Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

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Why is this course for me?

If you’re interested in why some families are more prone to disease and how to use biotechnology to produce drugs and other products, then a degree in Genetics could be for you. Genetics is the scientific study of heredity – how information is passed from one generation to the next. You will study developing new areas, such as personal genomics, which uses DNA sequence to determine health and ancestry. The UCD Genetics degree also covers genetic engineering and biotechnology, transgenic animals, genetically modified plants, medical genetics, molecular evolution, developmental biology, DNA fingerprinting and bioinformatics.

Course Pathways
What Will I Study

Genetics 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 Genetics 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
  • Molecular Genetics and Biotech
  • Principles of Genetics
  • Chemistry for Biology
  • + modules for 2 other Science Subjects
  • Elective Modules

Third Year

  • Regulation of Gene Expression
  • Genetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Data Modelling for Science
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Genomics & Proteomics
  • Genome Structure
  • Genetic Basis of Disease
  • Optional Modules
  • Elective Modules

Fourth Year

  • Research Project
  • Genetic Basis of Behaviour
  • Gene Regulation
  • Model Organism Genetics
  • Human Genetics & Disease
  • Population Genetics
  • Epigenetics

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

You may be interested in the following Blog posts: UCD Genetics student describes her first two months in her internship.

International Study Opportunities

Genetics students in third year have studied in The Netherlands, USA and Canada in University of Amsterdam, University of California Irvine, University of Connecticut, and Queen’s University Canada.

Genetics students also have the opportunity to carry out their fourth year project at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Most Genetics graduates work in:

  • Hospital laboratories
  • Biotechnology, pharmaceutical and genomics companies
  • Forensic science laboratories
  • Agribiotech and horticulture companies
  • Food and drink companies

Many graduates study for a higher degree (MSc/PhD), or obtain additional professional qualifications such as in Medicine and Dentistry.

MSc programmes at UCD include the areas of Biotechnology, Biotechnology and Business, and Biotherapeutics.

Other Entry Routes

“I have had a lifelong passion for science, so choosing to study Science at UCD was the perfect choice for me. Genetics was by far my favourite subject because it is such a fundamental area of study for all of biology. Modules offered to you in Genetics range from studying microbial genetics, evolution and phylogenetics, human genetics and disease, and my personal favourite, plant genetics. Another aspect of this course that was very appealing to me is that you can do a mix of “wet lab” practical work, and bioinformatics, so you develop a wide range of up-to-date skills for further research or industry work. I am now pursuing a PhD in plant genetics in UCD, and I use the skills and knowledge I obtained from my undergraduate degree every day.”

Grace Pender, Graduate

Contact Information

Associate Professor Peadar Ó Gaora
UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science
Dublin 4


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