UCC Undergraduate courses

Chemical Physics

About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

Chemical Physics sits at the intersection of chemistry and physics. It aims to understand the structure, energies and transformations of matter and its dynamics at a molecular level.

The BSc Chemical Physics degree at UCC provides a solid grounding in both physics and chemistry, and is ideally suited to students who are curious about how and why the world works at a molecular level. With a broad education in the physical sciences, highly developed problem-solving and analytical skills, and extensive training in experimental methods, graduates of Chemical Physics may be assured of excellent employment prospects in industry, government, research and teaching.

The BSc in Chemical Physics at UCC is internationally accredited by the Institute of Physics.

Entrance to the BSc Chemical Physics degree is via the Physics and Astrophysics or Chemical Sciences streams.


Year 1 Modules:

Refer to CK406 and CK408 

Years 2 Modules:


Computational Physics;  Electrostatics and Magnetostatics;  Energetics and Kinetics;  Experimental Methods;  Fourier Methods;  Main Group and Transition Element Chemistry; Quantum Physics;   Spectroscopy;  Structure, Bonding and Quantum Mechanics;  Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics;  Multivariable Calculus


States of Matter;  Organic Chemistry for Environmental Scientists

Year 3 Modules:

C/C++ Programming with Applications;  Computer Modelling and Numerical Techniques;  Condensed Matter Physics;  Electromagnetism;  Environmental Chemistry and Analysis; Experimental Methods;  Materials Chemistry;  Optics;  Physical Chemistry;  Quantum Mechanics;  Scientific Communication and Information Literacy Skills

Year 4 Modules:


Chemical Physics;  Advanced Chemistry Research Project;  Advanced Physics Research Project


Lasers, Photochemistry and Spectroscopy;  Interfaces, Microscopy and Modelling;  Advanced Nano Materials;  Atmospheric Chemistry and Air Pollution;  Advanced Quantum Mechanics; Advanced Electromagnetism;  Advanced Condensed Matter Physics;  Introduction to Lasers and Photonics;  Physics of Semiconductor Devices.

The practical component of the course complements the knowledge gained in lectures. Experimental skills and insight are developed during the practicals, which cover chemical synthesis and compositional analysis; preset and open experiments involving the use of research equipment, electronics and interfacing, error analysis and interpretation; and report writing and data dissemination (seminars and poster presentations).

This exposure to all aspects of experimental methodologies gives students the ability and confidence to tackle the Year 4 research projects. The practical training also provides a firm foundation for postgraduate research and for technical careers in industry.

See the College Calendar for more detailed information on the programme and see the Book of Modules for a more detailed description of programme modules.

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture hours: Students generally attend 15 to 20 lectures per week. Lectures are generally held in the mornings. 

Expected lab/practical hours: Students generally attend two or more practicals per week. Practicals are generally held in the afternoons. In Year 4, practicals are replaced by the research projects, which account for most time outside of lectures.


Why Choose This Course

The skills you gain in this degree are mainly problem-solving based, which is very desirable when it comes to looking for a job or a postgraduate position.

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BSc in Chemical Physics

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The BSc in Chemical Physics at UCC is the only such degree in Ireland. In comparison, this degree is also awarded by several top-tier UK universities such as Edinburgh, University College London, and Bristol, among others.

The degree provides a rich theoretical and practical training in both physics and in chemistry, and will equip you for careers in either subject.

In careers where deep insight into both subjects is required, graduates in Chemical Physics will possess a significant competitive advantage over graduates with standard degrees in either physics or chemistry. The course is internationally accredited by the Institute of Physics.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

There are possibilities of summer projects in the Department of Physics. The department is an active participant in undergraduate student-exchange programmes with numerous partner universities across Europe.

Skills and Careers Information

The theoretical, practical and analytical skills developed during the Chemical Physics degree are highly sought by employers.

Typical career outlets include advanced research and development in either an industrial setting or in an academic environment.

Many industrial sectors depend on the qualification of the Chemical Physics graduates. These include:

  • the analytical and laser industry
  • process engineering and quality control
  • the environmental sector
  • information technology
  • biotechnology-related areas where data processing and computer-related skills are sought


Refert to CK406 and CK408.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. 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.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Mature Students Requirements

Please refer to the mature student entry requirements for details. 

Fees and Costs

The State will pay the tuition fees for students who satisfy the Free Fees Criteria. In 2021/22 the Student Contribution Fee will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee will be €130. Full-time EU/EEA/Swiss State undergraduate students may be exempt from paying tuition fees.

Non-EU Fees

The Undergraduate Fees Schedule is available here.

How Do I Apply

Refer to CK406 and CK408

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can apply online.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact