BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

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Why is this course for me?

Zoology is often thought of in terms of treks into the wild to study rare and endangered species. However, this is only one facet of this fascinating subject. Modern zoology deals with all aspects of animals, from genetics and cell biology to ecology and animal behaviour. The Zoology degree at UCD provides modules in a wide range of disciplines, including marine, terrestrial and freshwater biology, evolutionary biology, animal behaviour, palaeontology, ecology, pest control, population genetics, developmental biology, and animal physiology and cell biology.

Course Pathways
What Will I Study

Zoology 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 Zoology 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
  • Scientific Communication
  • Principles of Zoology
  • Principles of Environmental Biology & Ecology
  • Chemistry for Biologists
  • + modules for 2 other Science Subjects
  • Elective Modules

Third Year

  • Systems Ecology
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Diversity of Invertebrates
  • Working with Biological Data
  • Functional Morphology
  • Arthropoda
  • Diversity of Vertebrates
  • Optional Modules
  • Elective Modules

Fourth Year

  • Research Project
  • Bioassessment of Freshwaters
  • Biological Invasions
  • Conservation of Biodiversity
  • Epithelial Transport
  • Marine Community Ecology
  • Molecular Phylogenetics
  • Ornithology
  • Tropical Field Ecology
  • Optional Modules

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: Zoology field trip to Spain & Life as a Zoologist: Research in Madagascar & Final Year Zoology student describes her four years in UCD.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Due to the nature and breadth of the subject, Zoology graduates are employed in most of the industries and state organisations that employ biologists. These include the National Parks and Wildlife Services, National Museum, Marine Institute, semi-state bodies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, ESB, Bord Iascaigh Mhara and Inland Fisheries Ireland, conservation bodies, aquaculture, universities, secondary schools, environmental consultancies, and several areas of biotechnology.

Graduate opportunities are also available for students to pursue MSc or PhD programmes. Taught MSc programmes that can be pursued by Zoology graduates at UCD include Applied Science (Environmental Science), Environmental Sustainability (Online) and Global Change; Ecosystem Science and Policy.

Other Entry Routes

“In UCD Science you really have the freedom to shape your degree the way you’d like it. I chose Zoology as the lecturers were so helpful and engaging, and there were plenty of opportunities to get hands-on experience at home and abroad. One of the trips abroad was to Costa Rica as part of an optional fourth year module, Tropical Field Ecology. We spent 2 weeks learning about the local biodiversity as well as various methods of data collection such as electrofishing, radio telemetry, lizard fishing, butterfly and bee trapping, and bat/bird surveys. After graduation, I would love to continue in research for a few years, and eventually settle into education.”

Katie Connolly, Student

Contact Information

Associate Professor Jens Carlsson
UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science, Belfield, Dublin 4

Email: askscience@ucd.ie

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