Careers in Life Sciences

By Ethan Moser - Last update


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What is Life Sciences?

Life Sciences is composed of all scientific study of life and organisms such as biology, medicine, anthropology, and ecology. Students interested in careers in life sciences will study plants, animals, and microorganisms amongst other scientific principles.

What 3rd Level Courses are Available?

  • Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:
    • Ecology – the study of the relationship between living things, including humans, and their environment.
    • Environmental Science – the study of how to solve environmental problems using biology, physics, and ecology.
    • Biology – the study of life and living things.

Studying Life Sciences in College

Most first year study involves an overview of the subject. This will offer students an introduction to the foundational principles of Life Sciences including biology, chemistry, and procedural practices. 

In subsequent years of study, students will combine practical work, written exams, and laboratory work as benchmark assessments of their course progression. 

Most undergraduate Life Sciences courses run for three or four years and in certain cases universities will facilitate work experience. 

It is common with all science-based subjects that students are expected to engage in a high number of contact hours with lecturers and tutors, ensuring their successful completion of a rigorous curriculum and preparing them for careers in Life Sciences after university.

A bachelor’s degree is adequate for some non-research jobs. For example, graduates with a bachelor’s degree may start working as researchers, pharmacists, and lab technicians.

Career Options

Graduating from college with a degree in Life Sciences will serve you well as it equips you with a unique and marketable skill set. A science degree teaches students to think critically and creatively as well as equipping them with invaluable problem solving and communication skills. 

Many recent graduates have gone into ‘entry-level’ careers in Life Sciences working as technicians, microbiologists, and clinical researchers. 

Other careers in Life Sciences that require a higher degree of responsibility will typically require further education, training and/or experience to qualify for, eg teaching, research and consulting positions.

 Related jobs include:

  • Biotechnologist
  • Biochemist
  • Computational Biologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Clinical Researcher
  • Pharmacist
  • Research Assistant
  • Bioinformatician
  • Biomedical Student
  • Ecologist

Further study

An undergraduate Life Sciences degree is often the first step to go onto further postgraduate study often involving specialization in particular fields and areas of Life Sciences and/or undertaking work in new, sometimes interdisciplinary fields. 

Visit postgrad.ie for more information.

FAQ

  • What points do I need to study Life Sciences?
    • Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always best that you check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.
    • Many universities also require a Leaving Cert grade O2/H6 in Mathematics, O2/H6 in Laboratory Science, and O6/H7 in English, Irish and two other recognized subjects. 
  • Are there any particular qualities you need to study Life Sciences?
    • Students interested in careers in Life Sciences will need to enjoy math and science as well as their application in the real world. They will need to be innovative, creative, and collaborative as well as being able to communicate their own ideas and opinions. 
  • Where can I study Life Sciences?
    • Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • The human body is made up of 100 trillion cells, but only 10% are human! The other 90% of cells come from bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms!
  • Human hair can support up to 12 metric tons of weight!
  • The average human sheds 40 pounds of skin over the course of their life!

Resources


Ethan Moser

Engineering Technology
Health & Safety Courses


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