BSc in Science Education

Science Education (BSc) – Course Code:  Science EducationCK402 Biological and Chemical Sciences /Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences/CK406 Chemical Sciences / CK408 Physics and Astrophysics, Duration: 4 years

Science teaching is a very challenging and worthwhile career. Did you enjoy learning about science in school? Do you feel you would like a career in which you spend your time helping young people to succeed? Do you think that you would like the activity of classroom and laboratory teaching? If you have answered yes to these questions, then you should consider taking a module in science education as part of your degree.

The overall aim of this programme is the professional development of Science teachers of the highest possible calibre. Training takes place in UCC’s state-of-the-art Eureka Centre for Inquiry Based Education in Science and Mathematics. The Eureka Centre consists of science education laboratories that are fully equipped to teach Leaving Certificate physics, chemistry and biology, a Science Resource Centre with all the teaching resources that you need for teaching these subjects, and a seminar room that is fully equipped for online teaching and learning activities.

In Year 1 students undertake a common first-year science course with other science students, allowing time to settle in to UCC and think about a career in science teaching.

At the beginning of Year 2, you register for the BSc(Ed) and choose to specialise in either the biology or chemistry or the physics stream. You will obtain an introduction to science teaching and science education and spend some time on Teaching Placement at a local secondary school, as well as studying second-year science modules.

Year 3 is made up of another module in science education and Teaching Placement in a local secondary school as well as third-year science modules. Typically, these Science Education modules cover topics like classroom organisation and teaching approaches, lesson planning, understanding teaching and learning, the role of practical work in science education, etc. Each of the Science Education modules involves attendance at one lecture for 12 weeks. Your teaching ability, portfolio of prepared lessons and a teaching project all count towards the mark awarded for the module.

In Year 4, all modules are education modules, with increased time spent on Teaching Placement and also time spent at lectures and laboratory practical sessions at UCC. Fourth Year of the Honours Bachelor of Science (Education) is exactly the same course as that undertaken by those students pursuing the Postgraduate Diploma in Education. You will have six weeks experience of teaching (2 hours per week plus one hour of mentoring) in a local school. You will have the assistance of a mentor teacher in this school. The teaching experience will help you to make up your mind about a career in teaching. Your teaching practice will be supervised by a member of staff of the Department of Education, UCC.

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • recognise and apply the basic principles of classroom management and discipline
  • identify the key characteristics of excellent teaching in science
  • develop comprehensive portfolios of lesson plans relevant to the science curricula in schools.

This degree programme was initiated by UCC in response to the international shortage of teachers of the Physical Sciences. Whilst full-time permanent teaching positions are not plentiful in Ireland, there remains a shortage of teachers of Physics and Chemistry. Graduates of this degree have no difficulty finding full time permanent positions overseas.


Year 1 Modules:


Year 2 Modules:

Route 1 Chemistry:
  • Main Group and Transition Element Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
  • Energetics and Kinetics
  • Aromatics, Carbonyls and Alkenes
  • Spectroscopy
  • Structure, Bonding and Quantum Mechanics
Route 2 Physics:
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Quantum Physics
  • Electrostatics and Magnetostatics
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
  • Astrophysics and Special Relativity
  • Experimental Physics
Route 3 Biology:
  • Habitats and Ecosystems
  • Biomolecules
  • Fundamentals of Microbiology
  • Principles of Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physics for the Environmental Sciences* or Plant Biotechnology*

*Students who enter through CK404 take Physics for the Environmental Sciences.  Students who enter through CK402 choose Plant Biotechnology

Education Modules (In addition to other modules)
  • Science Education
  • Teaching Practice Placement


Year 3 Modules:

Route 1 Chemistry:
  • Physical Chemistry I & II
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Synthesis, Structure and Reactivity of Organic Compounds
Route 2 Physics:
  • Optics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Experimental Physics
Route 3 Biology:
  • Conservation Biology
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Environmental Microbial Genomics
  • Plants and Hostile Environments
  • Plant and Animal Genetics
  • Adaptions to Extreme Environments
Education Modules (In addition to other modules)
  • Science Education
  • Teaching Practice Placement


Year 4 Modules:

  • Science Education
  • Teaching Practice Placement Science Education
  • Conceptual Foundations in School Placement Research Portfolio A
  • Conceptual Foundations in the Philosophy and History of Education
  • Conceptual Foundations in the Psychology and Sociology of Education
  • Conceptual Foundations in Curriculum and Assessment
  • Conceptual Foundations in Inclusive Education
  • Conceptual Foundations in School Placement Research Portfolio B

**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year.