Undergraduate BSc Degree in Zoology

Entry to undergraduate courses in Zoology by Irish students is through the CAO route into general Science (GY301).   Specialist modules in Zoology are also available to students in years 2 to 4 of undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science (GY308), Marine Science (GY310), and Earth and Ocean Sciences (GY314) and to those on the Marine Science and Biology Study Abroad Programme.

Students pursing a degree in Zoology through Science (GY301), take the following specialist zoology modules.  Full details of options availabe through Science (GY301) can be found in the Bachelor of Science handbook.

1st Year

Zoology makes up one quarter of the first year Biology module (BO101) giving all students a taster of what they can expect from Zoology in later years.

2nd Year

Core modules:

Students can progress to 3rd year Zoology if they take these 4 modules.

3rd Year

Zoology can be chosen as part of a number of dual pathways in the Science programme. 


The following modules are core to Zoology, and must be taken by all students:

Core modules
  • ZO317: Evolutionary Biology (Semester I, weeks 1-6) 
  • ZO415: Biometry (Semester I, weeks 4-12 NB this is an online module, delivered through Canvas) 
  • ZO320: Concepts in Population and Community Ecology (Semester II, weeks 13-18) 
  • ZO315: Applied Ecology (Semester II, weeks 19-24)


If you have previously taken statistics module ST2002 in second year you should select an elective module in place of ZO415. All other students must take ZO415 Biometry.


Recommended Options


We also recommend the following electives to choose as part of your 60ECTS.


  • ZO3101: Marine Habitats (Semester I, weeks 7-12)  
  • ZO318: Geographic information systems (Semester II, weeks 19-24)  
  • ZO3102: Behaviour in Social Insects (Semester II) 
  • BO3101: Developmental Biology 
  • EOS3103: Palaeontology and Evolution (Semester I) 
  • AN223: Embryology and Development (Semester II) 


Students wishing to take the EOS and Zoology dual pathway at 3rd year must take the Zoology modules ZO317, ZO310, ZO315, ZO320 and ZO415, together with the following EOS modules: EOS3104 Fieldskills training; EOS3101 Geological structures and maps; EOS303 Ocean dynamics; EOS305 Intro to Applied Field Hydrology; EOS323 Sediments & the Sedimentary record; EOS3102 Environmental & remote Sensing and EOS3103 Palaeontology and Evolution.  

4th Year


The fourth year course includes a greater mixture of facilitated and independent learning.  For example, students carry out a research project (20 ECTS) and a literature review (10 ECTS). There are two core lecture only modules (each 5 ECTS); Marine and Coastal Ecology, and Phylogenetics and Conservation. Integrative Zoology is another module where current topics are discussed by staff and students and students must complete a report based on these discussions.  Animals in Captivity is a blended learning module that includes visits to zoos and aquaria, online and face to face sessions. We also run an elective field module overseas.  Fourth year is therefore a very dynamic year for students providing them with a set of advanced skills and involving them deeply in departmental life. 

Core modules
  • ZO417: Marine and Coastal Ecology (5 ECTS) (Semester I, weeks 1-8) 
  • ZO418: Phylogenetics and Conservation (5 ECTS) (Semesters I and II, weeks 9-16) 
  • ZO4102: Biostatistics in Natural Science (5 ECTS) (Semester I, weeks 4-12) 
  • ZO4103: Animals in Captivity (5 ECTS) (Semester II weeks 17-24) 
  • ZO416: Integrative Zoology (5 ECTS) (Semester II) 
  • ZO425: Literature Review (10 ECTS) (Semesters I and II) 
  • ZO4101: Final Year Project (20 ECTS) (Semesters I and II) 


In addition, the Practical Skills module, which takes place in Morocco, is highly recommended and taken by most students.  The number of places on this module is limited to 20, and there is a cost associated with it. 


Students who do not take ZO419 can choose an alternative elective module offered by another discipline.

Available options are listed in the Bachelor of Science Degree handbook.

Information for prospective students

Overview, Entry Requirements, Course outlines etc...

Science GY301

Environmental Science GY308

Marine Science GY310

Earth and Ocean Sciences GY314

Other useful information



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