Ecology and Environmental Biology BSc (Hons)

Fact File

Course Code: CK404

Course Title: Ecology and Environmental Biology

College: Science, Engineering and Food Science

Ecology and Environmental Biology

Teaching Mode: Full-time

Qualifications: BSc (Hons)

NFQ Level: N/A

Costs: Full-time EU/EEA/Swiss State undergraduate students may be exempt from paying tuition fees. The State will pay the tuition fees for students who satisfy the Free Fees Criteria. In 2017/18 the Student Contribution Charge will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee is expected to be €165.

Entry Requirements: Refer to CK404


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 environmental change caused by the human impact on natural ecosystems.

It includes subjects such as:

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

Course Details

Year 1 Modules:

BL1002 Cells, Biomolecules, Genetics and Evolution (5 credits);

BL1004 Physiology and Structure of Plants and Animals (5 credits);

BL1005 Habitats and Ecosystems (5 credits);

CM1003 Introductory Chemistry for Environmental Scientists (10 credits);

ER1006 Applied Earth Systems (5 credits);

EV1002 The Environment (5 credits);

GG1010 Introduction to Physical Geography (5 credits);

GL1001 Introduction to Geology (5 credits);

GL1004 Geological Evolution of Ireland (5 credits);

MA1001 Calculus for Science I (5 credits);

PY1009 Physics for the Environment Sciences I (5 credits)

Year 2 Modules:

Fundamentals of Ecology;  Practical Ecological Skills;  Plant and Animal Genetics;  Practical Environmental Science;  Fossils as Living Organisms;  Ecological Plant Physiology;  Plant Identification;  Introduction to Biostatistics;  Vertebrate Diversity;  Invertebrate Diversity;  Practical Invertebrate Skills

Year 3 Modules:


Introduction to Ecotoxicology;  Practical Field Ecology (residential field course);  Literature Review;  Evolution and Diversity;  Conservation Biology;  Ecology and Hydrology of Wetland Systems;  Biostatistics


Micropalaeontology and Palynology;  Valuing the Environment;  Plants and Hostile Environments;  Animal Behaviour;  Sustainable use of Freshwater;  Advanced Vertebrate Biology; Adaptation to Extreme Environments

Year 4 Modules:


Advanced Ecotoxicology;  Biology and Management of Alien Species;  Research Project;  Frontiers in Biology;  Research Skills in Biology;  Biostatistics;  Landscape Conservation and Management or Temperate Marine Biology (residential field course)  


Biological Work Placement;  Market Forces and the Environment;  Food Production;  Environmentally Protective Management of Plant Pests and Pathogens;  Crop Physiology and Climate Change;  Biology of Marine Mammals

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

Course Practicalities

Field courses form an important part of this course. You will visit a variety of sites in West 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. 

Further Contact Information

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES)

T: +353(0)21 490 4650



Contact us

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P: +353(0)21 490 4650
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