UCC Undergraduate courses

Environmental Science

About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

Environmental Science is the study of the physical, chemical and biological processes of the Earth and of human interactions with these processes. It uses a multi-disciplinary perspective to consider approaches to protecting, preserving and managing the environment.

Environmental Science has become critically important because of the need to protect the natural and human environment for present and future generations.

Environmental issues such as climate change, conserving biodiversity, management of waste and natural resources, production of energy and protecting human health are now high on the agenda of all governments, resulting in stringent regulations and standards, but also new directions for research, focussed on improving the sustainability of all human activities. This in turn has created a greater need for knowledgeable and appropriately trained Environmental Scientists.


Year 1 Modules:

Refer to CK404 for more details.

Year 2 Modules

  • AE2001 – Fundamentals of Ecology
  • CM2101 – Introductory Organic Chemistry for Environmental Scientists
  • EV2001 - Practical Environmental Science
  • EV2002 – The Environment and Human Health
  • EV2003 – Practical Data Analysis and Research Skills
  • GG2005 – Quarternary Environments and Geomorphology
  • GG2037 – Introduction to Geoinformatics
  • GS2001 - Dynamic Earth
  • GS2002 - The Evolving Earth
  • PY2009 – Physics for the Environmental Sciences II
  • ST2001 – Introduction to Biostatistics
  • ZY2005 – Invertebrate Diversity 

Year 3 Modules


  • CM3104 – Environmental Chenistry and Analysis
  • EV3014 – Environmental Science in the Field
  • EV3017 – Freshwater Science
  • EV3018 – Pollution Prevention and Control
  • GG3012 – Advanced Geographical Information Systems
  • GL3031 – Environmental Hydrogeology
  • PY3011 – Environmental Physics
  • ST3001 – Biostatistics I


  • CM3024 – Analytical Chemistry
  • GG2046 – Atmosphere, Weather and Climate
  • GG3007 - Coastal and Marine Geomorphology
  • GG3041 – Environmental Remote Sensing
  • PA3300 – Valuing the Environment
  • PS3008 – Plants in Hostile Environments

Year 4 Modules


  • EV4001 - Environmental Science Research Project
  • EV4002 - Environmental Monitoring
  • EV4012 - Environmental Impact Assessments
  • EV4013 - Environmental Risk Assessment and Auditing


  • AE4012 – Landscape Conservation and Management
  • AE4016 – Advanced Ecology and Biogeography
  • BL4006 – Food Production
  • CM4026 – Advanced Analytical Chemistry Part 1
  • CM4027 – Advanced Analytical Chemistry Part 2
  • CM4112 – Atmospheric Chemistry and Air Pollution
  • ER4004 – Practical Offshore Marine Science
  • EV4010 – Environmental Work Placement
  • PA4300 – Market Forces and the Environment
  • PS4024 – Crop Physiology
  • PS4021 – The Environmentally Protective Management of Plant Pests and Pathogens
  • ST4001 – Biostatistics II

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

Why Choose This Course

I can say with confidence that there are few degrees out there that can provide such a level of knowledge on such a wide array of subjects...

Connor Dennehy, Graduate, Environmental Science

This degree provides you with an essential grounding in the relevant science disciplines (biological, chemical, earth, physical and mathematical), together with hands-on experience and an understanding of the science behind key environmental issues.

On graduation you will be well-equipped to make a valuable contribution to the environmental sector or to help solve the environmental problems of the future.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study abroad: The School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science operates an exchange system, mostly with European universities (i.e. Erasmus programme), and this allows students to substitute one semester or a full year abroad in Year 3 for their third year in UCC.

Work placement: A work experience module is available to Year 4 students, enabling them 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

Graduates in Environmental Science are eligible for any job that requires an honours degree in a science subject, but are particularly suitable for posts in:

  • environmental consultancies
  • environment and waste divisions of local authorities
  • the Environmental Protection Agency
  • environment divisions of chemical
  • pharmaceutical, food and other industries
  • non-Governmental organisations 
  • Government departments concerned with natural resources, heritage, environment and land use.

Posts for environmental scientists typically involve:

  • monitoring compliance with environmental regulations
  • waste and natural resource management
  • pollution monitoring
  • environmental impact assessments
  • environmental auditing
  • designing environmental management systems
  • environmental risk assessments


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 appicants 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

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.

Please see Fees Office for more information.

Some modules incorporate practical laboratories and for these you may be required to purchase basic safety items such as a laboratory coat or goggles. Other modules may require specific items such as rubber boots and outdoor waterproof clothing. Financial contributions will be required for taking place in national and an international field course.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

How Do I Apply

Refer to CK404.

EU Applicants

The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions. Refer to the CAO page for further information.

Mature Applicants (age 23 or over)

All interested mature applicants must make an application through the Central Applications Office (CAO). See the CAO Mature Applicants and the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) pages. Visit our Mature Student Entry page for more information.


See our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)/Further Education and Training (FET) application process.

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. Check the College Calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

  • In UCC, we use the terms 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