Physics

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN200
CAO Points Range 2020: 533-625
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 420

Leaving Certificate:
  • O2/H6 in Mathematics
  • O2/H6 in a laboratory science (Applied Mathematics, Computer Science or Geography may be used instead of a laboratory science subject) and
  • O6/H7 in English, Irish and two other recognised subjects
Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

Physics is about the fundamental laws of the universe that govern living as well as non-living systems. It is a fundamental science, involving a deep understanding of nature derived from mathematical and experimental insights. Physics is the subject that constantly asks “why?”, questioning why matter and energy exist and act as they do, and discovering the underlying rules that govern their behaviour. Physicists now believe that all phenomena observed in the universe can be explained in terms of a handful of forces: gravity, electricity, magnetism, and weak and strong nuclear interactions.

Developments in physics have led to advances in many fields, including medicine and the semiconductor industry. Understanding physical principles and discovering new laws that explain our universe at an even deeper level are the challenges that confront physicists in the 21st century. The degree will develop your knowledge and skills in problem-solving, data analysis, computation and experimental techniques.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

The UCD Physics degree is an accredited Physics degree and recent Physics graduates have pursued careers in the following:

  • Energy technology
  • Medical physics
  • Meteorology
  • Advanced materials (e.g. semiconductor industry)
  • Geoscience
  • ICT and financial industries
  • Semi-state bodies such as EPA’s Office of Radiological Protection

Graduates are also eligible to apply for MSc programmes in Nanobio Science, Space Science & Technology, Nanotechnology, Medical Physics or Meteorology, or for PhD programmes in Ireland and abroad in diverse areas such as Radiation Physics, Physics of Advanced Materials, Atomic Physics, Particle Physics and Astrophysics.

What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Physics. Topics include relativity, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, thermal physics, optics and lasers, atomic and nuclear physics, particle physics, condensed matter physics and medical physics. Practical training develops core experimental skills including data acquisition techniques.

First Year

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Optional Science modules
  • Elective module

Second Year

  • Physics
  • + 1 Other Science Subject
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Physics
  • Elective modules
  • UCD offers research experience to undergraduates

Fourth Year

  • Physics (project, core physics and options including general relativity medical physics, ultrafast photonics, computational biophysics and astrophysics)

Timetables & Assessment

Each student will have their own timetable based on their individual module selection. This is a full time course and classes may include lectures, practicals and tutorials, depending on the subjects. Students will also be expected to study independently (autonomous student learning). Assessment varies with each module but may comprise continuous assessment of practicals, written exams and online learning activities.

For detailed information on subject content click here

You may be interested in the following Blog posts: Why choose Physics at UCD?

International Study Opportunities

Students can apply to study for a trimester or year in third year in a number of universities worldwide including:

  • University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
  • San Jose State University, California, USA
  • University of Melbourne, Australia

Testimonial

“I fell in love with Physics after discovering how much I appreciated being able to see what we learned in the classroom work first-hand in the lab. After Second Year I completed my first research internship with the UCD School of Physics. I worked closely with staff to write programs to solve equations describing white dwarf and neutron stars. I found this placement beneficial as it gave me my first taste of real scientific research. I travelled to the University of Notre Dame to undertake summer internship studying radioactive materials’ impact on the environment.”

Eimear Conroy, Graduate

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