About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

Physics occupies a central position in science and technology. It is concerned with fundamental questions about the basic building blocks of matter and how the universe evolved.

The Astrophysics degree at UCC is designed for those who have always harboured an interest in astronomy and the physics of the universe.

The course equips students with the same fundamental background in Physics, and with the same numerical and computational skills, as those graduating via the more traditional Physics degree course. This course is not differentiated from the Physics degree until Year 3. Refer to CK408  for more details.



Year 1 Modules

Option 1 - Core

  • PY1052 Introductory Physics I (10 credits)
  • PY1053 Introductory Physics II (10 credits)
  • MA1058 Introduction to Linear Algebra (5 credits)
  • MA1059 Calculus (5 credits)
  • MA1060 Introduction to Analysis (5 credits)
  • AM1052 Introduction to Mechanics (5 credits)
  • AM1053 Introduction to Mathematical Modelling (5 credits)


  • AM1054 Mathematical Software (5 credits)
  • CM1006 Introduction to Chemistry for Physicists and Mathematicians (10 credits)
  • CM1007 Introduction to Chemistry for Physicists (15 credits)
  • CS1061 Programming in C (5 credits)
  • CS1065 Computer Applications with Visual Basic (5 credits)
  • CS1068 Introductory Programming in Python (5 credits)
  • MA1057 Introduction to Abstract Algebra (5 credits)
  • PY1054 Special Topics in Physics (5 credits)
  • ST1051 Introduction to Probability and Statistics (5 credits) 

Option 2 - Core

  • PY1052 Introductory Physics 1 (10 credits)
  • PY1053 Introductory Physics II (10 credits)
  • MA1058 Introduction to Linear Algebra (5 credits)
  • MA1059 Calculus (5 credits)
  • MA1060 Introduction to Analysis (5 credits)
  • CM1007 Introduction to Chemistry for Physicists (15 credits)


  • BL1002 Cells, Biomolecules, Genetics and Evolution (5 credits)
  • BL1003 Introduction to Biological Chemistry and Microbiology (5 credits)
  • BL1004 Physiology and Structure of Plants and Animals (5 credits)
  • BL1005 Introduction to Ecology (5 credits)
  • Year 2 Core Modules: Astrophysics and Special Relativity; C/C++ Programming with Applications; Classical Mechanics;  Computational Physics; Electrostatics and Magnetostatics; Experimental Physics; Experimental Methods; Fourier Methods; Multivariable Calculus; Quantum Physics; Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics. Electives: Ordinary Differential Equations; Linear Algebra; Mathematical Modelling
  • Year 3 Core Modules: Computer Modelling and Numerical Techniques; Condensed Matter Physics: Electromagnetism; Experimental Physics; Experimental Methods; Nuclear and Particle Physics; Optics; Quantum Mechanics; Statistical Thermodynamics; Vector and Tensor Methods; Observational Astrophysics. Electives: Mathematical Experimentation and Chaos; Fluid Mechanics; Optimisation and the Calculus of Variations; Computational Techniques
  • Year 4 Core Modules: Stars and the Interstellar Medium; Galactic and Extragalactic Astrophysics; Gravitation and Cosmology; Research Project; Experimental Physics. Electives: Quantum Optics; Physics of Semiconductor Devices; Advanced Mechanics; Advanced Quantum Mechanics; Advanced Electromagnetism; Advanced Condensed Matter Physics; Atomic and Molecular Physics; Quantum Field Theory; Introduction to Plasma Physics; Introduction to Lasers and Photonics; Advanced Computational Physics

See the College Calendar for more detailed information on the CK408 Programme and the Book of Modules for further details on Physics.

Why Choose This Course

As well as the knowledge I gained from my course, I developed a keen problem-solving ability which will stand to me in any career...

Dr Anna Hourihane | UCC Graduate, BSc & PhD in Astrophysics

Find Out More

As part of this course, students obtain practical experience using a research-grade telescope abroad in Year 3. In addition, the university houses the unique Crawford Observatory and a new astronomical observing facility on the top of its science building.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

A field trip abroad to an astronomical observatory in Year 3 is an integral part of the overall course.

Skills and Careers Information

Most practicing astronomers in Ireland, i.e. those carrying out astronomical research, tend to teach at the third level.

For those who do not pursue research in Astrophysics beyond their degree, graduates have the same wide range of potential employers as do those graduating with a Physics degree. Examples of the careers recent graduates have pursued include software engineer, energy researcher, Eircom engineer, stockbroker, geophysicist, and BT technical manager.


Refer to 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 appicants 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

Refer to CK408.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

How Do I Apply

Refer to CK408.

EU Applicants

The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions. Refer to the CAO page for further information.

Mature Applicants (age 23 or over)

All interested mature applicants must make an application through the Central Applications Office (CAO). See the CAO Mature Applicants and the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) pages. Visit our Mature Student Entry page for more information.


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

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information.

All Applicants

Please note that the modules listed are indicative of the current set of modules for this course and are subject to change from year to year. Check the College Calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

  • In UCC, we use the terms 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