Theoretical Physics

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN200
CAO Points Range 2019: 521
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 400

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?

The UCD Theoretical Physics degree puts emphasis on the mathematical description of physical phenomena, providing a unified picture of the fundamental laws of nature. It’s ideally suited to students who enjoy studying Mathematics and Physics for their Leaving Certificate. Insights from Theoretical Physics are driving our understanding of nature at all scales, from the origin of large-scale structures in the universe to the Planck scale, where our current understanding of space and time breaks down. The degree comprehensively covers Theoretical Physics, while developing your knowledge and expertise in problem solving, using analytical and computational techniques, which have wide application in, for example, biophysics, econophysics, quantum physics, relativity and nanoscience.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Theoretical Physics graduates can choose to develop careers in:

  • Academic and government research institutions
  • Energy technologies
  • Information and communication technology
  • Advanced materials [e.g. semiconductor industry]
  • Management consulting, stock market and financial risk analysis
  • Climate change and environmental impact analysis
  • Second- and third-level education

Our Theoretical Physics graduates are well prepared for further research and have successfully completed PhDs in MIT, Caltech, Harvard, Princeton and Cambridge, as well as in UCD.

What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Theoretical Physics. Topics include electromagnetism, mathematical modelling, mechanics and special relativity, vector calculus, statistical physics, fluid mechanics, computational science, quantum mechanics and nuclear physics, general relativity, and statistical physics.

First Year

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Optional Science modules
  • Elective module

Second Year

  • Theoretical Physics
  • + 1 Other Science Subject
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Theoretical Physics (includes Quantum Physics and Electrodynamics, Applied & Computational Mathematics and Mathematics)
  • Elective modules

Fourth Year

  • Theoretical Physics (including General Relativity, Quantum Field Theory, Statistical and Particle Physics, Applied & Computational Mathematics, Theoretical Physics 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 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

“In first year, I had the opportunity to sample a number of different modules in Physics and Chemistry before eventually choosing Theoretical Physics as my degree. The combination of problem solving, mathematics and real-world examples helped me make my decision. The staff and lecturers in the UCD School of Physics are very helpful and easy to approach and consistently provide a great deal of support to students. I have travelled to CERN in Geneva with the Physics Society which was a great experience. I also joined the UCD Surf Club where they regularly go on surf trips around Ireland as well as abroad. Recently, I travelled with the club to Taghazout in Morocco where I had an amazing time in the sun and met loads of new people outside my degree.”

Ian Smith Student

Canpus Tours

Slide background

UCD Campus Tours
Every Monday, Wednesday & Friday @ 1pm

x
Skip to content