Plant Biology

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time – Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN200
CAO Points Range 2019: 521
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 400

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?

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 here


“Placing DN200 Science at the top of my CAO was an easy choice as I could explore all subject areas before making an informed decision on my degree. To me, no area holds greater merit for study than plant science. Its implications infiltrate all aspects of modern society from global food security to phytopharmaceuticals. I am currently Vice-Auditor of the UCD Biological Society. Being involved in a society has allowed me to meet other people from various stages and degrees in UCD as well as encounter some incredible scientists. Last year, Nobel Prize laureate Sir Paul Nurse came to UCD to receive our George Sigerson Award for Inspiring Aspiring Scientists. The UCD O’Brien Centre for Science is home to unparalleled plant science labs and teaching facilities including the Bloom gold medal winning UCD Evolution Garden.”

Caroline Dowling Student

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