Prospective Students

B.Sc. in Physics with Astronomy (Bachelor Honours Degree)


Fact File

CAO Code: DC167
Points Last Year: 440
Duration: 4 yrs
Type of degree: Full-time
Contact: Dr. Masha Chernyakova

Understanding the Course:

Using Physics to Unravel the Mysteries of the Universe.

Understanding Physics with Astronomy

Astronomy, the oldest of the sciences, remains a highly 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.

About You:

If you are interested in how the world works, and how science seeks to answer the big questions, if you have a logical mind and competency in mathematics, then Physics with Astronomy may be the course for you!

Course Structure:

Over the four years of this course you can look forward to working with real astronomical data from a variety of telescopes and observatories worldwide.

The first two years focus on classical and modern physics, combined with various aspects of astronomy, as well as mathematics, electronics and computing. In Year Three you can take a five-day field trip to a foreign observatory or choose to work in industry or a research group as part of your INTRA placement.

In the final years of the course, you will have a choice of topics, allowing you to concentrate on various applied aspects relating to physics and astronomy.

A major element of Year Four is your individual laboratory-based project. Students always find this work rewarding and enjoyable as it gives great scope for individual initiative. It also means working with professional astronomers on the academic staff at DCU whose work is at the forefront of international astronomical research. On several occasions, final-year physics students have, on several occasions, received national awards from the Institute of Physics and the Instrument Society of America on the basis of their project work.

Throughout the degree, there is an emphasis on laboratory and project work (both individually and in groups), and IT skills, which are valuable skills for your future.

As a student you will be encouraged to apply for scientific internship schemes including SFI UREKA fellowships, CERN and ESA summer student programmes, among others.

View the subjects currently taught on this course (2016 - 2017)

Why DCU:

  • Highly qualified and internationally recognised staff.
  • Classes exclusive to Physics students means more personal attention.
  • Field trip to an observatory abroad in third year.
  • Ideal preparation for the rapidly changing modern technological work environment.

International Students
Non-native English speakers who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to apply to the International Foundation Certificate (IFC) course. This course will help you to achieve the English language requirements necessary for entry to this course. It will also help you to adjust to the culture of irish university learning. See for full details of the IFC course.

Career Prospects:

With your B.Sc. behind you, you'll find opportunities in a wide range of business, scientific and industrial sectors, both in the areas of physics and also astronomy and space science. Employers want people with technical knowledge who also have good written and oral communication skills and who are capable of working well independently or in a team environment. These are all skills you will learn on this course.

Potential careers include:
• Research and development in astronomy/astrophysics and space science
• Meteorology
• Image processing and analysis (e.g. medical physics companies and organisations)
• Signal acquisition instrumentation
• Optical instrumentation / photonics design and validation
• Statistical analysis

The international nature of both physics and astronomy means that you will have many opportunities for travel or you may prefer to pursue postgraduate studies (M.Sc. or Ph.D.) in physics or astronomy.

What Our Graduates Say
"Physics with Astronomy is an excellent course for anyone who always wanted to know how the world works. Students gain an understanding of a wide range of areas - anything from how spectacles work to how the Universe was created."
Conor Farrell, B.Sc. Physics with Astronomy, 2007

Entry Requirements:

Leaving Certificate
In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to the university the following entry requirements apply:

OC3 or HD3 in Mathematics PLUS Grade OC3 or HD3 in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics with Chemistry, Agricultural Science

GCE A Level
In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to the university the following entry requirements apply:

GCE A-Level D or GCE AS-Level C or GCSE C in Mathematics PLUS GCE A-Level D or GCE AS-Level C or GCSE C in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Agricultural Science

FETAC Level 5

For details of FETAC requirements and relevant codes please click here. Simply enter the DC code for the programme your are interested in or if you are not sure of the code enter DC in the Select by Institution option, then click on Go.

Transfer Applications
Holders of Higher Certificate /National Certificates or Bachelor (Ordinary) Degree/National Diplomas with Merit or Distinction may be admitted into second year if the relevant Programme Boards are satisfied that the candidate has already achieved an appropriate standard in the major subjects covered in Year 1. Direct entry into third year is possible for well-motivated students holding a distinction at Diploma level in a related discipline.

International Applications
International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving/FETAC Level 5 examinations:

Apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February or 1st May

Applicants presenting examinations from outside the EU:

Candidates should apply directly to DCU. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis up to 1st July. All Non-EU candidates are advised to apply early, as places are limited.

Mature Applicants

All mature applicants apply through the CAO by 1st February. For further information and for special application procedures for mature students, please click here

EU Transfer Applicants

Apply directly to DCU by the 1st July

Make an Application

Candidates required to apply through the CAO can apply online at
Candidates required to apply directly to DCU can download, print and complete a direct application form by clicking here

Fee information