School of Chemical Sciences

B.Sc. in Analytical Science (Bachelor Honours Degree)


Fact File

CAO Code: DC161
Points Last Year: 460
Duration: 4 yrs
Type of degree: Full-time
Contact: Dr Mary Pryce

Understanding the Course:

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Analysis, Detection and Measurement - How will you Solve Problems of Critical Importance?

Of fundamental importance in today's information society, analytical science is the term given to the science of detection and measurement. We see, use and benefit from it every day, from the tests performed to check the purity of medicines, to the daily monitoring of industrial wastes, to analysis in the forensic laboratory. Through analytical science we solve problems of critical importance.

Importantly, the BSc in Analytical Science employs an interdisciplinary approach, educating you in both theoretical and practical aspects of chemical, biochemical and microbiological analysis. The ever-increasing demand for more detailed and accurate data from within these disciplines means your services, as trained analytical scientists, will be in constant demand.

About You:

If you have an interest in science, have an analytical and problem-solving approach to life, and you're looking for a bright and productive career, then Analytical Science is the degree for you.

Course Structure:

Year One provides the essential background knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology. These are of vital importance in later years. Thought provoking laboratory work is an integral part of the course in all years of the course.

The major emphasis in Years Two and Three is on analytical science, with chemical and biological aspects being developed in parallel. In Year Three you can choose between a forensic and environmental chemistry stream or a biology stream, so you can specialise in the area that suits you best. Both streams cover the major, modern state-of-the-art analytical techniques, and you'll enjoy plenty of hands-on experience in our exceptionally well-equipped facilities.

Your period of industrial placement (INTRA) before your final year ensures that you gain valuable work experience in a real life setting, putting to the test the many things you have learned on the course to the test.

Year Four covers more specialised methods and applications of analytical science, which, when integrated with the basic analytical techniques you've already learned present you with the opportunity to develop your own analytical approach to solving complex problems. Chemistry and biology specialist options are maintained ensuring that you still gain the multi-disciplinary education that modern employers demand. The final part of your course is the full-time project taken in the last semester.

View the subjects currently taught on this course (2016 - 2017)

Why DCU:

  • High practical and IT content.
  • Paid industrial placement.
  • Access to all modern analytical equipment.
  • Project options in chemistry, biology and environmental science.
  • The Analytical Science (chemistry option) degree course is the first in Ireland to be awarded the Eurobachelor label (See

International Students
Non-native English who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to apply to the International Foundation Certificate (IFC) course. This course will help you to achieve the English language requirements necessary for entry into this course. It will also help you to adjust to the culture of irish university learning. See for full details of the IFC course.

Career Prospects:

You will be highly sought after by many of Ireland's leading companies and public service providers. Past graduates have gained a variety of positions within Ireland's growing pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry - in areas such as quality control, product research and development and testing. Other opportunities include manufacturing industries looking for graduates with strong analytical skills, such as in brewing, agricultural fertiliser production and fine chemicals production. Graduates have also obtained positions within government agencies involved with environmental monitoring or food quality testing and research. In addition to these, a large number of graduates also chose to undertake postgraduate research.

This course is also suitable for those who ultimately wish to pursue a career in teaching, as it is recognised by the Teaching Council (see for further details).

What our Graduates say

"Even as a teenager… I've had an interest in forensic science - the science of trace analysis, of identification, the science of crime busting. … I remember searching the CAO listings. Butwithout a dedicated course in Ireland at the time, I began to doubt this career option. However, I then discovered that the BSc in Analytical Science in DCU covered so many aspects needed for forensics. I decided that this would be the best choice for me to kickstart my career into forensics.

During the four-year degree course, the emphasis was always on helping us to develop as scientists, to be problem solvers and to be competent in a wide range of laboratory techniques. I think that DCU's INTRA Programme is a very important and beneficial aspect of their academic approach. Not only did it give me insight into the day-to-day operations of an international pharmaceutical laboratory, but it also acted as the stepping stone to my future career. From concluding my Leaving Cert to working in the Forensic Science Laboratory, the knowledge and experience DCU has provided to me to meet this challenge has been an important enabler to fulfilling a life-long ambition."
Paula Clarke, Drugs Section of the Forensic Science Laboratory at Garda Headquarters in Phoenix Park Dublin, BSc in Analytical Science, 2001, MSc graduate

"The degree in Analytical Science at DCU provided me with a diverse range of specialised skills across all the science disciplines, which offered me great flexibility in choosing a career. The fact that I chose to pursue postgraduate study in the Chemical Sciences department after my degree is a testament to the support and dedication of departmental staff, as well as the superb research facilities there."
Kathleen Grennan, Lecturer, Department of Chemical and Life Sciences, Waterford Institute of Technology. BSc in Analytical Science, 1999, PhD graduate 2003

Entry Requirements:

Leaving Certificate
In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to the university the following entry requirements apply:

OC3 or HD3 in Mathematics PLUS Grade OC3 or HD3 in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics with Chemistry, Agricultural Science.

GCE A Level
In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to the university the following entry requirements apply:

GCE A-Level D or GCE AS-Level C or GCSE C in Mathematics PLUS GCE A-Level D or GCE AS-Level C or GCSE C in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Agricultural Science

FETAC Level 5

For details of FETAC requirements and relevant codes please click here. Simply enter the DC code for the programme your are interested in or if you are not sure of the code enter DC in the Select by Institution option, then click on Go.

Transfer Applications

Holders of Higher Certificate /National Certificates or Bachelor (Ordinary) Degree/National Diplomas with Merit or Distinction may be admitted into second year if the relevant Programme Boards are satisfied that the candidate has already achieved an appropriate standard in the major subjects covered in Year 1. Direct entry into third year is possible for well-motivated students holding a distinction at Diploma level in a related discipline.

International Applications
International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving/FETAC Level 5 examinations:

Apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February or 1st May

Applicants presenting examinations from outside the EU:

Candidates should apply directly to DCU. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis up to 1st July. All Non-EU candidates are advised to apply early, as places are limited.

Mature Applicants

All mature applicants apply through the CAO by 1st February. For further information and for special application procedures for mature students, please click here

EU Transfer Applicants

Apply directly to DCU by the 1st July

Make an Application

Candidates required to apply through the CAO can apply online at
Candidates required to apply directly to DCU can download, print and complete a direct application form by clicking here

Fee information