This program provides a positive experience of physics and encourages students to foster and maintain an intellectual curiosity in the discipline, specifically in the area of theoretical physics. We encourage/educate our students to become active, lifelong and autonomous learners with good prospects of employment in economic sectors requiring analytical skills or for further study of the subject. Our students will become well grounded in the fundamentals of physics with an appreciation of more specialised knowledge and the current frontiers of research. Courses in applied and computational mathematics complement physics courses. Our learning environment emphasises laboratory work at all stages, combining in-class, project and problem-solving work including data analysis and programming. Our students will be imbued with professional values including scientific integrity and ethical behaviour, and the ability to communicate complex information effectively. We deepen the mathematical training, allowing students to describe the physical world from the smallest to the largest scales using mathematics and theoretical models. Assessment is based on individual work, group work, work in the laboratory, project work including student presentation and written report.

- School
- School of Physics
- Attendance
- Full Time
- Level
- Undergraduate
- NFQ Level
- 8
- Award
- Bachelor of Science
- Mode of Delivery
- On Campus
- Programme Director
- Assoc Professor Vladimir Lobaskin
- Overall Programme Credits:
- 240
- Programme Credits:
**Stage 1**

**Core/Option:**55**Electives:**5**Stage 2**

**Core/Option:**50**Electives:**10**Stage 3**

**Core/Option:**50**Electives:**10**Stage 4**

**Core/Option:**60**Electives:**0- Major/Minor Core & Option Credits:
- Stage 3: 50

Stage 4: 60

Curricular information is subject to change.

2 - Students will be able to tackle problems in physics and formulate an appropriate solution

3 - Students will be able to use mathematics to describe the physical world

4 - Students will be able to plan, execute and report the results of an experiment or investigation

5 - Students will be able to compare results critically with predictions from theory

6 - Students will have acquired communications skills

7 - Students will have acquired analytical skills

8 - Students will have acquired IT skills

9 - Students will have acquired personal skills, the ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team, interact constructively with other people, and show leadership in their area of expertise.

10 - Students will have acquired ethical behaviour, including critical thinking, understanding of arguments and consequences, and scientific integrity

11 - Students will be flexible, able to adapt and contribute to the theoretical and modelling aspects in any research and development team.

Where the rate of progression and performance over two academic years is deemed unacceptable, a case will be submitted to the Governing Board for review. A recommendation for discontinuation may be the outcome of this review.

As Stages 3 and 4 have the most dynamic components of the programme, and the material studied previously may no longer be relevant, a student who has been away from the programme for a significant period should be required to register again to Stage 3. The upper limit for completion of Stages 3 and 4 should be six years if they choose to do 120 credits with 20 in each year.

The Theoretical Physics programme puts emphasis on the mathematical description of physical phenomena and provides a unified description of the fundamental laws of nature. The degree comprehensively covers Theoretical Physics and includes areas such as Quantum Mechanics, Condensed Matter Theory, Special and General Relativity Theory and Cosmology, Quantum Field Theory, Statistical Mechanics and Theoretical Astrophysics.

The programme offers knowledge and experience in problem-solving using analytical and numerical techniques, which have wide application in, for example, biophysics and econophysics.

This course provides you with an introduction to all the major areas of Theoretical Physics including Relativity Theory, Quantum Mechanics, Atomic Physics, Nuclear Physics and Computational Physics.

STAGES 3 & 4

Advanced topics are covered in the final two stages. These include:

- General Relativity

- Electromagnetic Theory

- Quantum Gravity

- Quantum Field Theory

- Statistical Mechanics

- Theoretical Astrophysics

- Fluid Mechanics

- High Energy Physics

- Condensed Matter Physics

Students can apply to study for a trimester or year in third year in a number of universities worldwide including University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Santa Cruz; San Jose State University, and University of Melbourne.

Theoretical Physics graduates can choose to develop careers in a variety of sectors including academic and government research Institutions, energy technologies, information and communication technology, advanced materials (e.g. semiconductor industry), management consulting, stock market and financial risk analysis, climate change and environmental impact analysis, and second and third-level education.

The Theoretical Physics degree is an accredited Physics degree and graduates are well prepared for further research and have successfully completed PhDs in MIT, Caltech, Harvard, Princeton and Cambridge, as well as in UCD.

**UCD Science Office**

You can contact the UCD Science Office in the following ways:

- Submit your query using our dedicated Contact Form.
- Drop into the office in the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science, Science East, Room E1.09. Our office opening hours are 10am to 4pm (during term time).

#### Stage 3

Students take 7 core modules, 1 Physics option module and 1 Applied and Computational Mathematics option module. To complete 60 credits for Stage 3, students may select 10 credits from elective modules or alternatively, students can take additional modules from the option list below.

#### Stage 4

Students take 2 core modules and a total of 45 credits from option modules.

Below is a list of all modules offered for this degree in the current academic year. Click on the module to discover what you will learn in the module, how you will learn and assessment feedback profile amongst other information.

Incoming Stage 1 undergraduates can usually select an Elective in the Spring Trimester. Most continuing undergraduate students can select up to two Elective modules (10 Credits) per stage. There is also the possibility to take up to 10 extra Elective credits.

Trimester | Credits | |||
---|---|---|---|---|

Stage 3 Core Modules |
PHYC30320 | Advanced Laboratory for Theoretical Physics I | 2 Trimester duration (Aut-Spr) | 10 |

Stage 3 Core Modules |
ACM30220 | Partial Differential Equations | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 3 Core Modules |
PHYC30020 | Classical Mechanics and Relativity | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 3 Core Modules |
PHYC30030 | Quantum Mechanics | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 3 Core Modules |
ACM30200 | Mathematical Fluid Dynamics I | Spring | 5 |

Stage 3 Core Modules |
MATH30040 | Complex Analysis | Spring | 5 |

Stage 3 Core Modules |
PHYC30070 | Electromagnetism | Spring | 5 |

Stage 3 Options - A)1 of:Students must take PHYC20100 if not taken in stage 2, Students who had taken PHYC20100 in Stage 2 must take PHYC30050 in Stage 3. |
PHYC20100 | Thermo & Stat Physics | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 3 Options - A)1 of:Students must take PHYC20100 if not taken in stage 2, Students who had taken PHYC20100 in Stage 2 must take PHYC30050 in Stage 3. |
PHYC30050 | Condensed Matter Physics | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 3 Options - B) Min 0 of:PHYC30090 can be taken in Stage 3 or Stage 4. Students who wish to take PHYC40110 Medical Physics in Stage 4 must take PHYC30090 in Stage 3. |
PHYC30090 | Nuclear Physics | Spring | 5 |

Stage 3 Options - C) Min 1 of:Students must choose one module from this list. |
ACM30130 | Advanced Computational Science | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 3 Options - C) Min 1 of:Students must choose one module from this list. |
ACM30190 | Dynamical Systems | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 3 Options - C) Min 1 of:Students must choose one module from this list. |
ACM30020 | Applied Analysis | Spring | 5 |

Stage 3 Options - C) Min 1 of:Students must choose one module from this list. |
ACM30090 | Mathematical Biology | Spring | 5 |

Stage 3 Options - C) Min 1 of:Students must choose one module from this list. |
ACM30140 | Numerical Methods for PDEs | Spring | 5 |

Stage 3 Options - D) Min 0 of:Students are required to complete 50 programme credits (cores/options) in Stage 3. Additional option modules may be selected from the list below, instead of elective modules, to complete Stage 3 |
MATH20300 | Linear Algebra 2 for the Mathematical Sciences | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 3 Options - D) Min 0 of:Students are required to complete 50 programme credits (cores/options) in Stage 3. Additional option modules may be selected from the list below, instead of elective modules, to complete Stage 3 |
PHYC30100 | Stellar Astrophysics & Astronomical Techniques | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 3 Options - D) Min 0 of:Students are required to complete 50 programme credits (cores/options) in Stage 3. Additional option modules may be selected from the list below, instead of elective modules, to complete Stage 3 |
ACM30210 | Foundations of Quantum Theory | Spring | 5 |

Stage 3 Options - D) Min 0 of:Students are required to complete 50 programme credits (cores/options) in Stage 3. Additional option modules may be selected from the list below, instead of elective modules, to complete Stage 3 |
PHYC30080 | Optics & Lasers | Spring | 5 |

Stage 3 Options - D) Min 0 of:Students are required to complete 50 programme credits (cores/options) in Stage 3. Additional option modules may be selected from the list below, instead of elective modules, to complete Stage 3 |
STAT20100 | Inferential Statistics | Spring | 5 |

Stage 4 Core Modules |
PHYC40900 | Proj. Theoretical Physics | 2 Trimester duration (Aut-Spr) | 10 |

Stage 4 Core Modules |
PHYC40020 | Applied Quantum Mechanics | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - A) Min 0 of:If not taken in Stage 3, students must take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4. |
PHYC30050 | Condensed Matter Physics | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - A) Min 0 of:If not taken in Stage 3, students must take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4. |
PHYC30090 | Nuclear Physics | Spring | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
ACM30190 | Dynamical Systems | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
ACM40010 | Electrodynamics & Gauge Theory | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
ACM40070 | Math Fluid Dynamics II | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
ACM40690 | Applied Complex Variables | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
ACM40750 | Gen Relativity & Black Holes | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
ACM41010 | Math of Sust & Environment | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
ACM41020 | Maths of Machine Learning | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
PHYC30100 | Stellar Astrophysics & Astronomical Techniques | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
PHYC40080 | High Energy Particle Physics | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
PHYC40120 | General Relativity & Cosmology | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
PHYC40470 | Computational Biophysics and Nanoscale Simulations | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
PHYC40930 | Ultrafast Soft X-ray Photonics | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
PHYC41070 | Techniques in Biophysics | Autumn | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
ACM30020 | Applied Analysis | Spring | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
ACM30090 | Mathematical Biology | Spring | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
ACM41030 | Optimization Algorithms | Spring | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
ACM41040 | GR and Gravitational Waves | Spring | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
PHYC40030 | Galaxies, Observational Cosmology & the Interstellar Medium | Spring | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
PHYC40200 | Quantum Theory of Condensed Matter | Spring | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
PHYC40360 | Theoretical Astrophysics | Spring | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
PHYC40650 | Advanced Statistical Physics | Spring | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - B) Min 5 of:(Set A) Students register a total of 9 modules (45 credits) of option modules. Students who take PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 4 take at least 5 modules from Set A. Students who completed PHYC30050 and PHYC30090 in Stage 3 take at least 7 modules from Set A. Students who take ACM41040 must also take ACM40750. A maximum of 2 option modules may be selected from Set B. |
PHYC40800 | Quantum Field Theory | Spring | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - C) Min 0 of:(Set B) Students may select a maximum of 2 option modules from this list. |
PHYC40330 | Advanced Laboratory for TP III | Autumn and Spring (separate) | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - C) Min 0 of:(Set B) Students may select a maximum of 2 option modules from this list. |
PHYC40690 | Advanced Laboratory Physics | Autumn and Spring (separate) | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - C) Min 0 of:(Set B) Students may select a maximum of 2 option modules from this list. |
PHYC30080 | Optics & Lasers | Spring | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - C) Min 0 of:(Set B) Students may select a maximum of 2 option modules from this list. |
PHYC40110 | Medical Physics (Selected Topics) | Spring | 5 |

Stage 4 Options - C) Min 0 of:(Set B) Students may select a maximum of 2 option modules from this list. |
PHYC40210 | Applied Optics | Spring | 5 |

**See the UCD Assessment website for further details**

**Module Weighting Info**

Award | GPA | ||||
---|---|---|---|---|---|

Programme | Module Weightings | Rule Description | Description | ||

BHSCI001 | Stage 4 - 70.00% Stage 3 - 30.00% |
Standard Honours Award | First Class Honours | 3.68 |
4.20 |

Second Class Honours, Grade 1 | 3.08 |
3.67 |
|||

Second Class Honours, Grade 2 | 2.48 |
3.07 |
|||

Pass | 2.00 |
2.47 |