries


Refer to CK404

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.

Students will be expected to pay for some small laboratory items such as lab coats and contribute towards the cost of field trips.

How To Apply

Refer to CK404

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