MSc Physics

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Physics provides us with a model of the universe, on an incredible range of scales, from inside the nucleus of the atom towards the edge of the observable universe. Advances in Physics underpin many technological developments, for example our knowledge of electron transport in semiconductors has led us to the point where computer processors and memory are almost ubiquitous.
This UCD MSc in Physics offers a negotiated learning (NL) model for students with a Physical Science or Engineering background that allows you to customise your learning path and to tailor what you learn to your own specific needs and career aspirations. It can prepare you with skills, including data analytics, either for further research in a PhD programme, or employment directly after graduation.

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

This relatively new programme offers the possibility for graduates to go on to PhD programmes. The MSc will prepare you for employment in the semiconductor industry as a process engineer, the financial sector as a modelling and data expert, or as an engineer in the space sector. Prospective employers include Intel Ireland, Airbus, Analog Devices, Met Éireann, and companies in the Irish Financial Services Centre.

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. No

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

MSc Physics (F012) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 10200
nonEU    fee per year - € 29100

MSc Physics (F013) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 5030
nonEU    fee per year - € 14550

***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.

Internship Opportunities*
There are opportunities to apply for an internship in an academic or industry workplace. The internship comprises a research project, the theme of which is chosen by the student in agreement with the supervisor and MSc Course Director. The project may include experimental research, modelling/simulations research, and/or other research appropriate to the MSc programme theme.

*Placements are secured through a competitive process and are not guaranteed.

  • 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

Oisín Maguire, PhD Student in Plasma Spectroscopy, UCD School of Physics
I chose to study the MSc Physics (Negotiated Learning) due to its flexibility and engaging topics: from nano-mechanics and nano- optics to plasma physics. A wide variety of prospective research projects will fit practically every student, regardless of their specific background and research interests. Overall, this MSc gave me the insight I needed to progress my career and the knowledge that is required to have a successful career.

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 Learning) FT (F012)
1 Years
Full Time
MSc Physics (Negotiated Learning) PT (F013)
2 Years
Part Time

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