Everything is theoretically impossible until it is done.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Why should I study Biology?

Biology is such an important science, not only because it helps us to understand the living world, everything from plant life and animal life to human life. Biology involves far more than just knowledge and understanding the processes of living things. Studying Biology provides an opportunity for advancements in agriculture, biotechnology, and medicine. Ireland just happens to be constantly growing in both the research and production of life-saving treatments.

Science and Medical industries have been steadily growing in Ireland in recent decades. With multiple international pharmaceutical companies choosing Ireland as their European and even global headquarters. A large part of the reason these companies choose Ireland as a base is due to the fact Ireland has an ample supply of qualified experts in medical and scientific areas.

A great example of a continuously growing international pharmaceutical company with a huge presence in Ireland is Pfizer. Pfizer has been located in Ireland since 1969. In the decades that followed Ireland became a leading manufacturer for Pfizer globally and it is estimated that they employ over 4000 people across the island.  Most recently the Irish locations have been involved in producing the Pfizer-BIonTech Covid-19 Vaccines.

So you see, studying Biology in Ireland can not only get you a job in a great international company, but it can also mean you end up with a job that means you have a hand in creating or producing life-saving medicine. Which in turn means you are helping to save the world, just like a real-life superhero.

Reasons to study Biology
From the tiniest living things to the largest, Biologists strive to understand and improve all life - Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

What do I need to achieve in my Leaving Cert to study Biology in Ireland?

Once you have completed your Leaving Cert, there are so many opportunities to study Biology across Ireland.

However, to ensure your place in a third-level Biology course, achieving good grades and the required amount of Leaving Cert points is essential.

No matter where you’re located in Ireland, whether it is in a city, town, or even a secluded part of the countryside, once you have internet access, Superprof can help. At Superprof you will find a tutor to help you revise or prepare for exams, one to one online. Biology lessons are available with multiple tutors on the Superprof website, but remember whatever subject you require assistance in, you can search for a grinds tutor on Superprof.

The best preparation for exams is revision, and when it comes to revision we can help. After all, practice does make perfect. Especially when it comes to mastering Biology.

Before we look into colleges and universities that provide courses in Biology, it is important to remember that even if you don't get the grades/points needed in your Leaving Cert, there are other ways to pursue a career in Biology, it might just take you a little longer than you anticipated. For example options include:

  1. Repeating your Leaving Cert - this gives you a chance to re-sit exams and give some extra attention to the revision of subjects you struggled with the first time around. You could even enlist the help of tutors or join after-school study groups.
  2. Further Education/ QQI - If you were happy with the results you achieved in your Leaving Cert and only missed out on your preferred college place by a few points or enrollment restrictions, taking a QQI course is a great way to make sure you really enjoy your chosen subject while making up for points or waiting for a course opening the following year. At the end of a 1 or 2-year QQI course, you will have qualified with a level 4, 5, or 6 diplomae.

Its also important to note that a lot of QQI courses include work experience and assignments similar to those you would student in a level 7 or 8-degree course, meaning if/when you pursue higher education you will be well practised in these areas.

What colleges have the best Biology courses in Ireland?

Let's start with where to look. Often the old-reliable sources can be the best and as Ireland's National Career Guidance website, Careers Portal is one of the go-to places to seek information. For over a decade students and experienced people looking to upskill or embark on a new career path have turned to Careers Portal for advice and a full list of what courses are available to them.

There are so many courses which include Biology across Ireland, from starter courses (level 4) to expert courses (PhD) you will find a Biology course to suit your abilities and your passions.

Not all Biology is to do with the study of human life, Ireland also has a great global track record when it comes to Marine Biology, Agricultural and Animal Biology, and even Biotechnology. These courses take place all over the country from Athlone to Waterford all you have to do is research which course and college suits you.

For now, we are going to look at the big cities across the island:

Cork - Cork is home to 2 large universities (UCC and MTU), both of which rank in the top 2% of universities worldwide. The colleges in Cork also are well known across the world for their Scientific courses and research. If you wish to master Biology it is intriguing to note that Scientists from Cork universities are often making headlines for their discoveries and medicines.

Colleges where I can study Biology in Ireland
DCU is one of the Colleges in Ireland that offers courses in Biology - Photo by Jane Last on Unsplash

Dublin- Ireland's capital may be small in size, but it has the largest population in the country with over a million people calling Dublin their home. It's only natural that with such a huge populous Dublin is also home to a massive amount of schools and colleges. Dublin City and County offer education for everyone, n0 matter what your financial or experience situation is you can start mastering Biology from level 4 right up to level 9.

Galway- Our 3rd city also happens to be the Republic of Ireland's third 3rd most populated county. Galway is known global from the songs about it alone, it is the heart of Ireland's "Wild Atlantic Way" and is home to the 2nd largest Gaeltacht in the country. Apart from its rich heritage and the immense tourism industry, Galway is home to 2 of the most popular Colleges in Ireland. With NUIG ranking as the most popular University amongst students outside of Dublin.

Limerick - Despite the constant questioning of which is better Galway or Limerick, it's really unfair to even compare the 2 counties or cities. They differ in almost every way, one is coastal the other is land-locked, one has a massive Gaeltacht community the other is has not, meaning you will naturally have 2 very different experiences if you choose to visit both. The main thing both places have in common is their impeccable standard for higher education and beautiful college campuses, and of course, both places offer Biology courses,

Waterford - Last but by no means least we take a look at Waterford. Just like Cork and Limerick, Waterford is in the southern province of Ireland (Munster). Many of the Biology courses at Waterford Institute of Technology focus on the Horticultural side of the science, that's not to say it's the only type of Biology studied at the college, there are also several courses relating to Pharmaceutical Sciences.

How to choose what college to study at in Ireland

Whether it's one of the 5 cities discussed in this article or a less densely populated location such as Athlone or Sligo, you will find the right Biology course and the right college for you.

Of course, there is a lot of things to consider such as would you prefer to travel each day or move to the place which the college is located, what modules will you learn and what qualifications will you end up with. These are all great and important questions, however,  its important to remember what was mentioned at the start of this article, even if you don't get the grades/points you wished for in your Leaving Cert, there are other ways to pursue a career in Biology, it might just take you a little longer than you anticipated.

Studying Biology Ireland
Be proud when you do your best for your Biology exams - Photo by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production on Unsplash

So long as you figure out what area of Biology is home to your passion, and you study hard enough, you will sit a good Leaving Cert.

Just remember, if you need extra help revising or preparing for exams Superprof can help.

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