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Course Title
Faculty of Science and Health

Physics with Astronomy

Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Physics with Astronomy

  • CAO CodeDC167
  • Course Type Undergraduate
  • NFQ Level 8
  • Delivery Modes Full-time
  • Min Points 2018 444
  • Duration 4 Years

The oldest of the sciences, astronomy is an almost boundless field, encompassing aspects of physics, astronomy, astrophysics, and the growing field of space science and technology.

Along with the fundamentals of physics and astronomy, the Physics with Astronomy degree’s curriculum includes optics, high-end computing and image processing.

Over the four years of this course you’ll have the chance to learn about observational astronomy and the instruments and techniques used to study the stars, and can look forward to working with real astronomical data from a variety of telescopes and observatories worldwide. Throughout, there is an emphasis on laboratory experience and you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with professional DCU astronomers whose work is at the forefront of international astronomical research.

Why do this course?

  • Personal attention from highly qualified and accessible staff
  • International astronomy field-trip and scholarship opportunities
  • Graduates are equipped for careers in the rapidly changing high technology sector including areas such as data science and big data requiring experience in handling and processing large data sets
  • Opportunity for further studies in physics, astronomy and astrophysics

Student Voice

The Physics with Astronomy programme in DCU offers a wide variety of challenging and exciting topics, and allows students to experience different aspects of potential careers that lie beyond graduating.  After completing the Physics with Astronomy programme I feel that I have a broad set of skills, ranging from mathematics and quantum mechanics, to astronomy, astrophysics and space engineering. I would recommend the course to anyone who enjoys challenging themselves to understanding difficult topics while also learning about the past and future of The Universe around us.

Stephanie Brophy Lee, Physics with Astronomy Graduate

About the course

Over the four years of this course, you’ll work with real astronomical data from a variety of telescopes and observatories worldwide. 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.

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 year of the course you’ll 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 that gives great scope for individual initiative. It also entails 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 with exceptional project work have received national and international awards from the Undergraduate Awards, the Institute of Physics and the International Society of Automation.

During the course, you’ll be encouraged to apply for scientific internship schemes, including visiting fellowships in organisations such as the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

View the current course structure →

Course Life

We have a unique and vibrant culture on our modern campus close to Dublin city centre. We provide state-of-the-art study facilities for all our courses and everything else you need for a healthy, fun and active student life.


Exceptional Facilities
DCU students enjoy exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our 3 academic campuses. These include modern learning theatres, research centres, television and sound studios, classrooms, computer suites and advanced laboratories in the areas of languages, engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology, as well as a sports performance centre and a virtual hospital ward.


A Vibrant, Dynamic Social Environment
Student facilities include a superb sports complex with a 25 metre pool, two libraries and The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre. In 2016 we announced plans to invest over €230m in developing new, world-class facilities across our three academic campuses. Already building has begun on an exciting, new €14m Student Centre that will be home to the more than one hundred and twenty student clubs and societies. This commitment to student facilities means that our world-class learning experiences are complemented by a vibrant, dynamic social environment.


You may choose to pursue postgraduate studies (MSc or PhD) in physics or astronomy or follow a career in a wide variety of areas:

  • Image Processing
  • Meteorology
  • Optical Instrumentation
  • Research and Development
  • Signal Acquisition Instrumentation
  • Software Engineer
  • Statistical Analysis

In these areas


Leaving Certificate

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

Minimum of O3 or H6 in Mathematics and minimum of O3 or H5 in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics with Chemistry or Applied Mathematics

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 B Mathematics and GCE A Level D or GCE AS Level C or GCSE B in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Physics with Chemistry

FETAC Level 5

For details of FETAC requirements and relevant codes please click here. Simply enter the DC code for the programme you 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 achieved an appropriate standard in the major subjects covered in Year One. 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 examinations

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