Physics with Astronomy

Physics with Astronomy

Course Details

CAO Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
8 - Please see for further information
Delivery Mode:
Minimum Points
1 + 3 Years
+353 (0) 1
700 7440

Do you enjoy maths and have a keen interest in how the universe works? This course is ideal for you.


Overview Icon

It’s all about how physics can help to answer the puzzles of the universe. Astronomy is the oldest of the sciences, but you’ll discover how it’s evolving incredibly quickly in the 21st century, with more and more sensitive instruments yielding more and better data. 

By the time you graduate, you’ll know the latest techniques used to observe the sky at different energies, and why multi-wavelength observations are crucial to understanding the true nature of cosmic sources. You’ll learn through lectures and by doing lab work, where you’ll get to explore the nature of sources using real X-ray data collected by the XMM-Newton observatory. 

Broad-based skills and real-world experience
Along with studying physics and mathematics, you’ll gain basic programming skills and significant practice in data analysis. In third year, you’ll do an INTRA work placement, which could be in a business, scientific or industrial organisation operating in physics, astronomy or space science. Furthermore, you should get to visit an observatory or major European data centre.

Throughout the course, you’ll build your communication skills and nurture your ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Typical careers for graduates include research and development in astronomy, astrophysics and space science, image processing and analysis (for example, for medical physics companies and organisations), and statistical analysis.

To do this course, you must first complete the first year of Physics General Entry at DCU.


DCU People

Profile picture of Aoife Gallagher
Aoife Gallagher

I chose to do Physics with Astronomy because I have always loved learning about space and really enjoyed physics in secondary school.

Read more about Aoife Gallagher
Profile picture of Dr Maria Chernyakova
Dr Maria Chernyakova

I try to teach my students that just doing the analysis is not interesting.

Read more about Dr Maria Chernyakova

Careers & Further Options

Careers Icon


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. 

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.

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

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

DCU graduates are highly sought after by employers. Our Graduates work in environments ranging from large multinationals to SMEs, family businesses and start-ups across every sector.

DCU Careers Service has a number of learning and development initiatives in place for our students, giving them the skills they need for a successful career path.

Go to our Careers site to find out more about career planning, our mentorship programme, skills development and online resources for students when working on CVs and making applications.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements Icon

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

Applicants that have completed at least one year of study at NFQ Level 6, 7 or 8 at another institution may apply to continue their studies on a similar programme at DCU. There should be substantial overlap in content between the two programmes to be considered for a transfer. Results and other supporting documentation must be submitted to CAO by the closing date of 1st July. This is a competitive application process for a small quota of advanced entry places. Offers are made on a rolling basis until all places are filled. Early application is advised. Please note: Applicants should also consider applying through the appropriate route for first year entry to the programme they are interested in. This application process is only for advanced entry.

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.

Course Structure

Course Structure Icon

You will enter BSc in Physics with Astronomy via the Physics General Entry route (DC175), confirming your choice at the end of Year 1

In Years 1 and 2 you will learn the basic foundations of physics and the fundamentals of  Space Science and Astronomy. In Years 3 and 4 you will study more advanced topics, such as Stellar Physics, Astronomical Techniques and Cosmology, where you will learn the modern theories of star formation and evolution, and the theory of multi-wavelength observations. 

During the INTRA placement in Year 3 and working on the challenge-based astronomy related project in Year 4 you will have a chance to apply the skills you’ve learned to  real-life problems under the guidance of professional astronomers.

For more information on the course structure click here

How To Apply

How To Apply Icon

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

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.

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

Applications are made via the CAO Advanced Entry route which will open on the 06th November to the 1st July.

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

Life On Campus

Life on Campus
DCU Campus Glasnevin

DCU Glasnevin Campus


FAQ Icon

What is the ratio of lab-based activities to lecture-based learning?
In Year 1, every student takes 2 experimental lab modules and 1 module that includes a computer lab. In Year 2, all students take an electronics lab module and one or two physics lab modules, depending on the stream they choose. In Year 3 every student takes one lab module. In Year 4, there are no lab modules but the Fourth Year project often involves research in an experimental or computational lab.