UCC Undergraduate courses

Food Science

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Food Science

  • Code


  • College

    Science, Engineering and Food Science

  • Duration

    4 Years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BSc (Hons)

  • Fees

    Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,165 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    2 x H5, 4 x O6/H7; O6/H7 in Maths, H4 in a Lab Science or Maths or Applied Maths. See Requirements for full details.

  • CAO Points

    2017: 453

Course Outline

The BSc Food Science is an exciting opportunity to develop an indepth scientific understanding of food, as well as important critical thinking and innovation skills needed by the food industry. The course content is wide and varied, ranging from the key scientific properties of food to the production of new and innovative food products.

UCC has an established international reputation for excellence in food education and research, with world-class teaching, research and laboratory facilities. The diverse range of subjects on the Food Science course provides graduates with a unique blend of scientific and technical skills designed to meet the needs of careers ranging from research and development to food processing and production.

A six-month work-placement period forms an integral part of the course and will give you the opportunity to work in industry, thus gaining experience and acquiring key transferable skills in communication, management, organisation and presentation.


Year 1
You will be given a firm foundation in the key basic sciences of chemistry, biology and physics, as well as mathematics and introductory courses in food science and food business.

Year 2
These subjects will be developed as applied to food through food chemistry, food microbiology and nutrition, as well as biochemistry, biostatistics and an introductory course in food engineering. Methods commonly used to analyse foods are also introduced.

Year 3
You will become familiar with the components, properties and nutritional aspects of food systems and a wide range of modern processing technologies and strategies used to produce high-quality foods.

You will also gain experience in a wide range of sensory and instrumental techniques employed by the food industry to assess food quality and safety.

A six-month work-placement in Year 3 will give you an excellent opportunity to work in the industry.

Year 4
Project work in Year 4 will include teamwork to develop innovative food products, taking your ideas from concept to actual products. You will work on all aspects of your product from design, development and testing to packaging and marketing. These final-year projects help to develop skills in critical thinking and independent research.

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

Year 1: approximately 300 hours of lectures, 100 hours of practicals and 58 hours of tutorials in Biology, Chemistry, Food, Mathematics, and Physics.

Year 2: approximately 264 hours of lectures, 138 hours of practicals and 16 hours of tutorials in Biochemistry, Food Chemistry, Microbiology, Process Engineering, and Statistics.

Year 3: approximately 234 hours of lectures, 126 hours of practicals and factory visits, plus a 24-week work placement.

Year 4: you take either:

Food Chemistry and Processing Technology: 240 hours of lectures, 60 hours of practicals and either an individual or team research project over teaching periods 1 and 2.


Food Microbiology: 240 hours of lectures, 40 hours of practicals, 7 hours workshop, and a individual research project taken over teaching periods 1 and 2.

Why Choose This Course

The practical nature of the course and its applicability to so many areas ensured I did not limit my career prospects.

Dr Sinead Fitzsimmons

PhD, Food Science

This degree programme provides you with a unique blend of scientific and technical skills, workplace experience and food innovation skills.

Graduates from this course have excellent employment prospects and are highly sought after by national and international food companies.

A strong emphasis is placed on applied aspects of food science, and the work placement allows you to get a taste of what working in the food industry is like at an early stage in your career. Many companies who host students as part of the work-placement programme recruit those students when they graduate.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

In Year 3, you will have a 24-week work placement in the food industry, during which you will have the opportunity to make a significant contribution to a relevant project under the supervision of an industrial and UCC mentor.

This placement period is a key part of the course and gives you the opportunity to gain industry experience and acquire key transferable skills in communication, management, organisation and presentation. This provides you with a great advantage for employment and career development.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduates from this course have a strong track record of acquiring senior positions in national and international food companies.

Graduates are equipped to work in a wide range of positions such as food production and management, quality assurance, food research and food product and process innovation and development.

In addition, graduates have many opportunities to advance to MSc and PhD courses.


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, include a statement of interest and may be called for intervidew. Applicants must have studied a laboratory science subject at second level or QQI/FETAC level or must demonstrate involvement with science-related areas.  Approximately two places are available on this course for mature students.

International students should visit the International Education 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

The State will pay the tuition fees for students who satisfy the Free Fees Criteria. In 2017/18 the Student Contribution Charge was €3,000 and the Capitation Fee was €165. Full-time EU/EEA/Swiss State undergraduate students may be exempt from paying tuition fees.

Non-EU Fees

The 2017/2018 Undergraduate Fees Schedule is available here.

How Do I Apply

EU Applicants: Application to the first year 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.

Non EU Applicants

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. 

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