Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

Frequently asked questions about Science:

Q:  Who can I contact regarding Admission to Science?

A: Please contact the Academic Registry regarding entry criteria and application queries at the following link or you can write to the following:
The Academic Registry
Biotechnology Building
Trinity College
Dublin 2
or Telephone +353 1 8964444
or Email:

Q: Who do I contact regarding Mature Entry to Science?

A: Please contact the Admission Office regarding Mature and Advanced criteria at the following Please also see the Mature Student Office Website.

Q: Who do I contact regarding the Trinity Access Programme ?

A: Please contact the Admissions Office regarding the Trinity Access Programme criteria at the following. Please also see the Trinity Access Programme Website.

Q: What sort of Science Degree can I get from Trinity?

A: Science (CAO code TR071) is a four-year honors degree course which, after two years of more general scientific training, leads to specialization in one of the following options:-
Biochemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Functional Biology, Genetics, Geography, Geology, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular Medicine, Neuroscience, Plant Sciences, Physics, Physics and Astrophysics, Physiology, Zoology.

Seven other Science degree courses are related to those above, but have their own CAO codes:-
TR031 Mathematics
TR035 Theoretical Physics 
TR073 Human Genetics
TR074 Chemistry with Molecular Modelling
TR075 Medicinal Chemistry
TR076 Nanoscience - Physics & Chemistry of Advanced Materials
TR077 Earth Sciences                                              
Mathematics (TR031) and Theoretical Physics (TR035) also fall within the Science area but these degree courses are not covered by the questions and answers below. 

Q. How do I get a place? How many points do I need?
In recent years, students taking Science TR071 and related courses have come to Trinity with between about 500 and 600 points. Minimum entry points

A: If I expect 580 points, would I be wasting them by applying for Science?
No, not if you are driven by a natural curiosity about the physical and biological world about you.   Above all, make sure that the third-level course you select is a course that really does interest you.  It is foolish to apply for 'high-points' courses like medicine or law if you are not intent on spending your life working in these areas.  If you have very high points and choose a Science degree course out of interest, your chances of success, both intellectual and financial, in your chosen field are outstanding. 

Q: What kind of study programme does Science TR071 involve?  Do I specialise in one science subject from the beginning?

A: No.  In the first and second years you must take 60 credits in modules from the following: Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Mathematics and Physics.  Years 3 and 4: You specialize in one of the following degree options Biochemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Functional Biology, Genetics, Geography, Geology, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular Medicine, Neuroscience, Plant Sciences, Physics, Physics and Astrophysics, Physiology, Zoology.

Q: Does it matter which modules I take in the first year?

A: Yes.  Students choose modules from a wide range of subjects to a total of 60 credits (30 from each semester). Students must take modules in subjects which are related to the specialisations they are interested in taking in 3rd & 4th year.  Advice on which modules to choose will be given during orientation and throughout each of the four years of the degree

Q: Can I take up a subject I haven't done in school?

A: Yes - in fact you may have to.  The Geography and Geology courses start from scratch, and Biology does not require previous knowledge (though it helps).  Physics and Chemistry are generally found to be more difficult without previous knowledge, although physics provide dedicated small group tutorials and chemistry provide additional support for students who have not taken Chemistry in the leaving certificate.

Q: How many hours per week will I need to study?

A: You will attend about 12 hours of lectures and 12 hours of laboratory work per week for 24 weeks.  As a rough guide, the same time again will be needed to read, to write up practical classes, and to study alone.

Q: Are there quotas at the start of 3rd year for any of the degree options?

A: Yes.  Demand may exceed the number of places in some courses.  For information on Junior Sophister quotas and allocation of places please see the following link

Q: What if things don't work out?  If I have a problem, who can I talk to?

A: Every student in Trinity is allocated a tutor where you can go to discuss any issues of concern..  Tutors are members of the academic teaching staff who take on the additional role of helping students through any difficulties.  Alternatively, you can call into the Science Course Office where we will be available to answer any questions regarding the course.

Q: If I start Science and find I don't like it, can I change to another degree course? 

A: Transferring to another course is sometimes possible but is never easy so you should do everything you can to ensure that you are likely to enjoy your chosen course. Read all available information, talk to teachers and, if possible, to former students who have recently completed the course.  For information on transfers please see the following link

Q: If I fail my exams at the end of the first year, what happens?

A: Examinations are held in May.  If you are unfortunate enough to fail, you may repeat the examinations in September.  If you fail a second time, you will only be allowed to repeat the year if your average mark is over 35%.  Failure may result from an imbalance between work and play.

Q: If I repeat the first year in Science, or another subject, do I have to pay fees?

A: Yes.  EU citizens who have their fees paid by the state must pay their own fees in a repeat year unless the repeat year has been forced by illness.  The state will pay fees again once you start the second year.

Q: What kind of job prospects come with a degree in Science?

A: A Science degree is a passport to many jobs.  It may lead to analytical or research work in industry or the state sector.  It also opens up a wide range of other employment opportunities such as teaching, information technology, financial services, consultancies, journalism, and marketing.  Some graduates choose to take a higher degree.

Q: Should I join any student societies?

A: Emphatically yes!  Student societies exist to promote sport, debating, and many other social and cultural activities.  You should make a point of getting seriously involved in one or two (but probably not more) societies, to meet people and to unwind from the intensity of academic study.  It's good for your CV too! You can find more information about Trinity clubs and societies at the following link





Last updated 6 September 2016 Science Course (Email).