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International Development and Food Policy (BSc (Hons))

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Programme Description

Are you interested in human rights, health, education and environment in the context of development? Or the UN's sustainable goals and the fight against global hunger and poverty?  If so, this programme will be of interest to you.

The BSc International Development and Food Policy is the first undergraduate programme in Ireland to have a primary focus on international development, particularly on the countries of the global south. It will help you understand key issues of development and deliver skills such as languages, research techniques and project management.

In Year 3, you will have the opportunity to undertake a five-month work placement, typically with a development agency based in a developing country in Africa or Asia. 

The course addresses key challenges in global development:

  • Poverty and hunger
  • Agricultural and rural development
  • Food policy and food systems
  • Human rights, governance and gender
  • Health and development
  • Climate change
  • Role of international development agencies and non-governmental organisations
  • Migration and Refugees

It aims to:

  • Develop your understanding of the multidimensional nature of international development
  • Develop your understanding of cross-disciplinary methods for analysis of key development challenges
  • Equip you with practical skills to address global challenges
  • Ensure you can work effectively as individuals and in team settings

 

Year 1
Core modules:

  • Development studies
  • Food and agricultural economics
  • Rural development
  • Poverty and development
  • Data and development
  • Communications skills

You can also pursue optional courses in languages, health, nutrition or government.

Year 2
Core modules:

  • Food policy
  • Globalisation and development
  • Sustainable livelihoods
  • Supply chain management
  • Human rights law
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Small enterprise development

You can also pursue optional courses in languages, health, nutrition or government.

Year 3
Core modules:

  • Programme planning and management
  • Research methods
  • Agricultural systems in the developing world
  • Gender and development
  • Microfinance or food marketing

A key undertaking in Year 3 is the 24-week work placement: in most cases the placement is overseas in a developing country working with a development organisation. 

Year 4
You will write a dissertation on a topic relevant to international development. You will also study modules in:

  • Advanced programme planning
  • Global food policy
  • Macro-economics 
  • Humanitarian action 
  • Contemporary issues in development.

In addition, you can take optional courses in rural development, co-operatives, markets and social policy, languages, health and government.

See the College Calendar for more detailed information on the programme and the Book of Modules for a more detailed description of programme modules.

Why Choose This Course

On this course, students engage with major global issues from a development perspective. These issues include poverty, hunger and inequality, sustainability, international food policy, human rights, peace and conflict, gender studies and climate change.

The course will give you the foundations necessary to work in the field of international development, whether with a non-governmental organisation, a state agency, an international organisation or within the private sector, or to advance to further study.  A distinctive feature of this course is the five-month work placement with a development agency, usually based in a developing country in Asia, Africa or Latin America. This allows students to gain hands-on experience of working in international development, to develop their practical skills and experience other cultures and societies.

The course provides a broad training in key socio-economic areas related to international development and food policy, as well as a set of generic transferable skills, such as programme management, research and report writing that will be valued by employers in many fields, particularly those operating in an international context.

Key facts

  • In-depth focus on international development and food policy issues over four years
  • Course input from development practitioners
  • Mix of theoretical and practical skills
  • Multi-disciplinary staff with a wealth of international experience
  • International work experience with a recognised development organisation

Skills and Careers Information

Students on this course develop skills to work effectively in the areas of international development and food policy. These include project management, research methods, data analysis, programme evaluation and policy analysis. Students also develop a strong understanding of key global issues such as global poverty and hunger, migration, sustainable development,  human rights, race, gender, conflict and food systems. Students acquire general transferrable skills in areas such as IT, economic literacy, capacity for cross disciplinary understanding, team work, communications and report writing. French, Chinese and Spanish language options are also available.

Graduates  work in a wide range of organisations, e.g., within the UN system on refugee issues (UNHCR) and on gender equality (UN Women). Graduates also work in some of Ireland’s largest NGOs, including Concern and Trócaire, in areas such as agricultural development, human rights, poverty alleviation and food programmes. Employers value the diverse skills of our graduates who are well-prepared for work in  a wide variety of public and private sector organisations.

Study Abroad

A central feature of the course is the work placement, which takes place over five months in third year. Students are placed with well-established development organisations throughout the developing world and in Ireland to gain first-hand experience of development work. Students on placement are supported by a Placement Officer and allocated a Mentor from the Department of Food Business and Development.

A typical work experience includes opportunities to meet with communities in urban and rural areas, contribute to new development projects, run a social media campaign, conduct field reserach, draft policy document and funding proposals, and generally contribute to the daily operations of the host organisation.

Countries to which students travel include Ethiopia, India, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Cambodia, Thailand and Bolivia. As well as the practical experience of development on the ground and the technical skills acquired on placement, you will achieve valuable personal development in terms of self-reliance, self-confidence, communications,  and working in teams.

Africa Direct have found the students to be very helpful in getting a good insight into how our partners are performing. The standard of students has been very high and they have produced insightful reports as well as working productively for partners.” – John Slattery, Africa Direct.

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • Communicate and work effectively to a professional standard;
  • Demonstrate analytical and problem solving skills associated with effective practice;
  • Engage in the application of frameworks and techniques in organisational settings;
  • Demonstrate understanding of social and economic development in a global context;
  • Demonstrate ability to engage with key global issues from an inter-disciplinary perspective.
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Practicalities & Assessment

Direct contact hours through lectures normally comprise 12 hours per week. In first year, additional tutorials may be scheduled. There is a significant amount of continuous assessment in the course, including through assignments, group projects, in-class presentations. Students are expected to devote sufficient time to reading, preparation of assignments etc, as required in a full-time course.

Overseas placement in 3rd year will cost approximately €3,000 - €4,000 (partial bursaries may be available). 

Assessment

Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May.  Not all modules will have formal examinations.  Many modules use other types of assessment including written assignments, group projects, in-class presentations, and some in-class tests.

The work placement in Year 3 is assessed on a pass/fail basis.

 

Full module information is detailed in the section below.

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Modules

Year 1

  • Poverty and Development

    Year 1

    Poverty and Development (FE1006)

    To develop an understanding of the linkages between poverty and development

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  • Data in Development Studies

    Year 1

    Data in Development Studies (FE1008)

    To introduce the use and relevance of data analysis in development studies.

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  • Introduction to Development Studies I

    Year 1

    Introduction to Development Studies I (FE1013)

    (i) To introduce students to the field of development studies (ii) To develop an understanding of concept of development, especially in the majority world context (iii) To explore alternative strategies for economic and social development.

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  • Communication and Facilitation Skills in Development

    Year 1

    Communication and Facilitation Skills in Development (FE1014)

    To give the student a good understanding of the theories and principles of communications. To impart communications skills implicit in development situations. To familiarise the student with technologies useful to communications.

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  • Rural Development Theory, Policy and Practice

    Year 1

    Rural Development Theory, Policy and Practice (FE1015)

    The objective of this module is to introduce and familiarise the student with a theoretical, policy and practical context for rural development.

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  • Introduction to Development Studies II

    Year 1

    Introduction to Development Studies II (FE1018)

    (i) To develop an advanced understanding of concepts of development (ii) To engage with the debate among practitioners and academics concerned with economic and social progress in the developing world.

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  • Introduction to Food and Agricultural Economics

    Year 1

    Introduction to Food and Agricultural Economics (FE1019)

    To gain an understanding of the fundamentals of economic problems, develop an understanding of economic theory especially price and output determination; cost and production theories, demand and supply and evaluating the implications for agri-food in rela

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  • Principles of Agricultural and Resource Economics

    Year 1

    Principles of Agricultural and Resource Economics (FE1020)

    To understand the nature and behaviour of agricultural markets and price relationships among markets. Why they are different from the markets for other consumer goods. Why market structure matters to market outcomes and to develop effective analytical t

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  • Socio-Economic Concepts for International Development and Food Policy

    Year 1

    Socio-Economic Concepts for International Development and Food Policy (FE1023)

    To introduce students to the socio-economic concepts relevant to the study of international development and food policy; to develop the student's ability to apply such concepts throughout their subsequent course of study.

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Year 1 - Elective

  • Democracy, Ideology and Utopia

    Year 1 - Elective

    Democracy, Ideology and Utopia (GV1204)

    This module introduces students to the role of ideas in politics by surveying some of the most significant forms of political thinking that underpin and inform political life.

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  • Threshold French

    Year 1 - Elective

    Threshold French (FR1105)

    To develop both productive and receptive skills. By the end of this module, students should have made general progress towards reaching the Common European Framework level B1.

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  • French for Reading Purposes I

    Year 1 - Elective

    French for Reading Purposes I (FR1107)

    To develop competence in the reading of authentic journalistic texts. By the end of this module, students should have moved towards reaching the Common European Framework level B1+ in reading skills.

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  • Spanish Language (Beginner Level)

    Year 1 - Elective

    Spanish Language (Beginner Level) (HS0028)

    To improve a student's skill in Spanish by one level on the language ability scale.

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  • Development, Conflict and Peace I

    Year 1 - Elective

    Development, Conflict and Peace I (FE1021)

    To examine the causes and effects of conflict, the means used to mitigate conflict, and post-conflict consequences with particular reference to development and developing country contexts.

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  • Development, Conflict and Peace II

    Year 1 - Elective

    Development, Conflict and Peace II (FE1022)

    To examine the causes and effects of conflict, the means used to mitigate conflict, and post-conflict consequences with particular reference to development and developing country contexts.

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  • Introduction to Government and Politics

    Year 1 - Elective

    Introduction to Government and Politics (GV1102)

    To provide students with an introduction to government and politics

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Year 2

Year 2 - Elective

  • Threshold French

    Year 2 - Elective

    Threshold French (FR1105)

    To develop both productive and receptive skills. By the end of this module, students should have made general progress towards reaching the Common European Framework level B1.

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  • French for Reading Purposes I

    Year 2 - Elective

    French for Reading Purposes I (FR1107)

    To develop competence in the reading of authentic journalistic texts. By the end of this module, students should have moved towards reaching the Common European Framework level B1+ in reading skills.

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  • Towards Vantage French

    Year 2 - Elective

    Towards Vantage French (FR2105)

    To consolidate and extend students' linguistic skills in order to reach greater competence in the language. By the end of this module, students should be moving towards reaching Common European Framework level B1+

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  • French for Reading Purposes II

    Year 2 - Elective

    French for Reading Purposes II (FR2107)

    To broaden competence in the reading of authentic texts; to explore aspects of the relationship between France and its network of intervention relationships. By the end of this module, students should have moved towards reaching the Common European Framew

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  • Spanish Language (Beginner Level)

    Year 2 - Elective

    Spanish Language (Beginner Level) (HS0028)

    To improve a student's skill in Spanish by one level on the language ability scale.

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  • Spanish Language (Improver [01] Level)

    Year 2 - Elective

    Spanish Language (Improver [01] Level) (HS0128)

    To improve a student's skill in Spanish by one level on the language ability scale.

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  • Development, Conflict and Peace I

    Year 2 - Elective

    Development, Conflict and Peace I (FE1021)

    To examine the causes and effects of conflict, the means used to mitigate conflict, and post-conflict consequences with particular reference to development and developing country contexts.

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  • Development, Conflict and Peace II

    Year 2 - Elective

    Development, Conflict and Peace II (FE1022)

    To examine the causes and effects of conflict, the means used to mitigate conflict, and post-conflict consequences with particular reference to development and developing country contexts.

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  • Citizen Participation

    Year 2 - Elective

    Citizen Participation (GV2229)

    To examine political mobilisation and public participation in the democratic process.

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  • Public Management Concepts

    Year 2 - Elective

    Public Management Concepts (GV2230)

    To develop an understanding of public management concepts moving from the traditional model of public administration to new public management and beyond.

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  • Chinese Politics

    Year 2 - Elective

    Chinese Politics (GV2239)

    Introduction to the politics of Modern China

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  • International Security

    Year 2 - Elective

    International Security (GV2240)

    To introduce students to contemporary security challenges and the academic analysis of international security.

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  • Introduction to Theories and Practices of Health Promotion

    Year 2 - Elective

    Introduction to Theories and Practices of Health Promotion (EH2008)

    To provide an introduction to the discipline of Health Promotion as an area of study and practice, including historical and contemporary contexts and theories, along with local and global perspectives.

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  • Public Health Issues

    Year 2 - Elective

    Public Health Issues (EH2009)

    To provide an introduction to public health as an area of study and practice, with local and global perspectives.

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  • Fundamentals of Nutrition Part 1

    Year 2 - Elective

    Fundamentals of Nutrition Part 1 (NT2013)

    To review the macronutrients, vitamins, minerals and trace elements that are needed for health.

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  • Introduction to Food Business

    Year 2 - Elective

    Introduction to Food Business (FE1016)

    To provide students with an understanding of the food business chain by evaluating the salient issues addressed by various stakeholders.

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  • Foundations of Management and Organisational Behaviour

    Year 2 - Elective

    Foundations of Management and Organisational Behaviour (MG1000)

    To introduce students to the history and development of management thought, and to explore the challenges of managing individuals and groups within organisations

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Year 3

  • Programme Planning and Management

    Year 3

    Programme Planning and Management (FE3008)

    To introduce and appraise methods of programme planning and management in development

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  • Development Management and Organisations

    Year 3

    Development Management and Organisations (FE3009)

    To analyse the nature and role of development organisations in development

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  • Gender and Development

    Year 3

    Gender and Development (FE3010)

    To develop an understanding of the ways in which gender inequalities are constructed and the impact of mainstream development on gender relations

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  • Work Placement

    Year 3

    Work Placement (FE3013)

    To provide an opportunity for students to gain practical experience of development practices and processes.

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  • Socio-Economic Research in Development

    Year 3

    Socio-Economic Research in Development (FE3015)

    To give students an understanding of the aims and process of socio-economic research in development, and the various approaches to data collection, statistics and computerised data analysis; to introduce students to technical report writing.

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  • Agriculture and Natural Resource Use in the Developing World

    Year 3

    Agriculture and Natural Resource Use in the Developing World (FE3018)

    To provide students with an in-depth understanding of agricultural systems, natural resource use and related policy issues in developing countries.

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  • SME and Local Development

    Year 3

    SME and Local Development (FE3101)

    To examine the role of SME in development, the unique characteristics of SME Development, the SME business environment and key factors influencing successful SME development strategies.

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Year 3 - Elective

  • Food Marketing Management

    Year 3 - Elective

    Food Marketing Management (FE3205)

    This module provides an insight into supply chain management challenges in both local and international markets. It also provides the perspective and management tools to support the development and implementation of marketing strategies.

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  • Micro-Finance and Development

    Year 3 - Elective

    Micro-Finance and Development (FE3016)

    To review and evaluate innovative approaches for increasing the supply and range of financial services to the poor and their contribution to economic and social development.

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  • International Relations of Asia

    Year 3 - Elective

    International Relations of Asia (GV3219)

    To develop an understanding of the political, security and economic interests of Asia's major powers.

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Year 4

Year 4 - Elective

  • Global Governance

    Year 4 - Elective

    Global Governance (GV4401)

    To develop an understanding of contemporary global governance and its challenges

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  • Co-operative Business and the Rural Economy

    Year 4 - Elective

    Co-operative Business and the Rural Economy (FE4009)

    To evaluate the role of cooperative businesses in the development of the rural economy.

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  • Co-operative Banking

    Year 4 - Elective

    Co-operative Banking (FE4414)

    To analyse the role of co-operative savings and credit institutions in development, particularly in an Irish context.

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  • Rural Development Policy

    Year 4 - Elective

    Rural Development Policy (FE4416)

    To examine and review contemporary policy and practice of rural development within a European context.

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  • Spanish Language (Beginner Level)

    Year 4 - Elective

    Spanish Language (Beginner Level) (HS0028)

    To improve a student's skill in Spanish by one level on the language ability scale.

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  • Spanish Language (Improver [01] Level)

    Year 4 - Elective

    Spanish Language (Improver [01] Level) (HS0128)

    To improve a student's skill in Spanish by one level on the language ability scale.

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  • European Food Business

    Year 4 - Elective

    European Food Business (FE4450)

    To provide students with an understanding on aspects of the structure, strategies and competitiveness of the European Food and Beverage industry.

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  • Promoting Health with Communities

    Year 4 - Elective

    Promoting Health with Communities (EH4004)

    To provide students with the principles, knowledge and skills appropriate to working effectively with community members and voluntary/non-governmental organisations in the promotion and development of positive health determinants and health outcomes, loca

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  • Global Health and Development

    Year 4 - Elective

    Global Health and Development (EH4009)

    To introduce students to contemporary issues in global health and development.

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For full programme requirements, please refer to the University College Cork Academic Calendar here

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Entry Requirements

Leaving Certificate entry requirements

Minimum grade H5 in two subjects and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish.

Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:

English

Irish

Maths

O6/H7

O6/H7

O6/H7

*For 2021 entry, students must achieve a minimum O6/H7 in another language.

Mature students

Applicants should apply directly through the CAO (www.cao.ie), include a statement of interest and may be called for interview.  Applicants are assessed on education, life and/or relevant experience as demonstrated in the CAO Application and statement of interest.  Approximately five places are available on this course for mature applicants.

International Students should visit the International Education website.

FETAC Requirements

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. 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. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

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Application Process

EU Applicants

Application to Year 1 of the degree programme is made directly through the Central Applications Office (CAO). Applicants should apply online at www.cao.ie. The normal closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of entry.

Non-EU Applicants

Mature Applicants

Application is made through the CAO (www.cao.ie) and the closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of proposed entry.

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can also apply online at PAC.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students.

**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. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

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New Leaving Cert Scale

Revised Common Points Scale for Entry into Higher Education

The revised scale, which has been developed collaboratively by the universities and institutes of technology, builds on the package of reforms announced by the Minister in April, and will apply to students who sit the Leaving Certificate from 2017.

The main features of the new scale are that:

  • it maintains the current alignment between the points awarded for achievement at Higher Level and the points awarded for achievement at Ordinary Level;
  • the difference in the points awarded for each grade varies, reducing the probability that students will achieve the same overall points score. This will help to minimise the allocation of places in higher education by random selection;
  • it will encourage the take-up of Higher Level subjects through the introduction of points for the new H7 grade.
  • it continues to award Bonus Points for Higher Level Maths

Source: www.transition.ie

For more information on the new grading scale for leaving certificate students at UCC

PLEASE VISIT THE UCC ADMISSIONS OFFICE

FAQS on NEW GRADING SCHEME