UCC Undergraduate courses


Course Fact File
Duration4 Years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBSc (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesStudent Contribution + Capitation: €3,138 See Fees and Costs 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.

You enter Zoology 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 for this programme.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue (Zoology) 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

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.


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.

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

How To Apply

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