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Undergraduate (Level 8 NFQ , Credits 240 )

If you are interested in why some families are more prone to disease and how to use biotechnology to produce drugs and other products, then a degree subject in Genetics could be for you. Genetics is the scientific study of heredity – how information is passed from one generation to the next. You will study developing new areas, such as personal genomics, which uses DNA sequence to determine health and ancestry. The Genetics degree subject also covers genetic engineering and biotechnology, transgenic animals, genetically modified plants, medical genetics, molecular evolution, developmental biology, DNA  fingerprinting and bioinformatics.

Information on all our courses including pathways, internships and careers information is available in the UCD Science Undergraduate Courses Entry 2024 Brochure (PDF).

For more information regarding this course, please click School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science

How do I apply?

For EU students, please apply via MyUCD. The following entry route(s) are available:
Description ENTRY Duration Application Opening Date APPURL
Genetics(BLS1) - Undergraduate Degree (Non EU) Entry in
Full Time - 4 Year(s) Apply from -
Oct 2023

Genetics 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. For more information on choosing a degree major at the end of Second Year, visit the Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences stream page.

This is a sample set of modules that a Genetics 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 • Molecular Genetics and Biotech • Principles of Genetics • Chemistry for Biology • + modules for 2 other Science Subjects • Elective Modules 

Third Year
Regulation of Gene Expression • Genetics • Bioinformatics • Data Modelling for Science • Evolutionary Biology • Genomics & Proteomics • Genome Structure • Genetic Basis of Disease • Optional Modules • Elective Modules

Fourth Year
Research Project • Genetic Basis of Behaviour • Gene Regulation • Model Organism Genetics • Human Genetics & Disease • Population Genetics • Epigenetics 

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.

Click below to for all course modules:


Most Genetics graduates work in hospital laboratories, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and genomics companies, forensic science laboratories, agribiotech and horticulture companies, and food and drink companies. 

Many graduates study for a higher degree (MSc or PhD), or obtain additional professional qualifications, such as in medicine and dentistry.

MSc programmes at UCD include the areas of Biotechnology, Biotechnology & Business and Biotherapeutics.

Genetics students in third year have studied in The Netherlands, USA and Canada in University of Amsterdam, University of California Irvine, University of Connecticut, and Queen’s University Canada. 

Genetics students also have the opportunity to carry out their fourth year project at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

I have had a lifelong passion for science, so choosing to study Science at UCD was the perfect choice for me. Genetics was by far my favourite subject because it is such a fundamental area of study for all of biology. Modules offered to you in Genetics range from studying microbial genetics, evolution and phylogenetics, human genetics and disease, and my personal favourite, plant genetics. Another aspect of this course that was very appealing to me is that you can do a mix of “wet lab” practical work, and bioinformatics, so you develop a wide range of up-to-date skills for further research or industry work. I am now pursuing a PhD in plant genetics in UCD, and I use the skills and knowledge I obtained from my undergraduate degree every day. 

Grace Pender, Graduate