UCC Undergraduate courses


About This Course

Fact File

  • Title


  • 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

    H5 in two subjects and O6 in four other subjects in the Leaving Certificate See Requirements for full details.

Course Outline

Zoology covers all aspects of animal life. This wide-ranging scientific area plays an important role in modern developments in biotechnology, genetics, animal behaviour and physiology, parasitology and ecology.

Zoology is a core discipline for the biological sciences and for the environmental and earth-system sciences, and is fundamental in applied fields such as environmental biology, pest and disease management, aquaculture and fisheries.

Students will learn about all animal biology, from microscopic, single-celled forms to complex forms such as fish, reptiles, birds and mammals, including man. It is mainly concerned with living species, of which more than one million are described and up to 10 million are as yet undescribed. But knowledge of extinct forms, covering 350 million years of evolution, is also important.

The study of zoology at UCC includes animal structure (anatomy and physiology), development (embryology), diversity (taxonomy), physiology, behaviour, ecology, genetics, evolution, and distributions (biogeography).

Refer to CK404 for more 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 1 (5 credits);
  • PY1009 Physics for the Environment Sciences 1 (5 credits)

Year 2 Modules:


Plant and Animal Genetics; Practical Ecological Skills;  Vertebrate Diversity; Invertebrate Diversity; Practical Invertebrate Skills;  Ecological Plant Physiology;  Biostatistics; Fundamentals of Ecology;  Fossils as Living Organisms; Plant Biotechnology


Environment and Public Health;  Calculus for Science;  Plant Identification

Year 3 Modules:


Practical Field Ecology (residential field course); Literature Review;  Evolution & Diversity;  Biostatistics; Advanced Vertebrate Biology;  Conservation Biology;  Adaptations to Extreme Environments;  Animal Behaviour


Ecotoxicology; Micropalaeontology & Palnology; Plants & Hostile Environments;  Ecology and Hyrdology of Wetland Systems

Year 4 Modules:


Research Project;  Frontiers in Biology; Research Skills in Biology; Biostatistics;  Biology of Marine Mammals;  Landscape Conservation and Management or Temperate Marine Biology (residential field course);  Food Production;  Evolutionary Ecology


Advanced Ecotoxicology; Biology & Management of Alien Species; Biological Work Placement; Environmentally Protective Management of Plant Pests & Pathogens;  Crop Physiology and Climate Change

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

Lectures: In addition to lectures, courses are taught through several different media, including tutorials, seminars and films.

Lab/practical: Laboratory classes and individual study also form part of the course work.

Field trips: Field work is organised as part of the course.


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. This variety of assessment provides a broad skills base of relevance to future employment.

Who teaches this course?

Staff at School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UCC

Why Choose This Course

For my final year [..] project, I developed a methodology for an ecosystem assessment of an operational fishery...

Louise Archer, BSc Zoology

Staff at School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UCC

Find Out More
Science and geography were my favourite subjects in school which is why I wanted to carry on studying both at university.

Brian O’Connor


Read More

Zoology is a wide-ranging scientific area covering all aspects of animal life. It is a core discipline for the biological sciences and environmental and earth system sciences, and it plays an important role in modern developments in biotechnology, genetics, animal behaviour and physiology, parasitology, and ecology. It is also fundamental in applied fields such as environmental biology, pest and disease management, aquaculture and fisheries. 

Placement or Study Abroad Information

The School of BEES operates an exchange system mainly with North American universities that allows students to substitute a year abroad for year 3 in UCC. A work experience module is also available to year four students, enabling you to spend six to ten weeks in a structured working environment where you are evaluated both on your contribution to the placement institution and by a report on your experience.

Skills and Careers Information

A BSc (Hons) Zoology degree provides you with a sound scientific knowledge of animal biology and the necessary skills and qualifications for a career in a wide range of biological disciplines. Skills include data handling, chemical and biochemical laboratory-based analytical techniques and field techniques for environmental monitoring. Our Zoology graduates are well equipped for careers ranging from field-based environmental research, conservation and management, agriculture and pest control, and aquaculture and fisheries to more laboratory-based disciplines such as genetics, biochemistry, pathology and toxicology. Job opportunities exist in research, management, or consultancy posts at universities, government agencies or in private companies. A zoological training is also relevant for other biological disciplines, in industry, and in teaching.


Leaving Certificate entry requirements: 

At Least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade requirement of 2*H5 and 4*O6/H7. Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:




Lab Science

Other Requirement





H4 in Maths or Applied Maths or Lab Science

Mature students:
 Applicants should apply directly to the CAO. Find out more about the mature entry requirements here.


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.

Students will be expected to pay for some small laboratory items (such as lab coats and manuals) and field trip costs as appropriate.

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.

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.

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