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Physics General Entry

Course Details

CAO Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
8 - Please see for further information
Delivery Modes
Minimum Points
First Year Only
+353 (0) 1
700 5023

Interested in how the world works and how science seeks to answer the big questions? If you can answer yes to that question, have a logical mind and a flair for mathematics, Physics General Entry may be the route for you.


Overview Icon

Widely considered the most fundamental science, the world of physics continues to enlighten and astound with its mind-blowing discoveries, and physicists have pioneered modern technologies as diverse as the Internet, nuclear power and MRI scanners.

In first year, you’ll gain a solid foundation in classical and modern physics, mathematics and computing, and invaluable laboratory exposure, before choosing the degree specialism you want to pursue: BSc in Applied Physics; BSc in Physics with Astronomy; BSc in Physics with Biomedical Sciences or the BSc in Physics with Data Analytics. 

Once you graduate, you can pursue a career in areas as meteorology, astronomy and astrophysics, design management, data science, research and development, education, data analytics, information technology, healthcare and aeronautics.  You’ll also be ideally positioned to pursue further study.

DCU People

Profile picture of Saoirse Mulvaney
Saoirse Mulvaney

When looking at the General Entry Physics course in DCU, I knew I found the course for me.

Read more about Saoirse Mulvaney
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Conor Darcy

I really enjoyed my first year studying physics in DCU. I learned about things like the laws of thermodynamics, electromagnetism, and even bits of biology, chemistry, and programming!

Read more about Conor Darcy
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Paul van Kampen

Dr Paul van Kampen joined DCU after completing a PhD in experimental atomic physics. Not long after, he taught a class that would change his career.

Read more about Paul van Kampen

Careers & Further Options

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Physics General Entry provides you with the platform to progress to a degree in your chosen area of specialism.

You will also be ideally positioned to pursue further study.

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.


  • Meteorology
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Design Management
  • Data Science
  • Research and Development
  • Education
  • Data Analytics
  • Information Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Aeronautics
Biomedical Instrumentation
Data Analytics
Hospital Physicist
Information Technology
Mechanical Design
Optical Instrumentation

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

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

Minimum of 03 or H6 in Mathematics and minimum of 03 or H5 in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics with Chemistry or Applied Mathematics 

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, Physics with Chemistry or Applied Mathematics

Please visit our Admissions webpage for details on course requirements or how to apply to DCU.


Please visit our QQI FET webpage for details on DCU courses, open days, campus tours or school visits.


To apply to DCU, please visit

No Entry Path

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.

Course Structure

Course Structure Icon
  • Calculus 
  • Programming 
  • Thermal and Physical Properties of Matter 
  • Inorganic and Physical Chemistry 
  • The Universe Electricity and Magnetism 
  • Motion and Energy 
  • Light and Optics 
  • Physics Laboratory

Years 2,3 and 4 will be the modules of your chosen degree choice - Upon successful completion of Year 1 of the degree, choices are:

For more information on the course structure click here

Fees and Funding

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Student Contribution.
€3,043 per annum
EU Status Fee
€6,679 per annum
Non EU Fee.
€16,000 per annum

How To Apply

How To Apply Icon

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving/FETAC Level 5 examinations: Apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February or 1st May

To apply for this programme:
Candidates should apply directly here. Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application.

Please provide 

  • Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation, if applicable.
  • If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.  Please see link

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

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

Candidates required to apply through the CAO can apply online at

Life On Campus

Life on Campus
DCU Campus Glasnevin

DCU Glasnevin Campus


FAQ Icon

Is physics general entry a four-year programme?
Physics General Entry (PGE) is the name of the entry route to all our Physics programmes. All students do a common first year called Physics General Entry, and then choose a specific programme for the remaining three years. The physics programmes we offer at the moment are Applied Physics, Physics with Astronomy, and Physics with Biomedical Sciences. You will graduate after completing four years.

Why are there no points listed for dc175, physics general entry?
Physics General Entry is a new programme on the CAO system, so there is no data from previous years. CAO points and trends for our three CAO codes we used to have (DC167, DC171 and DC173) should provide a reasonably good idea of the likely points for PGE.

What happens after the first year of physics general entry?
During the second semester of your first year, you will choose which of the three physics programmes you would like to enter for the next three years: Applied Physics, Physics with Astronomy, or Physics with Biomedical Sciences.

Do I need to have studied physics in order to do this course?
No, you do not need to have studied physics in school in order to join the Physics General Entry programme. You must have a minimum of O3 or H6 in Mathematics and minimum of O3 or H5 in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics with Chemistry, Applied Mathematics or Computer Science.

What will I study for my degree?
In first year, you will take 2 calculus modules (MS129 and MS130), 1 introductory chemistry module (CS108), 1 introductory programming module (CA146), 2 physics laboratory modules (PS151 and PS157), and five other physics modules: Motion and Energy (PS101), Light and Optics (PS102), Electricity and Magnetism (PS104), Physical and Thermal Properties of Matter (PS105) and a "taster" module that is an introduction to both Physics of the Human Body and Astrophysics, called Life, The Universe and Everything (PS118). For Years 2-4, the information is on the DCU website here:

Applied Physics

Physics with Astronomy

Physics with Biomedical Sciences

What are my career options following if I choose the physics general entry route?
Physics General Entry provides you with the platform to progress to a degree in your chosen area of specialism, with potential to pursue careers in areas as varied as: Meteorology, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Design Management, Data Science, Research and Development, Education, Information Technology, Healthcare and Aeronautics. You will also be ideally positioned to pursue further study.

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.