School of Chemical Sciences

Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
CAO Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
Delivery Modes
Minimum Points
+353 (0) 1
700 7308
Programme PDF

One of the core sciences, chemistry has a wide range of applications affecting our daily lives. Chemists design and develop new drugs, pharmaceuticals and materials, and devise cleaner, more efficient industrial processes to produce them.

DCU's Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences course cultivates your chemistry knowledge and skills through applied methods. Laboratory work plays a vital role in developing your understanding of research and industry. The opportunity to apply the basic principles of chemistry will equip you with an array of problem-solving skills to serve in the professional world.

To apply, choose DC162 on your CAO application or alternatively, apply for our BSc in Chemical Sciences General Entry (DC163) and at the end of year one you will have the option to progress to your choice of: 

To hear more about the School of Chemical Sciences listen to Prof Silvia Giordani (Head of School and Chair of Nanomaterials) in this short video. You can see a showcase of her work designing nano-sized chemotherapies in this edition of Nature.

Working in the laboratory plays a vital role in your learning, and because our laboratory facilities are among the most up-to-date, you’ll get the most practical experience possible.

Year One of this course is common with other DCU science courses.

In Year Two, the mainstream chemistry lectures and laboratories are developed in parallel with relevant topics in physics, mathematics, computing and biochemistry.

An integral part of third year is INTRA, which ensures you gain first-hand experience in the applications of chemistry during a period of industrial placement.

The final year of the course concentrates on your knowledge and development of more advanced topics. A major element in this final year is your individual research project, which consists of a literature survey on a particular topic, followed by laboratory-based research work in your general area of interest.

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.

The Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences degree in DCU impressed me because of its broad scope, incorporating both analysis and synthesis. The six-month experience in industry was a great insight into the type of jobs available in the area of science at degree level. Also, the 12-week research project in fourth year was very interesting and allowed us to use and fully understand everything that we had learned over the four years. This aided my decision to take on a PhD position, as I was better informed as to the advantages this further qualification could provide.

Emma Harvey, Postgraduate Research Student

Career Areas
Fine Chemical Industries
Food and Beverage
Materials Industries
Veterinary Industries


Your opportunities are extensive both at home and abroad. Obviously, much will depend on your specialisations, but you can expect to fill such positions as process chemist, development chemist, analytical chemist and research chemist/scientist in diverse sectors such as the pharmaceutical, food and drink, brewing and fine chemical industries.

This course is also suitable for those who ultimately wish to pursue a career in teaching, as it is recognised by the Teaching Council to teach chemistry (see for further details).

Postgraduate opportunities are also available.


Career Tags
Development Chemist
Process Chemist


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, Physics with Chemistry, Biology or Agricultural Science

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 Certificates or Bachelor (Ordinary) Degree/National Diplomas with Merit or Distinction may be admitted into second year if the relevant Programme Boards are satisfied that the candidate has achieved an appropriate standard in the major subjects covered in Year One. Direct entry into third year is possible for well-motivated students holding a distinction at Diploma level in a related discipline. 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