Physics

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN200 MPG
CAO Points Range 2016: 510 - 625
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 402

Leaving Certificate:

Passes in six subjects including English, Irish, Mathematics (Min O3/H6 in LC or equivalent), one laboratory science subject (Min O3/H6 in LC or equivalent.) Applied Mathematics or Geography may be used instead of a laboratory science subject) & two other recognised subjects.

You must obtain a minimum of Grade H5 in two subjects and a minimum of Grade O6/H7 in the remaining four 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. It 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.

X-rays, radioactivity and particle beams have led to advances in medicine. The invention of lasers and solid-state transistors by physicists paved the way for computers, DVD players and iPods. 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.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Recent 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 fields, waves and light, quantum mechanics, astrophysics, thermal physics, optics and lasers, atomic and nuclear physics, particle physics, condensed matter physics and medical physics.

First Year

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Optional Science modules
  • Elective modules

Second Year

  • Physics
  • + 1 Other Science Subject
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Physics
  • Elective modules

Fourth Year

  • Physics (includes a research project)

All Science courses are full time, with many student timetables running from 9.00am to 5.00pm or later. Depending on the subject choices, a weekly timetable can include lectures, practicals and tutorials.

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 the relevant link below:
First Year
Second Year
Third – Fourth Year

International Study Opportunities

Students can apply to study for a semester 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 graduated from UCD Physics with a BSc in 1996 and, following a PhD in Nuclear Physics at Manchester University, landed a job as a Mission Systems Engineer at EADS Astrium. My job was to examine future planetary and space science missions in support of the European Space Agency. I was also central to the development of a national ‘Nanosatellite’ programme for the UK (UKube) – something I wish to see for Ireland. I now work as a Programme Manager for AMPAC-ISP at its Dublin HQ, being responsible for spacecraft propulsion development programmes such as a new European High Thrust engine.”

Dr Ronan Wall, Graduate