Cell & Molecular Biology

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

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Curricular information is subject to change.

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Why is this course for me?

Cell & Molecular Biology is the study of cells and the molecules (DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates) that combine to form them. This includes their physiological properties such as their structure, their interaction with the extracellular environment and other cells, their life cycle, division and function, and eventual death. You will learn about single-celled organisms such as bacteria, and more specialised cells in animals and plants. Experiential learning using microscopy and numerous cuttingedge molecular approaches will help you to understand how cells in organisms develop, how they respond to their environment and the molecular changes that underpin diseased cells. This training will equip you to tackle important global challenges, such as understanding the molecular basis of diseases and innovating novel therapeutic approaches to combat them. If you are looking to develop a broad knowledge of biomolecular sciences, encompassing the molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry of cells, then this is the degree subject for you.

Course Pathways
What Will I Study

Cell & Molecular Biology is one of the degree subjects available through the Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences stream in the common entry Science course.

Students study similar modules for all degree subjects in the Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences stream in first year and will study modules for a minimum of two degree subjects in second year. At the end of second year, students choose their degree major. Assuming students meet all the academic requirements in first and second year, students are guaranteed a degree subject from the stream they are studying in second year. We do our best to ensure that students go on to study their top degree subject choice. As we offer plenty of degree subjects in each stream, students have a number of similar degree subjects to choose from as their degree major. This is a sample set of modules that a Cell & Molecular Biology student could study each year in UCD.

First Year

  • Scientific Enquiry
  • Cell Biology & Genetics
  • Basis of Organic and Biological Chemistry
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Biology in Action
  • Life on Earth
  • Linear Algebra for Science
  • Calculus for Science
  • Optional Science Modules
  • Elective Module

Second Year

  • Biomolecular Lab Skills
  • Principles of Cell & Molecular Biology
  • Scientific Communication
  • Chemistry for Biology
  • + modules for 2 other Science Subjects
  • Elective Modules

Third Year

  • Scientific Writing for Biology
  • Plant Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Working with Biological Data
  • Advanced Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Hot Topics in Cell & Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology of Disease
  • Elective Modules

Fourth Year

Research Project or Critical Literature Review (in diverse areas such as cancer biology, drug delivery, genetic analysis and molecular imaging).

  • Biological Imaging
  • Cell Biology of Cancer
  • Biomedical Diagnostics
  • Programmed Cell Death
  • Cell Biology of Ageing
  • The RNA World
  • Human Genetics & Disease

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 Cell & Molecular Biology have the option of participating in a three-month summer internship at the National Science and Technology Development Agency, Bangkok, Thailand.

Students in third year have spent a trimester studying abroad in the USA, Australia and Canada at universities including University of California, University of Melbourne and, McGill University.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Graduates in Cell & Molecular Biology can find employment in areas such as pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, biomedical research, hospital and university laboratories, forensic science laboratories, and 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.

Other Entry Routes

“I chose Cell & Molecular Biology as my degree subject after gaining experience in a UCD Research Lab over the summer of second year. It is amazing to have the opportunity to apply what you are learning in class. All our lecturers are actively researching and are teaching the cutting edge of science. It is so cool learning about the novel areas of research. My practicals are all interesting and my favourite this year were the ones from my Plant Cell Biology module. For example, we used a gene gun to shoot DNA into an onion and the next week we were able to visualise the fluorescently transformed cells!”

Kate Duffy, Student

Contact Information

Professor Antoinette Perry
UCD School of Biology & Environmental Science
Science Centre (West)
Belfield, Dublin 4

Email: askscience@ucd.ie

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