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?

Physiology is an area of biology related to how the human body works. Physiologists are interested in how the cells and organs of the body operate and how their incredible array of processes co-operate to enable our bodies to function under normal and challenging circumstances. Physiologists are therefore at the forefront of medical research and the search for a better understanding of disease processes.

At UCD, Physiology students acquire a thorough understanding of the organs of the body such as the heart, lungs, kidneys and how they function, interact and respond to the internal and external environment.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Physiology graduates go on to establish careers in the following areas:

  • Biomedical research in the university system or other government-run operations
  • Pharmaceutical industry-based research and development
  • Clinical trials
  • Pharmaceutical industry sales

Physiology graduates regularly gain places on graduate entry Medicine and other allied healthcare degree courses. UCD provides opportunities for graduate physiological research at the master’s or PhD level. Research into basic physiological mechanisms takes place but the research focus is on translational research, i.e. the research that enhances our understanding of human disease that leads to advances in improvement of human health.

What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Physiology. Topics include neurophysiology, metabolic biochemistry, membrane biology, respiratory physiology and cardiovascular physiology.

First Year

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

Second Year

  • Physiology
  • + 2 Other Science Subjects
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Physiology
  • Elective modules

Fourth Year

  • Physiology (includes a research project in a laboratory setting)

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.

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

International Study Opportunities

Physiology students have spent time studying at the following universities:

  • San Jose State University, USA
  • University of Queensland, Australia


“I studied Chemistry and Biology in school and it was always a toss up to decide which was my favourite. That’s why I selected the No Preference option. I could study both Chemistry and Biology in my first year before I made any decisions. In Second Year, I chose some Physiology modules along with modules from four other subjects and enjoyed them immensely so I decided to specialise in Physiology. Physiology offers a good foundation to allow me to go into research in a variety of subjects once I graduate. Science in UCD isn’t all spent in the labs. I’m an active member of UCD Science Society and took part in their annual charity cycle to Galway helping to raise money for Crumlin Children’s Hospital.”
Eimear Mylod, Student