School of Physical Sciences

Physics with Astronomy

Physics with Astronomy
CAO Code:
Course Type:
Undergraduate
NFQ Level:
8 - Please see www.qqi.ie for further information
Delivery Mode:
Full-time
Minimum Points
434
Duration:
4 yr
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700 7375
Programme PDF

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There is no direct entry to the programme via CAO. All entries to this programme are via DC175 Physics General Entry

On successful completion of Physics General Entry you will progress to Year Two of one of the following, and complete three further years of study: 

  • BSc in Applied Physics
  • BSc in Physics with Astronomy 
  • BSc in Physics with Biomedical Sciences

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 duration 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.

Over the duration 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

For more information on every aspect of studying at DCU visit our CAO Hub where you can listen to taster lectures, hear from our student ambassadors and find answers to frequently asked questions.

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.

We have three academic campuses close to Dublin City centre - they are located in Glasnevin and Drumcondra, and can be reached by public transport (Dublin Bus).

Each campus has libraries, study spaces, restaurants, and on-campus residencies. Sports facilities are located on two of the academic campuses. We also have a dedicated sports campus in the form of St Claire’s. 

 

Exceptional facilities

DCU students have access to exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our three academic campuses. 

These include modern learning theatres, research centres, new media and TV studio, radio/podcast studios, classrooms, computer suites and advanced labs in the areas of languages, engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology, as well as a sports performance centre and training hospital ward. In 2021, we opened our first virtual reality ‘Leadership Lab’, which is located in our Business School.

Construction on our FutureTech building on the Glasnevin campus will get underway in 2022. Once completed, this facility will advance DCU’s international reputation for excellence in science and health, computing and engineering disciplines. It will have the capacity to accommodate an additional 3,000 STEM students on the university’s Glasnevin campus.

 

Campus life

DCU student facilities boast a fully equipped sports complex with a 25-metre pool, three libraries and The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre.

Our purpose built, state-of-the-art new student centre known as 'The U' serves the needs of a rapidly growing student body of 18,500. It is home to the Student Leadership and Lifeskills Centre, performing arts and cultural spaces for students and the wider community, and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub.

DCU Students' Union and the Office of Student Life are also based in the U. The centre is a space for students where they can meet, with lots of charging points and isolation booths. Clubs and socs avail of meeting rooms here and it's also home to DCUFM. NuBar, Londis and the Venue are also located here.

There are more than 140 clubs and societies for students in DCU, with ‘Clubs & Socs’ days taking place on both the Glasnevin and Drumcondra campuses at the start of the academic year.

 

Student Supports

We have a number of academic, professional and social supports for students.

Student Advice Centre: Offers a wide range of supports and services to students and advice 

The Writing Centre - drop-in writing workshops for students through the academic year 

Maths Learning Centre - provides maths support for students of all ability levels with maths modules 

Student Learning: facilitate the transition from passive to active learning for students at DCU, by teaching study skills, nurturing critical thinking and building student confidence. 

Careers work with students to help them on their professional journey into graduate employment.

Our student support team offers a comprehensive support programme, helping students make that all important transition into university life and focusing on building confidence and skills which are key to success at third level.

Physics wiht Astronomy is an exciting course that gives you the scientific and mathematical tools to unlock the secrets of the Universe: from understanding the life and death of stars to investigating the strucutre of our galaxy and the wider cosmos.

Brendan Owens, Royal Observatory Greenwich

Everything that I have learned throughout my degree in Physics with Astronomy has prepared me for a wide range of career opportunities. The investment and encouragement of the academic and technical staff has inspired me to seek further education and develop a career in research. I am now undertaking a PhD in Space Engineering. Each day, I find that the knowledge and skills that I have gained from my time at DCU have proven invaluable to my work.

Rachel Moloney 

Career Areas
Astrophysics
Medical Physics Organisations
Research
Space Science

 

With your BSc behind you, you’ll find opportunities in a wide range of business, scientific and industrial sectors in the areas of physics as well as astronomy and space science. Employers want people with technical knowledge and good written and oral communication skills and people who are capable of working well independently and in a team environment. These are all skills you will learn in 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.

Successful completion of this Honours Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 8) satisfies the current Teaching Council of Ireland subject curricular requirements for the teaching of physics at post-primary level. (https://www.teachingcouncil.ie/en/registration/how-do-i-register-/qualifications/post-primary-qualified-in-ireland/)

Further useful materials and resources on the many interesting and diverse career opportunities available to physics graduates are available on the Institute of Physics website.

 

 

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

Requirements

General Entry Requirements

There is no direct entry to the programme via CAO. All entries to this programme are via DC175 Physics General Entry.

EU 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.

Applications are made via the CAO Advanced Entry route which will open on the 1st Feb to the 1st May. Please note there is no transfer entry route to year one of this programme.

 

International Applications

There is no direct entry to the programme. All entries to this programme are via DC175 Physics General Entry

For further information on international applications click here.

Next Steps

Mature Applicants

There is no direct entry to the programme. All entries to this programme are via DC175 Physics General Entry. 

Applicants presenting EU school Leaving Examinations

There is no direct entry to the programme via CAO. All entries to this programme are via DC175 Physics General Entry. 

Applicants presenting examinations from outside the EU

There is no direct entry to the programme. All entries to this programme are via DC175 Physics General Entry. For further information on international applications click here.

EU Transfer Applicants

Applications are made via the CAO Advanced Entry route which will open on the 1st Feb to the 1st May

Make an Application

There is no direct entry to the programme. All entries to this programme are via DC175 Physics General Entry.