School of Physical Sciences

Undergraduate Programmes

Programme Descriptions

Please see a description of our Physics degree courses below.

Our undergraduate students can follow one of the following courses:

B.Sc. Physics with Biomedical Sciences DC173


Physics is the most fundamental of all the sciences and has fuelled most of the scientific and technological developments that we take for granted today. Since the discovery of X-rays by Roentgen in 1895, a number of the major discoveries of the 20th century have also played a fundamental role in advancing medicine and medical instruments. Suffice it only to mention magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, radiotherapy treatment or laser eye surgery, to realise how familiar we are with medical applications of physics! The course has been designed to provide both a solid background in physics and in the principles which underpin chemical, biological and life sciences, and a good understanding of the most recent developments such as nanosystem design or ultrafast molecular switching. It is ideally suited to the needs of students who intend to pursue a career in physics and technology related to medical research, clinical services or biomedical industries. St James's Hospital, Dublin, is a partner in both the development and the running of the Physics with Biomedical Sciences programme.

"This programme covers physics with the chemical and biological principles and techniques needed to pursue a career in biomedical health and medical physics, incorporating a placement in industry, research group or a hospital  medical physics department. The course covers fundamental physics combined with specialised topics, such as, Radiation Physics, Advanced Biomaterials and Processing Technology, Lasers in Medicine and Biology, Biophotonics, Medical Imaging and Immunology, and it is focused on combining physics with the fundamentals of chemistry, biochemistry, biology, physiology and anatomy." - Dr Jean-Paul Mosnier


B.Sc. Physics with Astronomy DC167


Astronomy, the oldest of the sciences, remains a spectacularly appealing science for the general public and prospective third level students alike. This course is designed to appeal to everyone with an interest in physics, astronomy, astrophysics, space science and technology. You will gain a solid background in fundamental physics as well as optics, high end computing and image processing. You will have the chance to learn about the exciting subject of observational astronomy and the instruments and techniques used to study the stars. You will also learn about the growing field of space science and technology, which is intimately linked to many aspects of astronomy. It is a truly exciting course that knows no bounds.

"Physics with Astronomy is an excellent course for anyone who always wanted to know how the world works. It provides the student with an understanding of a wide range of areas - anything from how spectacles work to how the Universe was created."- Conor Farrell, Lab Technician, School of Physical Sciencesgraduated 2007.


B.Sc. Applied Physics DC171

applied physics

Physics is the most fundamental of all the sciences and has fuelled most of the scientific and technological developments that we take for granted today. Apart from "basic" discoveries, such as electricity, physics is also the science behind "modern" technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones. Life-changing developments such as the silicon chip and MRI scanners were also pioneered by physicists. Today physicists continue to lead discovery, invention and innovation in revolutionary but yet-to-be-exploited physics such as quantum information and communications technology (q-ICT), nanosystems design, ultrafast molecular switching, terahertz medical imaging, etc. Applied Physics emphasises the "real-world" applications as well as providing a foundation in the basics of physics.

"DCU Applied Physics gave me the insight and understanding into the science behind the technical processes that I work on."
- Patricia McLoughlin, Process Engineer, INTEL, graduated 1997.



We also teach Physics modules to students of the following courses:


B.Sc. Science Education DC203

Science Education

Understanding Science Education Science and technology are a vital part of our day to day existence, so having an understanding of science, even at a basic level, is important and valuable for everyone. A good understanding of science at secondary school allows us to really understand the science and science issues that are important to our society. As a science teacher this will be your opportunity to shape young minds and prepare them for a bright future. If the recent successes of the Irish economy are to be sustained, it is essential to provide our school leavers with the option of taking science and engineering courses in third level education. A science teacher's role is to develop our understanding of the world in which we live and educate future generations of scientists, engineers and technicians. Science Education will give you a teaching qualification with specialisation in chemistry and physics, and strong elements of information and communication technology (ICT) and mathematics. Teachers with this degree are highly skilled and motivated and are much sought after in the second level education system.

"My time at DCU was an enjoyable and invaluable experience that allowed me to pursue a very fulfilling career in science education."
- Claire Kelly, Physics Teacher, St Mary's Diocesan School, Drogheda, Graduated 2003


B.Sc. Common Entry into Science DC201

common entry

The sciences are driving development in the Irish economy and will continue to do so. Accordingly, job prospects for science graduates are excellent. Biology, Chemistry and Physics are fascinating subjects and especially rewarding if you have a 'feel' for them. The Common Entry route allows you to sample the three sciences in first year, so you can decide which you enjoy most and which you are best at before choosing the subject area you want to pursue.

"Common Entry into Science was a great course with a wide variety of subjects to study. The labs were always interesting and the physics lecturers especially stood out as being really good."
– Stephen Grimes, Third Year B.Sc. Applied Physics


B.Sc. Environmental Science & Health DC166

Understanding Environmental Science and Health In recent years we have all become increasingly aware of environmental issues and their effects on our health. Problems such as diminishing fossil fuel reserves, radioactive and general waste management, and climate change have captured the imagination of the public and politicians alike. On this course, you will be encouraged to explore the traditional science disciplines of chemistry, physics and biology in combination with the discipline of health. In this way you will gain an understanding of the cause of the problems we face, and gain the skills necessary to reduce their impact on the public's health, as well as improving the state of the environment.

"DCU Environmental Science and Health combines all the major sciences giving a well rounded, problem and solution based approach to current environmental issues." - Rachel Kelly, Project Co-ordinator, Alcontrol,  Graduated 2007