UCC Undergraduate courses


Course Fact File
CodeRefer to CK404
Duration4 Years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBSc (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
Fees€3,130 Student Contribution + Capitation Fee See Fees and Costs for full details.

Course Outline

Geoscience at UCC centres on the study of the history of the Earth, its chemical and physical composition, its structure and evolution. The course allows the following of one of three themes in third and fourth year, these are geoscience, environmental geoscience, and palaeobiology.

The core of the course investigates the functioning, development, and use of Earth’s physical environment and involves the study of its crust and interior, its atmosphere and oceans, its surface processes, paleo-climatic and environmental changes and the fossil record. It also involves the study of Earth's natural and physical resources and incorporates interdisciplinary subjects across the traditional disciplines of geology, geography, geophysics, geochemistry, oceanography, and biological sciences.

The study of Geoscience is centre to a number of highly important challenges to human-kind in the 21st Century. These include the search for natural resources e.g. minerals required for battery production and clean groundwater: the predication and mitigation of geohazards e.g. earthquakes, flooding, and tsunamis: the production of green energy from Earth process e.g. tidal energy, onshore and offshore windfarms: the sustainable development of infrastructure e.g. contaminated ground remediation and geotechnical site investigation.

The BSc Geoscience course assumes no previous knowledge of the subject, but by taking this course, you will learn something of the processes that have formed this planet – spanning 4,500 million years – and those that allow human-kind and life, as we know it, to exist on Earth.

Geoscience investigates the past, measures the present, and models the future behaviour of our planet. But it also involves the study of other planets, asteroids, and solar systems, both to better understand the Earth and to expand our knowledge of the universe.

Aside from the core modules, fieldwork forms an integral part of all geoscience courses at UCC. In the summer of Year 3, and before the start of Year 4, you will undertake a major field-based research project in an area of your choice, in Ireland or abroad. In Year 4, you study Geoscience only and work towards completing your research project. Several aspects of Geoscience are treated up to specialised levels.

You enter Geoscience 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.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue (Geoscience) 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


A hard hat and hand lens will have to be purchased for field trips in Year 1. A geological hammer and compass clinometer will be needed in Year 2 and a high-visibility vest in Year 3. 


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 skills base of relevance to future employment.

Why Choose This Course

Studying Geoscience at UCC was an incredible experience. It gave me the opportunity to travel to amazing places around the world and make lifelong friends...

Siobhan Burke, BSc Geoscience

My experience throughout my undergraduate geoscience degree was a positive and rewarding one. I would happily go back and do it all again...

Chloe Sullivan, BSc Geoscience 2019

Geoscientists are critical for the sustainable exploration and management of the Earth’s raw materials upon which society depends. Environmental geoscientists are in increasing demand as we witness the deleterious effects of pollution and geohazards on humans and the environment.

Geoscience skills and expertise are essential to drive the green economy, which requires expertise in a number of areas, such as the siting of onshore and offshore wind farms, and locating critical metal resources necessary for hybrid batteries, solar panels and wind turbines. 

Placement or Study Abroad Information

As part of the course, opportunities exist to take relevant geology modules at the Universities of Montana and West Virginia, USA.

Skills and Careers Information

There is currently a global shortage of geology graduates. In recent years, graduates have gained employment in both the areas of environmental geology and mineral exploration, careers have been based both in Ireland or abroad in diverse fields such as infrastructure and engineering projects, geotechnical site investigations, hydrogeology, landfill management, environmental impact and protection, marine geology and mineral exploration in the field.

Currently, our graduates are in high demand and are being actively recruited by environmental geoscience, marine geoscience mineral exploration companies, guaranteeing unrivalled opportunities to work both overseas and in Ireland. 

Jobs taken by UCC Geology graduates include: 

  • Hydrogeologist in Ireland, UK
  • Engineering geologist in Ireland, UK
  • Environmental geoscientist with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Exploration geologist in Western Australia and Zambia
  • PhD Palaeontology in Antarctica


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.

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 a kit of components to be purchased. There will be an approximate cost of €1,000 over the course of the four years for 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