Course Fact File
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBE (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesStudent Contribution + Capitation: €3,138. See Fees and Costs for full details.
CAO Points2023: 520
CAO Points Range2023: 520-625

Course Outline

Society needs engineers to maintain and develop critical infrastructure and industrial activity. Various branches of engineering are essential to meet the many societal challenges that face us in the future as they consider and advance novel solutions for the way we live. As a society we rely on the capabilities of engineering to deliver creative solutions for challenges that confront us, for example, in health, energy, digital age, communications, sustainability, and food security. An engineers’ ability to convert scientific and technological advances into useful systems has impacted hugely on improving the levels of comfort, quality of life, and life expectancy in modern society, and will continue to be the major differentiating factor of Irish competitiveness in a world of global challenges.

As a UCC Engineering BE (Hons) student you will follow a common first-year programme that provides a broad education in the fundamentals of engineering. At the end of first year, you then choose your preferred engineering pathway from one of the following routes:

We strived to develop these degree routes so that they are integrated and learn from each other. This multidisciplinary approach is important for the future of engineering and provides you with a flexibility that allows you to develop your career in a variety of settings. 

Year 1 Modules

Our first year programme, common to all pathways, gives you sufficient time and opportunities to explore the four domains of engineering and consider what it means to develop a professional career in each of them.

Your first year of Engineering in UCC will provide a broad-based education in engineering fundamentals where you take introductory modules in mathematics, physics and chemistry. You will also take modules covering basic engineering subjects which introduce you to the four branches of engineering. 

  • CE1003 Introduction to Structural and Civil Engineering (5 credits) 
  • CE1005 Engineering Computation and Problem Solving (5 credits)
  • CM1001Chemistry for Engineers (5 credits)
  • EE1007 Introduction to Electrical & Electronic Engineering (5 credits)
  • MA1011 Mathematical Methods for Engineers I (5 credits)
  • MA1012 Mathematical Methods for Engineers II (5 credits)
  • ME1002 Engineering Thermodynamics (5 credits)
  • NE1001 Introduction to Energy Engineering (5 credits)
  • PE1003 Introduction to Process and Chemical Engineering (5 credits)
  • PY1006 Physics for Engineers II (5 credits)
  • PY1012 Physics for Engineers I  (10 credits)

In second and third year you will follow the modules for your chosen engineering degree route. You choose which branch of engineering you wish to follow for second year, quotas notwithstanding, and offers are usually based on the results of your first-year exams. All students are guaranteed one of their top two programme choices after first year. 

At the end of third year you can choose to finish with an Honours BE degree in fourth year, or to continue to the Integrated Masters of Engineering (ME) programme for a further two years. This five-year programme up to level 9 (Masters) is required by Engineers Ireland for chartered engineer status and is consequently a popular route for our students.

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.

Course Practicalities

  • Lectures usually take place from 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Laboratory classes and individual study are normally scheduled for the afternoons.

Why Choose This Course

UCC is in the top 2% of Universities worldwide and provides a world-class engineering education. We have strong relationships with major employers and offer our students the opportunity of placement, including our MEngSc programme which has an 8-month placement. 

At UCC, you will have access to the excellent facilities at the School of Engineering, as well as world-class research centres. State-of-the-art research in engineering is particularly strong in the Tyndall National Institute, the Environmental Research Institute (ERI), including the Marine and Renewable Energy Institute, and the INFANT Centre (Irish Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research).

On completion of this course you will receive a professional qualification that is officially recognised the world over, through international agreements under the European arm of the federation of professional engineers (FEANI) and the Washington Accord (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, USA and some others). All our degrees are also accredited by Engineers Ireland. Our Process and Chemical Engineering degree is also accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the Engineering Council of the UK.

Engineers play a key role in seeking to resolve complex issues through technical and non-technical innovations. Engineers are at the forefront in the provision of basic necessities such as food, water and energy, in the design of infrastructure, in health, transportation and communications and in the face of the challenge of climate change. The challenges that engineers meet revolve around creating a sustainable society whereby humans can flourish within natural resource limits.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Work Placement

Work placements are offered at the end of third year in all the engineering courses. These three-month optional work placements are normally paid.

All the Masters (ME) programmes have an eight-month paid placement in their fourth year which runs from January to August of that year.

Study Abroad

Study abroad is not compulsory, but we are happy to facilitate you if you wish to spend a semester or a year in another university – be it in America or Europe. Normally between two and four students decide to avail of this opportunity each year.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduate Study Options

All graduates of our undergraduate (BE) or postgraduate (ME) degree can undertake research degrees in any of five disciplines, including the four of the BE/ME programmes plus Mechanical Engineering. This includes Masters by Research (MEngSc) or PhD options.

We also offer a taught Masters programme, including:

Career Opportunities

According to UCC’s Destination Survey, almost all our graduates were employed after six months of graduating. Current demand for engineers in the Irish economy and abroad continues to be very strong.

Depending on which discipline a student takes, careers are available in a variety of sectors including but not limited to:

  • Biotechnology
  • Construction
  • Consultancy (design, environmental, general)
  • Electronics & Computers
  • Energy
  • Environmental
  • Healthcare & Biomedical
  • PharmaChem (bio/pharmaceuticals, chemicals) 
  • Public sector
  • Renewables & fossil fuels
  • Waste management
  • Water

Job paths of recent graduates are varied according to programme type and include: automation engineer; business consultant; civil and structural engineer; data analyst; design manager; electrical and electronic engineer; energy engineer; process and chemical engineer; project leader; quality director; and validation engineer.

Recent employers of our graduates include: Accenture, Analog, Apple, Arup, BAM Ireland, Cork City Council, Dell EMC, Diageo, Eli Lilly, ESB International, First Derivatives, GlaxoSmithKline, Intel, Jacobs Engineering, Janssen, MSD, Pernod Ricard (Irish Distillers), Pfizer, PM Group, and Zenith Technologies.


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 (Joint) and Agricultural Science. Technology can be substituted for a Lab Science subject.  

Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:

EnglishIrishMathsLab Science or Technology
O6/H7 O6/H7 H4* O6/H7

*If the H4 is in Applied Mathematics, a H6 in Mathematics is also required.

Students presenting with a 2016 (or previous) Leaving Certificate must present with a HC2 in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics;  if the HC2 is in Applied Mathematics, a HD3 in Mathematics 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.

H4 in Leaving Certificate* Maths or Applied Maths (HC2 if presenting a pre-2017 Leaving Certificate) is required. Applicants are also assessed on the basis of academic and/or professional background in a science-related discipline, evidenced by exam results.

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

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