Plant Biology

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN200
CAO Points Range 2018: 520
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 400

Leaving Certificate:
  • O2/H6 in Mathematics
  • O2/H6 in a laboratory science (Applied Mathematics 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?

Plant Biology is the scientific study of plants, fungi and algae. Plants are vital for supporting and maintaining the atmospheric and environmental conditions required for all life on earth. They are the mainstay of human and animal diets, while also providing pharmaceuticals, timber, paper and clothing.

Plants are being exploited as sources of renewable energy and biofuels, and make an important contribution to measures aimed at reducing the effects of climate change. A key to the further development of plants for practical or economic use is an improved understanding of metabolic and developmental processes and their interactions with environmental factors.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Plant Biology graduates have obtained positions as:

  • Plant and environmental scientists
  • Pollution biologists
  • Molecular geneticists and cell biologists
  • Agronomists, horticulturalists, foresters or park rangers
  • Environmental consultants
  • Wildlife, conservation, biodiversity or heritage officers

Graduates are also eligible to pursue MSc programmes in UCD in World Heritage Management and Plant Biology and Biotechnology, in addition to PhD programmes both in Ireland and abroad.

What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Plant Biology. Topics include plant biotechnology, applied plant biology, marine botany, genetics and systems ecology.

First Year

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

Second Year

  • Plant Biology
  • + 2 Other Science Subjects
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Plant Biology
  • Elective modules

Fourth Year

  • Plant Biology (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.

For detailed information on subject content click the relevant link below:

First Year
Second Year
Third – Fourth Year


“I always planned on studying Science but wasn’t sure which area. This made Science in UCD the ideal choice. For the first two years, I tried modules from all the disciplines in Science, which left me more informed to pick the subject I would major in. Plant Biotechnology and Plant Pathology particularly interested me, so I chose Plant Biology as my major. Our classes were specific to Plant Biology, the class sizes were smaller and we had lots of contact with lecturers and tutors. The opportunity to carry out a research internship in South America with the Plant Palaeoecology and Palaeobiology research group in my third year has to be one of the highlights of my time in UCD. After graduating, I completed a research Master’s in plant pathology and I am currently doing a PhD in molecular plant genetics, focused on the regulation of gene expression in stomatal guard cells.”

Emma Doyle Graduate

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