School of Physical Sciences

Physics General Entry

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

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Entry Route to Physical Sciences Programmes

Adventures in discovery (Physics General Entry)

If you are interested in how the world works and how science seeks to answer the big questions, and you have a logical mind and competency in mathematics, then Physics General Entry may be the route for you.

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.

So, if you possess both a love for the logical and a flair for mathematics, the first step on the road to discoveries of your own begins with the Physics General Entry programme.

Upon successful completion of Year 1, Physics General Entry, you will progress into Year 2, of your choice of one of the following degree courses, and complete the remaining 3 years of your studies:

BSc in Applied Physics

Applied Physics emphasises the real-world applications of the subject as well as providing a foundation in the basics of physics.

BSc in Physics with Astronomy

This course is designed to appeal to everyone with an interest in physics, astronomy, astrophysics, space science and technology. 

BSc in Physics with Biomedical Sciences

If you intend to pursue a career in physics and technology related to medical research, clinical services or biomedical industries then this course is designed for you.

BSc in Physics with Data Analytics (run by the DCU School of Physical Sciences in collaboration with the DCU School of Computing.)

This BSc in Physics with Data Analytics offers a valuable route to working in manufacturing industries, finance and software companies by combining the skills and knowledge of a physics degree with the advanced data analytics tools needed to solve real-world problems.



Physics General Entry provides you with the opportunity in Year 1 to gain a solid physics foundation and invaluable laboratory exposure, before choosing the degree specialism you want to pursue.

Year 1 focus on classical and modern physics, combined with mathematics and computing with an emphasis on practical laboratory and IT skills, which are valuable skills for your future. For Years 2, 3 and 4, you will take the modules of your chosen degree course.

For more information and an overview of our courses here in the School of Physical Sciences visit our undergraduate course presentation pages.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Studying physics in DCU was a fantastic stepping stone into an exciting future.  The course exposed me to concepts, new and classical, that both challenged and stimulated me, and the kind guidance of the staff gave me the opportunity to develop skills which are now proving invaluable to me in my career as a Catastrophic Risk Analyst.

Sean McCabe, Applied Physics Graduate 

Everything that I have learned throughout my degree 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, Physics with Astronomy Graduate

Physics General Entry provides you with the platform to progress to a degree in your chosen area of specialism, with the potential to pursue careers in areas as varied as: 

Meteorology, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Design Management, Data Science, Research and Development, Education, Data Analytics, Information Technology, Healthcare and Aeronautics.  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.


Career Tags
Biomedical Instrumentation
Data Analytics
Hospital Physicist
Information Technology
Mechanical Design
Optical Instrumentation


Leaving Cert

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 

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, Physics with Chemistry or Applied Mathematics

FET Level 5

For details of QQI 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. 

EU Transfer Applications

Please contact Faculty for further information.

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


Full time

Student Contribution
€3,043 per annum
EU Status Fee
€6,679 per annum
Non EU Fee
€15,000 per annum

Next Steps

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

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.

EU Transfer Applicants

Please contact Faculty for further information.

Make an Application

Candidates required to apply through the CAO can apply online at