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:

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 the 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
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Optional Science modules
  • Elective module

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)

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: MSc Regulartory Affairs & Toxicology graduate Stephanie writes about her experience completing a Toxicology based research internship.

International Study Opportunities

Physiology students have spent time studying at the following universities:

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


“Having come into UCD with no other certainty bar loving biology, DN200 Science really was a great option. I am now a Physiology graduate and am so glad I chose this subject. I believe the level of academic teaching is outstanding and I loved learning how various systems of the body works, including the heart, lungs and kidneys. My final year project was based on the inflammatory responses of spinal cord injury. UCD opened a whirlwind of opportunities or me. I was a Student Ambassador and Science Student Leader and I have acted as a Peer Mentor as well as serving on student society committees. I also spent two summers volunteering in Tanzania with UCD Volunteers Overseas. I am about to start a PhD in New Zealand.”

Celine Camon, Graduate

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