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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.
- 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.
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 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.
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.
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
Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) 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.