Cell & Molecular Biology

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN200
CAO Points Range 2021: 566
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 420

Leaving Certificate:
  • O2/H6 in Mathematics
  •  O2/H6 in a laboratory science (Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, or Geography may be used instead of a laboratory science subject)
  • and O6/H7 in English, Irish and two other recognised subjects
Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Choosing Cell & Molecular Biology

Why is this course for me?

Cell & Molecular Biology is the study of cells and the molecules that combine to form them. This includes their physiological properties such as their structure, their interaction with the extra-cellular environment and other cells, their life cycle, division and function, and eventual death. This is done both on a microscopic and molecular level.

Cell biology researches both single-celled organisms such as bacteria, and specialised cells in organisms, such as humans and plants. Microscopy and molecular approaches are used to understand how organisms develop, how they respond to their environment and how the diseased state differs from the healthy state. Knowledge of cell biology is vital to our understanding of disease and infection and in developing new methods to combat these.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Graduates in Cell and Molecular Biology can find employment in:

  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries
  • Biomedical research
  • Hospital and university laboratories
  • Forensic science laboratories
  • Genetic counselling

Graduates can pursue MSc programmes in Biotechnology, Biotechnology with Business, Biotherapeutics, or apply for PhD programmes in cell signalling, membrane biology or genetics, in Ireland and abroad.

What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Cell & Molecular Biology. Topics include regulation of gene expression, molecular basis of disease, animal development, plant and animal genetics, and research methods in cell biology.

First Year

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Optional Science modules
  • Elective module

Second Year

  • Cell & Molecular Biology
  • + 2 Other Science Subjects
  • Elective Modules

Third Year

  • Cell & Molecular Biology
  • Elective modules

Fourth Year

  • Cell and Molecular Biology (includes a research project in diverse areas such as cancer biology, drug delivery, genetic analysis and molecular imaging)

Timetables & Assessment

Each student will have their own timetable based on their individual module selection. This is a full time course and classes may include lectures, practicals and tutorials, depending on the subjects. Students will also be expected to study independently (autonomous student learning). Assessment varies with each module but may comprise continuous assessment of practicals, written exams and online learning activities.

For detailed information on subject content click here

International Study Opportunities

Students in this degree stream have the option of participating in a three month summer internship at the National Science and Technology Development Agency, Bangkok, Thailand. Students in the third year have spent time studying at the National University of Singapore.


“Cell & Molecular Biology is a rapidly advancing area where amazing new discoveries are being made as you study it, including discoveries by UCD researchers. The course is unique in that you have the option to choose relevant modules from Genetics, Plant Biology, Zoology and Pharmacology. This gives you a broad perspective while modules unique to the course give you more specialised knowledge in areas such as imaging and microscopy. For my five-month hands-on research project, I studied new 3D cell culture methods for hepatic cells. One of the highlights of my time in UCD was being involved in the Biological Society and organising the visit of Sir Paul Nurse, a Nobel Prize winner for his discoveries on how cells divide.”

Mark McDermott, Graduate

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