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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)


Q1: Where do I find out about the Science programmes in Trinity?
A: 
The Science Programme Website: https://www.tcd.ie/Science/  or contact the Science Course Office science@tcd.ie
Science Course Office, Hamilton Building, Trinity College, Dublin 2 Ph: +353 1 8962023

Q2:  Who can I contact regarding Admission to Science courses?
A: Please contact the Academic Registry regarding entry criteria and application queries at the following link https://www.tcd.ie/study/ or you can write to the following:
The Academic Registry
Watts Building
Trinity College
Dublin 2
or Telephone +353 1 8964444
or Email: academic.registry@tcd.ie

Q3: Who do I contact regarding Mature Entry to Science courses?
A: Please contact the Academic Registry regarding Mature entry criteria at the following Mature Student Office Website.

Q4:Who do I contact regarding the Trinity Access Programme?
A: Please contact the Admissions Office regarding the Trinity Access Programme criteria admissions@tcd.ie. Please also see the Trinity Access Programme website.

Q5: What type of Science Degree can I get from Trinity?
A: Science at Trinity is offered through the following courses - CAO codes
TR060 Biological & Biomedical Sciences
TR061 Chemical Sciences
TR062 Geography & Geosciences
TR063 Physical Sciences

Each degree is a four-year honours degree programme which, after two years of foundational scientific training, leads to specialisations in one of the subjects listed after each course: -
TR060 Biological and Biomedical Sciences: Biochemistry, Botany, Environmental Sciences, Genetics, Human Genetics, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular Medicine, Neuroscience, Physiology, Zoology.
TR061 Chemical Sciences: Chemistry, Chemistry with Biosciences, Chemistry with Molecular Modelling, Medicinal Chemistry, Nanoscience.
TR062 Geography and Geoscience: Geography, Geoscience
TR063 Physical Sciences: Physics, Physics and Astrophysics, Nanoscience.

Two other Science degree courses are related to those above: 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.


streams chart 

Q6. How do I get a place? How many points do I need?
A: Science Degree CAO Points 2020 – do we have final numbers yet?

  • TR060 Biological & Biomedical Sciences 510*
  • TR061 Chemical Sciences 488*
  • TR062 Geography & Geosciences 435
  • TR063 Physical Sciences 498*

 

 Q7. Can I apply for more than one of the Science courses?
Yes, students may apply for two or more science courses in order of preference on the CAO form.  The specific science subject requirements are the same for each science stream.

Q8: If I expect 580 points, would I be wasting them by applying for Science?
A: 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. 

Q9: What kind of study programme does Science in Trinity 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:
TR060 Biological and Biomedical Sciences:  Core modules: Biology; Chemistry; Mathematics.  Optional modules:  Geosciences; Foundation Physics; Science Education and Communication.
TRO61 Chemical Sciences: Core modules: Chemistry; Mathematics
Optional modules: Biology, Foundation Physics, Physics
TR062 Geography and Geoscience: Core modules: Geography, Geology, Geoscience, Mathematics
Optional modules: Human Geography, Biology, Chemistry, Foundation Physics
TR063 Physical Sciences: Core modules: Physics, Mathematics
Optional modules: Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences

Each science programmes consists of core modules in your main subject area with the option to take modules from  outside of your core subjects, which builds breadth into the curriculum.
The capstone project, a independent piece of research that you complete in your final year, is a wonderful opportunity for students studying science in Trinity to make an original contribution to their subject by working with scientists who are world renowned specialists in their field.

Q10: Does it matter which modules I take in the first year?

A: You will complete 40 credits of core or compulsory modules and can then take 20 credits of open modules from a selection.  In most cases, your choice of open modules has no impact on your ability to study any of the moderatorship subjects on offer in your stream, with a few exceptions, e.g. students who wish to specialise in nanoscience must take the full 20 credits in Physics, 20 credits in Mathematics and 20 credits in Chemistry in the Freshman years. Advice on which modules to choose will be given during orientation and throughout each of the four years of the degree. 

Q11: 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.  However, there are  customised Chemistry modules for students studying Biological and Biomedical sciences.

Q12: 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.

Q13: 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. However, in recent years, the vast majority of students who have performed reasonably well in second year (at least 60-69% II-1 grade or -above) have gotten their first preference of degree options.  

Q14: 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 with whom you can 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.

Q15: If I start in one stream and find I like one of the other subjects more, can I transfer in second year? 

A: Transferring to one of the other streams may be possible but will depend on the points required for that course, whether there is spare capacity, the modules taken by the student in first year and previous subjects taken at secondary school. Applications will therefore be considered on a case by case basis. For information on transfers please see the following link https://www.tcd.ie/study/apply/making-an-application/undergraduate/

Q16: If I start a Science course 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 https://www.tcd.ie/study/apply/making-an-application/undergraduate/

Q17: What kind of job prospects come with a degree in Science?

A: A Science degree is a passport to many jobs.  The core skills of critical thinking and problem solving that come with a scientific education, as well as data handling and analysis, communication skills and specific technical knowledge in a chosen field mean science graduates are in very high demand.  Your degree 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, medicine, information technology, financial services, consultancies, journalism, and marketing.  Many graduates choose to take a higher degree - and many will end up in jobs which have not been created yet!

Q18: Should I join any student societies?
A: 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 http://www.trinitysocieties.ie/

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Science Course Office
October 2020