MSc Physics

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

This programme offers graduates an opportunity to tailor the MSc curriculum to a targeted area of expertise in physics.

Download the UCD Science Taught Graduate Courses brochure (pdf)

  • Offers specialisation in Space Science, Nano Bio Science and Nano Technology
  • This is a flexible programme where the students can design and control their training experience
  • The modules are delivered by research active international staff with worldwide reputation

Careers & Employability

Career opportunities, both in Ireland and internationally, include the following areas: launchers, earth observation, satellite navigation, space transportation, satellite communications, space science experiments, life and physical sciences and general support technology. The nanotechnology, materials, biomedical optics, and optical engineering.

The MSc can also be used as a stepping-stone to PhD research in physics or engineering. Prospective employers include agencies such as ESA and NASA, as well as Irish and international industry.

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

Physics is a model of the world. We educate our students to become critical thinkers, bringing a structured, questioning approach to problems. Our students, who will be graduates in Physics or related disciplines will progress along a clear route towards their career goals and/or further research programmes in Physics. Our learning environment emphasises research laboratory work and combines knowledge acquisition with problem-solving work, including data analysis and programming. Typically their MSc will cover a subset of the material described in the core of physics (the core of physics is defined by the IOP accreditation process).

Our students will be imbued with professional values including scientific integrity and ethical behaviour, and the ability to effectively communicate complex information. Students on the programme will be  assessed using a variety of methods, including problem-sets, examinations, reports and oral presentations. 

On successful completion, students will have acquired knowledge in a specific area of Physics, to a level that will enable them to participate in research activity at the level required to conduct a PhD and qualified to work in appropriate sectors at a MSc level.  

  • Apply knowledge gained and skills developed to a specific project in the field.
  • Critically assess data and simulations in order to answer questions and direct further research.
  • Describe the state-of-the art knowledge in the field.
  • Draw on a suite of transferable skills including critical thinking, problem solving, scientific report writing, communication skills, team-work, independent work, professional networking, project management. Presenting findings both orally and in written form, to thesis level.
  • Students should also have developed their ethical behaviour including critical thinking, understanding of arguments and consequences, and scientific integrity
  • Work independently to plan and execute research into topics of relevance to their chosen field of Physics

View All Modules Here

  • PHYC40400 Nanooptics and biophotonics
  • PHYC40410 Physics of nanomaterials
  • PHYC40430 Nanomechanics - from single molecules to single cells
  • PHYC40470 Computational Biophysics and Nanoscale Simulations
  • PHYC40480 Biophysics at the Nanoscale and Nanodevices
  • PHYC40560 Advanced Atomic Force Microscopy for Bionanoscience
  • PHYC40840 Physics Research Project 30
  • PHYC40850 Physics Research Project 45
  • PHYC40860 Physics Research Project 60

MSc Physics (F012) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 9100
nonEU    fee per year - € 26400

MSc Physics (F013) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 4560
nonEU    fee per year - € 13200

***Fees are subject to change
Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

Industry work placements may be possible.
Students are supported in organising a placement with an academic research group. Where they choose to organise an internship with an industrial partner, they may be supported in this.

  • Entrance to the programme requires a degree or equivalent in Physics, Engineering, Computer Science or a related discipline. An upper second class honours, or the international equivalent is required.
  • In special circumstances, students with a strong physics background and lower second class honours degree may be accepted.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.
  • Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the  English language requirements, may enter the programme upon  successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information 
  • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

Graduate Profile
Daniel Vagg, Student

The subjects are generally physics based, and are introduced gradually and in a well-organised manner, so that each subject complements the next. My favourite was the Space Mission Design field-trip to Tenerife, in which students designed a space mission in competing international teams. This was an incredible, unique and fun experience. I am now looking forward to a placement at the Dublin base of the US multinational, Curtiss-Wright Ltd, who provide the data-handling for rockets such as the SpaceX Dragon capsules

Data and expertise from telescope missions Hubble and XMM are available. Training in satellite equipment, e.g. CubeSat and CanSat, allows students the opportunity to launch their own experiment on a high altitude ballooon. Mission Design internationalises the student experience through collaboration with students from two other universities, in the design of a gamma-ray experiment modelled on ESA’s concurrent design facility.

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Physics (Negotiated L (F012)
1 Years
Full Time
MSc Physics (Negotiated L (F013)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised