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

    EU Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,130 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    1 x H4, 1 x H5, 4 x O6/H7; O6/H7 in Maths, H4 in Biology. See Requirements for full details.

  • CAO Points

    2021: 543

  • CAO Points Range

    2021: 543-590

Course Outline

Genetics is fundamental to all areas of biological study, as genes carry the information which largely determines what we are and how we function in the environment.

The BSc Genetics will teach you to understand how genes work in individuals and populations. There is a particular emphasis on molecular genetics but the course covers a wide range of topics such as classical medical genetics, evolutionary and population genetics, animal breeding and genetic manipulation of animal and plant genomes, etc.

In Year 1 you will focus on foundation knowledge for Genetics, including how genes work in individuals and populations and how cutting-edge programmes such as the Human Genome Project are revolutionising the way we tackle biological questions.

Year 2 is designed to provide fundamental background knowledge in preparation for the specialisation in Genetics in Years 3 and 4.

Year 4 also includes a three-month project in the laboratory, during which time you will receive training in the use of genetic approaches to solving a contemporary question or problem in biology. These projects are based in the departments that contribute to the Genetics course.


All modules 5 credits unless otherwise stated.

Year 1:

BC1001 Introduction to Biochemistry and the Biological Basis of Disease 

BL1002 Cells, Biomolecules, Genetics and Evolution

BT1001 Introduction to Biotechnology

CM1200 Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry Part 1 (10 credits)

GN1001 Principles and Methods in Genetics (10 credits)

MB1003 Microbiology in Society

MA1001 Calculus for Science Part 1

MA1002 Calculus for Science Part 2

PY1010 Physics for Biological and Chemical Sciences (10 credits)  

Year 2 Modules:


  • Biomolecules
  • Principles of Metabolic Pathways
  • Current Perspectives in Genetics
  • Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry Part 2a
  • Fundamentals of Microbiology
  • Principles of Microbiology
  • Introductory Molecular Biology
  • Introduction to Plant Biotechnology
  • Introduction to Biostatistics
  • Vertebrate Diversity


  • Fundamentals of Ecology
  • Mammalian Cell and Tissue Structure
  • Ecological Plant Physiology

Year 3 Modules:


  • Structural Biochemistry
  • Cell Signalling
  • Molecular Biology
  • Principles of Medical Genetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Literature Project on Genetics
  • Population and Evolutionary Genetics
  • Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biotechnology
  • Molecular Genetics and Genomics
  • Immunology: Host Response to Pathogens
  • Genetic Maniupulation of Plants
  • Biostatistics I

Year 4 Modules:

  • Developmental Genetics
  • Research Project
  • Genomics and Applications
  • Genetics and Society
  • Computational Biology
  • Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics
  • Molecular Biology and Physiology of Bacteria
  • Biostatistics II

Electives (specialisation in specific areas is possible)

  • Medical Microbiology
  • Advanced Medical Microbiology
  • Advanced Virology
  • Advanced Cell Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Current Advances in Immunology

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

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture hours

288 per year (may include directed study/reading hours, depending on the module). Lectures and practicals are conducted between 9am and 6pm (Monday to Friday).

Expected lab/practical/tutorial hours

216 per year. Year 4 also includes a three-month project, during which you receive training in the use of genetic approaches to solving a contemporary question or problem in biology. These projects are based in the departments that contribute to the Genetics degree.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May. Not all modules will have formal examinations. Many modules use other types of assessment.

Who teaches this course

This is a multidisciplinary course and includes lecturing staff from a number of different departments in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science and project supervisors from the College of Medicine and Health.

Why Choose This Course

After I graduated from UCC, I completed my MSc in Genetic Counselling. I currently work in Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and General Genetics.

Audrey Dearing


View Student
In my [lab practicals] we do molecular biology as well as culturing bacteria...you learn a lot of techniques so you're very versatile by the time of your graduation.

Audrey Dearing

Student, BSc Genetics

View Video

Key facts

  • Multidisciplinary course team.
  • 3-month lab project.
  • Small classes.
  • Versatile and multi-skilled graduates.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

There are some options for undergraduate experience abroad through the ERASMUS programme.

Skills and Careers Information

The following companies have recently recruited students from the course:

  • Abtran
  • Advertising Standards Authority
  • Anulab CUM
  • Biosciences Institute
  • Clonakilty Community Hospital
  • Education and Research Center
  • Eirx Therapeutics
  • Human Genetics Division, University of Southampton
  • Kerry Ingredients
  • Kostal
  • Lavanagh Centre
  • Millipore
  • NASA Space Station
  • Nottingham Hospital
  • Quintiles
  • Science Recruitment Ireland
  • University College Cork
  • University of Texas
  • Vistakon Limerick
  • Wyeth Biopharma.

Graduates have also been successful in securing a broad range of graduate courses in related and non-related areas including accounting, tax, and human resources.


Leaving Certificate entry requirements

At Least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H4 in one subject, minimum grade H5 in one subject and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish.

Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:




Lab Science




H4 in Biology

Special Entry Requirement: H4 in Biology (meets the Laboratory Science requirement). Students presenting with a 2016 (or previous) Leaving Certificate must present with a HC2 in Biology (meets the Laboratory Science requirement).

Mature applicants

Applicants should apply directly through the CAO, include a statement of interest and may be called for interview. Applicants are assessed on education, life and/or relevant experience as demonstrated in the CAO application and statement of interest.

Find out about the mature entry requirements here.

Non-EU applicants

Please see the International Education Office website.

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.

Please see Fees Office for more information.

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 applicants

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. 

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For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact