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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.
CAO Points2023: 519
CAO Points Range2023: 519-625

Course Outline

Chemistry provides a scientific understanding of molecules and how they react together, leading to exciting developments in the use of the advanced materials we see around us in the world. It is the study of the properties and behaviour of all matter.

The introductory first year in Chemical Sciences gives you access to the three degree programmes: 

Year 1 Modules 

You will take 60 credits from a variety of modules, but note that there is a slight variation in module choice in first year depending on your preferred degree programme. You will have two options regarding which modules you take in first year:

  • Option 1 leads to the BSc Chemistry or the BSc Chemistry with Forensic Science degree awards.
  • Option 2 leads to the BSc Chemical Physics or the BSc Chemistry degree awards. 
Option 1
  • CM1200 Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry Parts 1 (10 credits)
  • CM1201 Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry Parts 2 (10 credits)
  • MA1001 Calculus for Science I (5 credits)
  • MA1002 Calculus for Science II (5 credits)
  • PY1010 Physics for Biological and Chemical Sciences (10 credits) 

Plus 20 credits from the following:

  • BC1001 Introduction to Biochemistry and the Biological Basis of Disease (5 credits)
  • BL1002 Cells, Biomolecules, Genetics and Evolution (5 credits)
  • BL1004 Physiology and Structure of Plants and Animals (5 credits)
  • CS1068 Programming in Python (5 credits)
  • GL1001 Introduction to Geology (5 credits)
  • MB1003 Microbiology in Society (5 credits)

Option 2

  • CM1200 Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry Parts 1 (10 credits)
  • CM1201 Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry Parts 2 (10 credits)
  • AM1053 Introduction to Mathematical Modelling (5 credits)
  • MA1011 Mathematical Methods I (5 credits)
  • MA1012 Mathematical Methods II (5 credits)
  • PY1052 Introductory Physics I (10 credits)
  • PY1053 Introductory Physics II (10 credits)

Plus 5 credits from the following: 

  • BL1002 Cells, Biomolecules, Genetics and Evolution (5 credits) 
  • CS1068 Introductory Programming in Python (5 credits) 
  • GL1001 Introduction to Geology (5 credits)
  • MB1003 Microbiology in Society (5 credits)

Students who have not taken higher-level Mathematics or Physics in the Leaving Certificate examinations are strongly advised to take Option 1.

Students wishing to pursue BSc Chemistry with Forensic Science must take the modules BC1001BL1002, and MB1003

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. 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.

Why Choose This Course

I chose UCC because of the broad chemistry degree on offer. Going to UCC and studying chemistry has made me confident that once I have graduated I will be employable...

William Daly, BSc Chemistry

Find Out More
The course gives you a unique set of skills that you won't find anywhere else in Ireland...

Vincent O'Brien, BSc Chemistry with Forensics

If you particularly enjoy Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics as Leaving Cert subjects, are happy working in a laboratory environment and enjoy the challenge of experimental investigation and research in the physical sciences, then Chemical Sciences may be the course for you.

You have the opportunity to join the accreditation body, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), during first year as a student member. Membership of the RSC gives you access to a huge amount of chemical careers, and industry resources. 

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study Abroad 

The School of Chemistry is an active participant in Erasmus and undergraduate student-exchange programmes, with partner universities across Europe and USA where you can apply to study in your third year. We also run a shorter programme for places in Zurich, Switzerland for the second semester of third year. 

Skills and Careers Information

Graduate Study Options

For further information on further study options from each area of study, please see the information for the relevant degree programme.

Career Opportunities

Our graduates are highly valued in industry and research alike. Not all chemists wear white coats (!) and there are a variety of options in sectors such as in materials, environmental applications, and in the pharmaceutical industry sector, patents, sales, and management.

For further information on career opportunities from each area of study, please see the information for the relevant degree programme.


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

The following are considered Lab Science subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physics with Chemistry and Agricultural Science.

Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:

EnglishIrishMathsLab ScienceNote:
O6/H7 O6/H7 O6/H7 or H4* O6/H7 or H4* H4 in either a Lab Science subject, Maths or Applied Maths or Computer Science*

If the H4 is in Maths, Applied Maths or Computer Science an O6/H7 in a Lab Science subject is also required.

EU/EFTA/UK Qualifications

EU/EFTA/UK applicants presenting an equivalent school-leaving qualification should review the EU/EFTA/UK Applicants page for information on equivalent grades and how to prove their level of English.

Mature Students

To compete through the mature entry route, applicants must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the application year and apply online via the CAO by 1 February. The application should include a statement of interest. Applicants may also be called for interview.

Applicants must have studied a Lab Science at second level or QQI FET or demonstrate involvement with Science related areas.

Further information on applying as a mature student is available on the Mature Applicants and Mature Student Entry support pages. 


Applicants who meet the required level of distinctions in required subjects can apply for entry to this course using specific QQI FET qualifications. Please review the Programme Requirements on our Information for QQI FET Applicants page for information on related QQI courses, and visit Access UCC’s QQI/FET Entry section for further support. 

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.

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