Bachelor of Science (Physics - degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical, Theoretical)

College of Science

What our lecturers say

What our lecturers say
Physics at NUI Galway

What our students say

What our students say
Studying Physics at NUI Galway

Course overview

Physics is the fundamental science, which seeks to understand the basic laws governing the structure of matter, the nature of energy and the physical forces that form our world. Its span of interest ranges from the nature of the short-range forces which operate inside the atomic nucleus to the origin and structure of the universe.

Applied Physics is the study of physics with particular emphasis on technological and practical applications. Astrophysics is the part of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including that of stars, black holes and galaxies. Biomedical Physics is the application of physics to the medical and biological sciences. Theoretical Physics is the application of mathematical tools and models to explain and predict physical phenomena.

If you have an enquiring mind, and are interested in discovering how things work, then this could be the course for you. The direct entry to this physics degree ensures that you study a core physics programme along with an exciting range of specialist options. You will be introduced to these options at the very start of the
programme. Students do a common first year, and then specialize in one of the four pathways for the remainder of the degree.

Key facts

Entry requirements

Minimum HC3 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at H or O Level in the Leaving Certificate including: Irish, English, Mathematics, a laboratory science subject (i.e. Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint) or Agricultural Science) and any two other subjects recognised for entry purposes.

Duration: 4 years

Next start date: September 2014

Entry points(2013): range 400 - 575

A Level Grades (2013): AAA (A-Level) or equivalent combination

Average intake: 15

Course outline

Year 1

  • Physics
  • Physics Specialist Topics
  • Applied Mathematics or Biology
  • Mathematics

Year 2

  • Physics (four modules)
  • Plus eight additional modules chosen from an approved list in the following areas:
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Astrophysics
    • Anatomy
    • Mathematics

Year 3

  • Physics (six modules)
  • Plus six additional modules chosen from an approved list in the following areas:
    • Applied physics
    • Astrophysics
    • Biomedical Physics
    • Theoretical Physics
    • Other modules available in the College of Science

Year 4

  • Core Physics modules
  • Specialist Physics courses (Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical, Theoretical)
  • Plus advanced laboratory, project work and problem solving

Further education

Honours graduates can pursue higher degrees in physics or, depending on the specialisms selected, in a wide range of areas such as applied physics, astrophysics, energy/environmental studies, medical and biomedical physics, meteorology, and theoretical physics.

Find out more

The College of Science
T 353 (0)91 492 490
F 353 (0)91 750 501

CAO code


Fees for this course

EU (Total): €7,492 p.a. 2013/14 (Inclusive of Levy & SCC)
 - Tuition: €4,768 p.a. 2013/14
 - Student contribution: €2,500 p.a. 2013/14
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2013/14
Non-EU (Total): €13,750 p.a. 2013/14

Find out what all these course fees mean

Current Students

Ciaran Monahan

BSc (Physics and Applied Physics)

"...I chose the course at NUI Galway because I had heard that it had an excellent physics programme with a variety of specialities. Also NUI Galway has a great research record, and publishes a large number of papers every year. I would definitively recommend this course to others. You are challenged every day on this course, from your first day!..."