Physics, Mathematics & Education

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8) & MSc (NFQ Level 9)

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Curricular information is subject to change.

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Why is this course for me?

If you are interested in Physics and Mathematics, and think you might like to teach these subjects at post-primary level, then this degree subject may be for you. It’s designed so that you study physics, mathematics and education in an integrated manner. Throughout the degree subject you will gain teaching experience through structured educational placements.

The four-year BSc Physics, Mathematics & Education leads directly to the one-year MSc Mathematics and Science Education. On completion of both degrees, you are fully qualified to teach Physics and Mathematics to Higher Level Leaving Certificate Level and Science to Junior Certificate Level.

Key Fact

The five-year course is fully accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland.

Placements are integrated into this course from first year, with year-long placements at two different post-primary schools during the final two years of the course.

Course Pathways
What Will I Study

Physics, Mathematics & Education is one of the degree subjects in the Science, Mathematics & Education stream in the common entry Science course.

Students study the modules required for the Physics, Mathematics & Education in first year and will study modules for a minimum of two degree subjects in second year. Students interested in Science, Mathematics & Education degree subjects also have the choice to pursue the modules required for degree subjects in other streams within the common entry Science course. At the end of second year, students choose their degree major. Assuming students meet all the academic requirements in first and second year, students are guaranteed a degree subject from the stream they are studying in second year. We do our best to ensure that students go on to study their top degree subject choice. As we offer plenty of degree subjects in each stream, students have a number of similar degree subjects to choose from as their degree major. This is a sample pathway for Physics, Mathematics & Education.

First Year

  • Scientific Enquiry
  • Mathematics & Science Education & Communication
  • Foundations of Physics
  • Frontiers of Physics
  • Linear Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Statistical Modelling
  • Optional Modules
  • Elective Module

Second Year

  • Key Ideas in Education
  • Science & Mathematics Pedagogy
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Electronics and Devices
  • Fields, Waves and Light
  • Methods for Physicists
  • Thermal Physics
  • Calculus of Several Variables
  • Differential Equations
  • Mathematical Analysis
  • Elective Modules

Third Year

  • Schools and Society
  • Post-Primary Placement
  • Peer-Assisted Tutoring
  • Classical Mechanics and Relativity
  • Electromagnetism
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Algebraic Structures
  • Probability Theory
  • Option Modules
  • Elective Modules

Fourth Year

  • Pedagogical Approaches to Mathematics and Science
  • Psychology for Teaching & Learning
  • Year-Long Placement in Post-Primary School
  • Group Theory
  • Geometry
  • Complex Analysis
  • History of Mathematics

Fifth Year

  • Research Methods
  • Professional Dissertation
  • Year-Long Placement in Post-Primary School
  • Continuous Professional Development

For detailed information on subject content click here

You may be interested in the following Blog posts: Students Summer Internship Programme & Starting my PhD

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

After graduating with their BSc, students proceed to the MSc in Mathematics & Science Education.

Placements are integrated into this 5-year course from first year, with all undergraduate placements arranged for you. Care is taken to gradually introduce you to school placements, to enable you to build your knowledge and confidence before teaching a class of pupils.

During the last two years of the course, students are assigned year-long placements at two different post-primary schools. These placements are designed so that students not only obtain teaching experience, but also gain a whole-of-school experience through participating in parent-teacher meetings, timetabling etc. The complete five-year course is fully accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland.

Other Entry Routes

“I had trouble choosing the right course because I had so many interests; maths and physics, essay writing, public speaking, and children’s development. I wanted a course that combined all these interests; then I found the Physics, Mathematics & Education degree in UCD Science. It combined all these areas and was the perfect fit for me. I encounter unique perspectives and ideas in every class. The structure of the course was also extremely appealing with plenty of time to think about our decisions. In UCD, I am currently part of the leadership committee for Draw Society, and I highly recommend everyone to get involved in clubs and societies.”

Hanna Biju, Student

Contact Information

Assistant Professor Aoibhinn Ní Shúileabháin
UCD School of Mathematics & Statistics
Belfield, Dublin 4


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