Chemical Physics BSc (Hons)

Fact File

Course Code: CK406; CK408

Course Title: Chemical Physics

College: Science, Engineering and Food Science

Chemical Physics

Duration: 4 Years

Teaching Mode: Full-time

Qualifications: BSc (Hons)

NFQ Level: Level 8

Costs: Full-time EU/EEA/Swiss State undergraduate students may be exempt from paying tuition fees. The State will pay the tuition fees for students who satisfy the Free Fees Criteria. In 2017/18 the Student Contribution Charge will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee is expected to be €165.

2017 Entry Requirements: Refer to CK406 and CK408

Entry Points: 2016: 460 (CK406); 525 (CK408)


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.

Course Details

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.



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.

Who Teaches This Course

The course is primarily taught by academic staff from the Departments of Chemistry and Physics, with additional teaching by academics in the mathematical sciences. Some specialised topics are also covered by researchers based at the Tyndall National Institute.

Further Contact Information

Dr Andy Ruth

T: +353(0)21 4902057


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