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: €3,130 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    1 x H4, 1 x H5, 4 x O6/H7; Maths and a Lab science subject are required. See Requirements for full details.

  • CAO Points

    2021: 463

  • CAO Points Range

    2021: 463-589

Course Outline

If you are interested in developing new innovative food products to meet the demands of the modern consumer, be it in the areas of healthy eating, athletic performance and disease prevention, the BSc in Food Science is the perfect course for you.  The diverse scope of subjects covered provides students with a unique blend of scientific and technical skills designed to meet the needs of careers in the food industry, 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 real-world experience and acquiring key transferable skills in communication, management and organisation.


All modules 5 credits unless otherwise stated.

Year 1

  • BC1001 Introduction to Biochemistry and the Biological Basis of Disease
  • BL1004 Physiology and Structure of Plants and Animals
  • CM1005 Introductory Chemistry for Food and Nutritional Sciences (15 credits)
  • FS1005 Food Technology, Culture and Ethics
  • FS1006 Success Skills for Food Scientists
  • MA1001 Calculus for Science Part 1
  • MA1002 Calculus for Science Part 2
  • MB1003 Microbiology in Society
  • PY1008 Physics for Biomedical, Environmental, Food and Nutritional Sciences (10 credits)  

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: Food Chemistry and Processing Technology: 240 hours of lectures, 60 hours of practicals and a team project 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.

The BSc in Food Science has been accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (UK).

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. A study by the Careers Service, UCC, indicated that in 2016 81% of graduates had gone straight to employment.

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 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 06/H7 in a Lab Science subject is also required.

Mature students:   Applicants should apply directly to the CAO, include a statement of interest and may be called for interview. Applicants must have studied a laboratory science subject at second level or QQI/FETAC level or must demonstrate involvement with science-related areas.  Approximately five places are available on this course for mature students.

Find out about the mature entry requirements here.

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 visit our qualification comparison page.

Refer to our International Office page for more information on how to apply to UCC.

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.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

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.

EU Applicants

The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions. Refer to the Central Applications Office page for further information.

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. 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. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact