School of Biotechnology

Biological Sciences General Entry

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First Year Only
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New Entry Route to Biological Sciences Programmes

If you have a natural curiosity about how living things function, then biological sciences will appeal to you. You will learn about how life works, at the molecular level, the cellular level and the level of the organism. From determining the molecular causes of medical conditions or producing effective treatments, to the development of environmental technologies for wastewater treatment, or optimising brewing processes, biological scientists have a key role to play in all areas of society.

Biology is an increasingly diverse area with a wide array of topics. Our understanding of molecules, cells and life is central to human society and progress. Within this option, you will have the opportunity to pursue the BSc in Biotechnology DC181, BSc in Genetics and Cell Biology DC168 or BSc in Bioprocessing from Year 2 onwards.

In your 1st year, you will develop your scientific skills and get a strong grounding in biochemistry, genetics, cell biology and microbiology. This will give you the opportunity to determine which areas of biological sciences appeal most to you, before choosing your preferred degree option at the end of year one.

Upon successful completion of year one the degree choices are:

The BSc in Biotechnology focuses more on applying our knowledge of biology and bioprocess engineering to make molecules, such as pharmaceuticals, on an industrial scale. The second option, the BSc in Genetics and Cell Biology, will provide you with the knowledge and skills to investigate how life works at a molecular and cellular level. The BSc in Bioprocessing will develop your knowledge and appreciation of the conceptual and factual bases for bioprocess design and operation.

The sub-disciplines that you will study include immunology, cell and molecular biology, microbiology and biochemistry, and computational biology (bioinformatics) and bioprocessing.

Wherever your interests lie, a degree in either course equips you with the knowledge and expertise to work in an exciting and innovative area that can make a real difference to the world we live in.


This programme introduces you to the fascinating world of biological sciences, allowing you to experience a wide array of topics before specialising in either Biotechnology, Genetics & Cell Biology or Bioprocessing in your 2nd year.

In Year 1, you have the opportunity to study the other major sciences, providing an excellent foundation for the interdisciplinary nature of modern biology research and we have a strong emphasis on hands-on experience, with plenty of laboratory classes and tutorials to reinforce your theory understanding.  Part of Year 1 is taken in common with other science courses, so you will be studying biology, chemistry, physics and an introduction to bioprocessing. You can choose to do either mathematics or alternatively, biostatistics and bioinformatics. Prior knowledge of one science subject and mathematics is required.

Our highly regarded courses offer flexibility and allow you to choose between a research-focused stream or a more industrially-focused stream in your final year. We also plan to add additional exit streams in the coming years, giving you even more choice when you get to final year.

For more information and an overview of our courses here in the School of Biotechnology visit our undergraduate course presentation pages


View the current course structure

For more information on every aspect of studying at DCU visit our CAO Hub where you can listen to taster lectures, hear from our student ambassadors and find answers to frequently asked questions.

We have a unique and vibrant culture on our modern campus close to Dublin city centre. We provide state-of-the-art study facilities for all our courses and everything else you need for a healthy, fun and active student life.

Exceptional Facilities

DCU students enjoy exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our 3 academic campuses. These include modern learning theatres, research centres, television and sound studios, classrooms, computer suites and advanced laboratories in the areas of languages, engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology, as well as a sports performance centre and a virtual hospital ward.

A Vibrant, Dynamic Social Environment

Student facilities include a superb sports complex with a 25-metre pool, two libraries and The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre. In 2016 we announced plans to invest over €230m in developing new, world-class facilities across our three academic campuses. Already building has begun on an exciting, new €14m Student Centre that will be home to the more than one hundred and twenty student clubs and societies. This commitment to student facilities means that our world-class learning experiences are complemented by a vibrant, dynamic social environment.

Our graduates go on to a wide variety of rewarding careers, in areas such as:

  • Postgraduate Research (PhD) and Postdoctoral Research in the Biological Sciences
  • Laboratory work in the Bioprocessing and Biopharma Industries
  • Quality Management and Regulation in Biopharma Industries
  • Bioprocess Engineering: bioprocess plant design and commissioning 
  • Technical Sales and Support
  • Teaching
  • Technical Roles in Food and and Beverage Production
  • Brewing

 A degree in biological sciences can also be the platform for further postgraduate studies, either in research or in professional areas such as teaching and medicine.




General Entry Requirements

In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to the university the following entry requirements apply

Minimum of O3 or H6 in Mathematics and minimum of O3 or H5 in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics with Chemistry, Agricultural Science or Computer Science

Leaving Cert

In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to the university the following entry requirements apply

Minimum of O3 or H6 in Mathematics and minimum of O3 or H5 in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics with Chemistry, Agricultural Science or Computer Science

GCE A Level

In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to the university the following entry requirements apply

GCE A Level D or GCE AS Level C or GCSE B Mathematics and GCE A Level D or GCE AS Level C or GCSE B in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics with Chemistry or Agricultural Science

GCE A Level general entry requirements can be found here: Please note these may vary slightly for some programmes

FET Level 5

For details of QQI requirements and relevant codes please click here. Simply enter the DC code for the programme you are interested in or if you are not sure of the code enter DC in the Select by Institution option, then click on Go. 

EU Transfer Applications

Holders of Higher Certificate/National Certificate or Bachelor (Ordinary) degree / National Diploma's with Merit or Distinction may be admitted into second year. Because of the special nature of the second year of the course, which has Process Engineering as a major component, candidates cannot be considered for direct entry into third year. Suitable candidates will be required to attend for interview. Please apply directly to DCU using the R10 form. Closing date for applications 1st July.

International Applications

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.


Full time

Student Contribution
€3,043 per annum
EU Status Fee
€6,679 per annum
Non EU Fee
€15,000 per annum

Next Steps

Mature Applicants

All mature applicants apply through the CAO by 1st February. For further information and for special application procedures for mature students, please click here

Applicants presenting EU school Leaving Examinations

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving/FETAC Level 5 examinations: Apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February or 1st May

Applicants presenting examinations from outside the EU

Candidates should apply directly to DCU. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis up to 1st July. All Non-EU candidates are advised to apply early, as places are limited.

EU Transfer Applicants

Apply directly to DCU by the 1st July

Make an Application

Candidates required to apply through the CAO can apply online at
Candidates required to apply directly to DCU can download, print and complete a direct application form R10 by clicking here