BSc in Public Health Sciences (CK706)

The BSc in Public Health Sciences prides itself in embracing an interdisciplinary learning environment and includes a range of different subject areas.

Our students come from a variety of backgrounds including school leavers, mature entrants as well as international students, which adds a rich mix to the learning environment for the students as a whole.

There is ongoing development in the curriculum to prepare graduates for the public health challenges of the 21st Century.

Obesity, smoking, heart disease and HIV/AIDS are some of the issues that highlight the need for a Public Health Policy aimed at preventing disease and helping individuals and communities to increase their control over their health. A degree in Public Health will develop writing and data analyses skill that are relevant to a wide range of careers in the 21st century. 

Please see the videos and related documents on the right hand side of this webpage for more information.

Entry Requirements

Duration: 4 years

Teaching Mode: Full-time

Qualifications: BSc (Hons)

NFQ Level: Level 8


Entry Requirements:

H5 in two subjects, and O6 in four other subjects in the Leaving Certificate from Irish, English, another language, Mathematics, one Laboratory Science subject (i.e. Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint) or Agricultural Science) and one other subject recognised for entry purposes.

Additional Requirements: H4 in either a Laboratory Science subject or Mathematics or Applied Mathematics.


Entry Points: 2017:429. Points may vary from year to and one other subject recognised for entry purposes. Additional Requirements: H4 in either a Laboratory Science year.


Costs: Full-time EU/EEA/Swiss State undergraduate students may be exempt from paying tuition fees. The State will pay the tuition fees for students who satisfy the Free Fees Criteria. In 2017/18 the Student Contribution Charge will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee is expected to be €165. In year 3 of this course, students undertake a 12-week unpaid work placement. You may incur costs of living away from home or term-time accommodation, depending on the location of your placement.


EU Applicants: Application to Year 1 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. International Students should visit the International Education website.

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. Approximately five places are available on this course for mature students.


Garda Vetting: Garda vetting is carried out by the Admissions Office in UCC once a student has accepted their place on the programme. It involves a police check to establish whether the individual being vetted has had criminal convictions in the past or whether any criminal proceedings are pending. The Garda Síochána provide this information for students who have resided in Ireland for a period of six months or more (including permanent residence).

What will I study?

Please click here to view the modules you will study.


Work Placement/Year Abroad

Students undertake a 12 week work placement at the end of year 3, providing them with the opportunity to experience the working world and apply theory to practise. The work placement opens doors to future work opportunities with a larger number of employers recruiting graduates for positions in Ireland, elsewhere in Europe and in other economically developed or developing countries.                                                                                                                                                                                          Alternatively a limited number of students may be permitted to undertake the third year of their BSc Public Health Sciences studies abroad, at an approved institution.

Please click here to view previous work placements.


Career Opportunities


Public Health is a rapidly expanding field, both at home and internationally. The BSc in Public Health Sciences is a challenging degree that offers a wide range of potential career opportunities.

Our graduates are employed in Ireland and further afield in diverse public health roles including:

  • Research
  • Public Health Surveillance
  • Health Promotion
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Youth Development
  • Media & Public Relations


Please click here to view an interactive map.

Graduate Testimonials

Deirdre Ryan

Deirdre Ryan

"This programme has had a profound effect on my view of the world, and has opened up opportunities to great things, such as working in Thailand, Africa, the UK and Ireland in health promotion & research positions. Studying public health is rewarding as you benefit yourself and the wider population with the knowledge you develop. It becomes a way of life. I would encourage anybody interested in the broad area of health to consider this well managed programme. It is the ideal springboard."

Sean Kelleher

Sean Kelleher

"I have found the BSc in Public Health Sciences to be interesting and stimulating due to the very diverse nature and extremely relevant subject matter of the course. You get to study a variety of different subjects varying from anatomy to sociology and then learn to integrate this knowledge to help keep people healthy and disease-free. It has changed my traditional view of health to a more population based approach and I feel confident that the course will equip me with the skills and knowledge needed to enter into the very broad and exciting arena of Public Health and Health Promotion." Sean now works with Public Health England in the UK as a communications officer. "View his profile here.

Sarah Freeman


“In my degree I was particularly interested in epidemiology, statistics, health services and health economics and this led me to do an MSc of Public Health Research at the University of Edinburgh.  My chosen specialist pathways are epidemiology, statistics and health technology assessment and I have found that my background in the BSc Public Health Sciences provided an ideal foundation for my MSc here in Edinburgh.

In the third year of my degree I did a work placement in the School of Public Health, HSE South where I got insight into the  Public Health work environment and acquired  practical skills on the use of SPSS  and that combined with the systematic reviewing during the degree course has proven invaluable while doing my dissertation research in Edinburgh. 

I am finding the field of Public Health to be hugely interesting and would recommend it to any student.  I hope to continue with my studies and am currently investigating PhD opportunities in Public Health and related disciplines.”

Gretta O Connell

 Gretta NSRF

“Having had frustrating encounters with health care systems and service delivery I had aspirations to change the world. I left school over 30 years ago and found my first term as a mature student daunting but was helped by the mature students’ office which ran workshops on study skills, exam preparations and monthly coffee mornings exclusively for mature students. 

The degree content covers all levels of learning from individual to community and population health including quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, government structures and policies. The broad content of the programme allowed for a great variety of subjects and that made it very interesting and thought provoking.

At first I found the science and medical subjects very difficult and challenging. My experience as a mother of four children and homemaker was valuable in understanding what keeps people healthy and prevents disease as in the social model of health.  In third year I had practical experience of community health when I shadowed a community development health worker in a project which was in a disadvantaged city area.  I was also a team member on the development of a proposed Primary Care Centre in the local area.  This first-hand experience was an education into how progress or lack of it contributes to the formation and development of health projects and services at community level. 

I then went on to study for a Masters of Public Health in UCC and I have chosen health promotion as my specialist area.  I am researching the awareness of risk factors of Diabetes 2 among a target population.  When I am finished my masters I would like to contribute to policy making providing evidence based data on any aspect of health related issues.”

 Christine Buike

"I graduated in 2009, after graduation I began working as the Research Ethics Facilitator in the Research and Development Office for Barts and The London NHS Trust and Queen Mary University London (QMUL).

I am based in The Royal London Hospital and am finding the role both challenging and rewarding. My role involves providing researchers within the Trust and theUniversityMedicalSchoolwith guidance relating to the ethical aspects of their research projects. I am also responsible for issuing R&D approval for all research that takes place in both organisations.

It is my responsibility to ensure that all studies taking place on our site are compliant with all regulations such as The Research Governance Framework, Good Clinical Practice and the Data Protection Act. My main objective is to ensure that the research adheres to our standards and safeguards the rights, safety and dignity of all of its participants.

I give training sessions to new researchers and I also give research governance training to students in Queen Mary Univeristy London. We hold Good Clinical Practice training courses for clinicians once a month and I am involved with providing the ethics section of this course.

My degree has provided me with a great knowledge base for this job as the post requires both a scientific and an ethical awareness of health research. Due to the breath of subjects covered in my degree, I have a good knowledge of almost all areas of health research which is important when reviewing the protocols of studies across all disciplines within this organisation. In 2010, I became the Research Governance Co-ordinator at the Imperial College London."

Aoife Healy

Aoife Healy

"I thoroughly enjoyed being a student in UCC and doing the BSc in Public Health Sciences. I made some great friends and could always rely on the staff for support and guidance. On finishing the degree I found there were many options available to me.

In third year, I had the opportunity to work in the Community Nutrition and Dietetics Service (CNDS) and the Health Promotion (HP) Department in Galway. I carried out an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Playground Markings Initiative (an initiative devised by the Health Promotion Dept to increase physical activity in school children). I worked closely with the travelling community to generate nutritional awareness and was also involved with the supermarket tours initiative ran by the Community Nutrition and Dietetics Service. A tour involves a qualified Dietician accompanying up to six participants through the aisles of the supermarket. During this tour many different aspects are discussed e.g. general healthy eating, food labelling, budgeting, nutritive value and how foods may affect certain chronic conditions, e.g. diabetes and coeliac disease.

I chose to do a postgraduate diploma in Dietetics in Glasgow Caledonian University. My first placement was in a forensic psychiatric hospital where I found having a background in mental health promotion was advantageous. I also developed good research and appraisal skills doing systematic literature reviews in my final year project.  

I qualified as a dietician and I am very conscious of working in a health promoting way and aware of the wider determinants of health, key skills I developed in my undergraduate degree in UCC."

 Emily Kelleher

"I always knew I wanted a career in health but unsure as to which area would suit me. The BSc in Public Health Sciences was perfect for me as the course was interdisciplinary and we studied a broad range of topics ranging from the determinants of health to microbiology.

Growing up I was really interested in health in developing countries and dreamed that my degree would allow me work in these countries.  My wish came through during my final year when I travelled to Kenya to work with the East African Centre. They have a solid track record in helping women and children overcome poverty through comprehensive basic education, health education and support, skills training and development.  Honestly, it was the best time of my life: it really opened my eyes to see that a little help really does go a long way!  

I enjoyed the study of infectious disease, epidemiology and health protection and as a result I completed a Masters of Public Health (MPH) course specialising in health protection.I completed a thesis entitled ‘Irish adolescent girls’ knowledge of, and attitudes towards cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine’ 

I an now a HRB SPHeRE (Structured Population and Health Services Research Education) PhD Scholar at the School of Epidemiology and Public Health.


Postgraduate Studies

Many graduates from BSc in Public Health Sciences completed postgraduate education in a variety of institutions around the world.

Please click here to view an interactive map.

School of Public Health

Scoil na Sláinte Poiblí

4th Floor, Western Gateway Building, Western Road,