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: €3,138 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 is the scientific study of animals and covers all aspects of animal life. This wide-ranging discipline covers anatomy, animal behaviour, physiology, life cycles and populations.

Zoology is a core discipline for the biological sciences and for the environmental and earth-system sciences.  With wildlife and habitats under continuing pressure, zoology is an important area of study that can have a real world impact.  We study how animals shape our planet (such as the formation of coral reefs) and our lives (e.g. the role of parasites) and how animals play important roles in our ecosystems and food security (e.g. pollinators, fisheries & aquaculture). We also study animals because they are increasingly threatened with extinction and zoologists gather data to help inform management decisions to conserve populations.

Students will learn about all animal biology, from microscopic, single-celled forms to complex forms such as fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. At UCC we focus on many different aspects of animals in marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats, including conservation and management, animal behaviour (in the wild and at the nearby Fota wildlife park), evolution, health and disease, physiology, anatomy, climate change and of course biodiversity.  We put a lot of emphasis on providing students with scientific training and transferrable skills including lab, numerical and field skills, so they can evaluate science and help contribute to policy and conservation.

Year 1 Modules

Refer to CK404 for more details.

Year 2 Modules


  • AE2001- Fundamentals of Ecology  
  • AE2007 - Practical Ecological Skills  
  • BL2001 - Plant and Animal Genetics
  • BL2002 – Understanding and Reviewing Science Literature  
  • ST2001 - Introduction to Biostatistics
  • ZY2000 – Vertebrate Diversity
  • ZY2005 – Invertebrate Diversity
  • ZY2006 – Vertebrate Diversity 2
  • ZY2007 – Practical Invertebrate Skills 


  • GS2002 – The Evolving Earth
  • MA1002 – Calculus for Science Part 2
  • PS2001 – Introduction to Plant Biotechnology
  • PS2002 - Ecological Plant Physiology
  • PS2003 -  Plant Identification  

Year 3 Modules

  • AE3013 - Practical Field Ecology (residential field course) 
  • BL3001 - Literature Review
  • BL3002 - Evolution and Diversity
  • BL3003 - Conservation Biology
  • BL3004 - Research Skills in Biology
  • ST3001 -   Biostatistics I
  • ZY3015 – Advanced Vertebrate Zoology
  • ZY3019 – Adaptations to Extreme Environments
  • ZY3020 – Animal Behaviour
  • ZY3023 -  Advanced Invertebrate Zoology

Year 4 Modules


  • AE4012 – Landscape Conservation and Management (Burren residential field course) or
  • ZY4020Temperate Marine Biology (Millport Residential field course)
  • BL4001 –Zoology Research Project
  • BL4004 – Frontiers in Biology
  • ZY4016 – Biology of Marine Mammals
  • ZY4021 -  Evolutionary Ecology
  • ZY4022 – Pathogen Biology, Ecology and Control 


  • AE4016 – Advanced Ecology and Biogeography
  • BL4003 – Work Placement
  • BL4006 – Sustainable Food Production
  • EV4012 – Environmental Impact Assessments
  • GL4024 – Exceptional Glimpses of Ancient Life
  • PS4021 – The Environmentally Protective Management of plant Pests and Pathogens
  • PS4024 – Crop Physiology and Climate Change
  • ST4001 – Biostatistics II

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 coursework.

Field trips: Fieldwork 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 assessments 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

This degree was an excellent choice for those interested in developing key scientific skills such as critical thinking and lab/field techniques while exploring a broad range of natural science topics.

Daragh Brown, BSc Zoology

Zoology in UCC delivers more than just the fundamental concepts from the study of animal life.

Aidan Bourke, BSc Zoology


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

The skills developed during the degree will be attractive to a wide range of employers.  Zoologists work as scientists with government departments such as in aquaculture and fisheries, wildlife, conservation, forestry services, wildlife parks and nature reserves. They work as environmental policy officers, in environmental consultancies, in print and film media, in science journalism, as museum curators, education officers, in non-governmental organisations and with industry, including food producers.  Many graduates continue as research scientists.   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: FETAC Requirements.

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.

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

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

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.

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