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: €3,138 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

    2022: 452

  • CAO Points Range


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.


Year 1

  • BC1001 Introduction to Biochemistry and the Biological Basis of Disease (5 credits)
  • BL1004 Physiology and Structure of Plants and Animals (5 credits)
  • CM1005 Introductory Chemistry for Food and Nutritional Sciences (15 credits)
  • FS1005 Food Technology, Culture, and Ethics (5 credits)
  • FS1006 Success Skills for Food Scientists (5 credits)
  • MA1001 Calculus for Science Part 1 (5 credits)
  • MA1002 Calculus for Science Part 2 (5 credits)
  • MB1003 Microbiology in Society (5 credits)
  • PY1008 Physics for Biomedical, Environmental, Food & Nutritional Sciences (10 credits)  

Year 2

Your studies will be focussed on applying biological and chemical sciences to foods in the following areas:

  • Food Analysis
  • Food Chemistry
  • Food Quality and Legislation
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Processing
  • Biochemistry
  • Nutrition
  • Biostatistics

Years 3 and 4

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 including:

  • Sensory Science
  • Chemistry and Processing of Foods
  • Food Packaging
  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Food Safety
  • Food Formulations for Nutrition and Health
  • Cereals and Related Beverages

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

Project work in Year 4 includes 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 you 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: Approximately 240 hours of lectures, 60 hours of practicals and a team project over Semesters 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 will provide you with a unique blend of scientific and technical skills, workplace experience and food innovation skills. Our 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 that 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).

Logo for the IFST - the Institute of Food Science and Technology. Red font, lower case letters.

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

Our graduates have a strong track record of acquiring senior positions in national and international food companies. A 2020 study by the UCC Career Services indicated that 70% of Food Science 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 an 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. See our Mature Applicant page here for more information.

Other qualifications: EU/EFTA/UK students presenting an alternative school-leaving qualification (e.g. A-levels or International Baccalaureate) or QQI/FE course should visit our EU/EFTA/UK Applicants pages for further information. 


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 appicants 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

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. See Fees Office for more information.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

How Do I Apply

EU Applicants

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

Mature Applicants (age 23 or over)

All interested mature applicants must make an application through the Central Applications Office (CAO). See the CAO Mature Applicants and the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) pages. Visit our Mature Student Entry page for more information.


See our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)/Further Education and Training (FET) application process.

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. Check the College Calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

  • In UCC, we use the terms 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