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Course Fact File
CodeCK406; CK408
Duration4 Years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBSc (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesStudent Contribution + Capitation: €3,138 See Fees and Costs for full details.

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.

Our BSc Chemical Physics degree 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 Physics and Astrophysics or Chemical Sciences.


  • Year 2 Core 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; Calculus. Electives: 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 Core Modules: Chemical Physics; Advanced Chemistry Research Project; Advanced Physics Research Project. Electives: 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.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of 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 research projects, which account for most time outside of lectures.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May. Not all modules will have formal examinations. Many modules use other types of assessment including in-class tests, online exercises, performance in laboratory practicals as well as seminars. Presentations and written reports for the research projects and some modules form a significant portion of the overall assessment at the advanced undergraduate level.

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...

Aoife Lucid, BSc Chemical Physics

Find Out More

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 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.


Refer to CK406 and CK408.

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants 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 visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Refer to CK406 and CK408

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact