Microbiology

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN200 BBB
CAO Points Range 2016: 510 - 625
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 402

Leaving Certificate:

Passes in six subjects including English, Irish, Mathematics (Min O3/H6 in LC or equivalent), one laboratory science subject (Min O3/H6 in LC or equivalent. Applied Mathematics or Geography may be used instead of a laboratory science subject.) & two other recognised subjects.

You must obtain a minimum of Grade H5 in two subjects and a minimum of Grade O6/H7 in the remaining four subjects

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms known as micro-organisms or microbes. Microbes play a key role in every facet of life on this planet. For example, microbes have a major impact on the Earth’s climate by their metabolism of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. Microbes can naturally produce polymers, antibiotics but also consume or breakdown a multitude of toxic chemicals. Microbiologists use tools like molecular biology, fermentation, enzymology, synthetic biology to improve the natural ability of microorganisms so that they can produce new antibiotics natural products, biodegradable plastics and clean up chemically polluted soil and water. Microbes protect us from colonisation by disease-causing organisms. However, some microbes cause disease, e.g. MRSA, AIDS, tuberculosis and meningitis. Microbiological research aims to find treatments for these and other infectious diseases.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Microbiologists are employed in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and food-related industries, hospitals and veterinary hospitals and related laboratories. They also find work in government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency where they are involved in research and development, process design and control, management and quality control. Many students opt to continue their undergraduate degree with an MSc or PhD graduate programme. These microbiologists play a key role in developing new drugs, finding novel ways to combat infectious diseases and designing new approaches to clean the environment and develop a green economy.

What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Microbiology. Topics include biotechnology, microbes and the environment, medical microbiology and pharmaceutical microbiology.

First Year

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

Second Year

  • Microbiology
  • + 2 Other Science Subjects
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Microbiology
  • Optional Science modules
  • Elective modules

Fourth Year

  • Microbiology (includes a research project)

All Science courses are full time, with many student timetables running from 9.00am to 5.00pm or later. Depending on the subject choices, a weekly timetable can include lectures, practicals and tutorials.

Assessment varies with each module but may comprise continuous assessment of practicals, written exams and online learning activities

Professional Work Experience
Students carry out a research project in fourth year that can take place in a pharmaceutical or food-related company or a hospital. Recent placements include Pfizer, Wyeth, Trinity Biotech and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

For detailed information on subject content click the relevant link below:
First Year
Second Year
Third – Fourth Year

International Study Opportunities

A limited number of fourth year projects are available in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Testimonial

“I have always had a passion for Microbiology, fascinated by this invisible, ubiquitous community of organisms present throughout our world and beyond. However, in my Leaving Certificate year I wasn’t ready to commit myself to a particular area of science quite yet. DN200 was the perfect choice for me. This gave me the opportunity to try out a variety of subjects including Neuroscience, Biochemistry and even Physics before deciding on my favourite – Microbiology. Becoming a member of the UCD Symphony Orchestra and the UCD Windsurfing Club has introduced me to a great group of friends from across the campus. I actually get to earn credits for my degree by playing in the orchestra, choosing it as an elective module. When I graduate, I hope to work in the food sector researching food microbiology.”
Emma Cullen, Student