Skip to main content

Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics

Entry Routes

Mathematics (Common Entry) - LM124

Physics (Common Entry) - LM125

Course Details

Course code:
LM124 or LM125
NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree
4 Years
CAO points:
Course leader:
Dr. Clifford Nolan
Email: Tel:
00 353 61 202766



Tel: 00 353 61 202015


About You

Have you ever wondered

  • Why is the weather so difficult to predict?
  • What do stock markets and earthquakes have in common?
  • How can matter be a wave on atomic scales?
  • How can wave mechanics produce the next generation of computers?
  • How do you model the Universe in a computer?
  • How does the spreading of a disease explain star formation?

All of these questions share something in common; they can be answered at the interface of mathematics and physics. Understanding both subjects equally allows a unique view of the world that lets you capture and analyse its true complexity in an elegant way; it allows you to explain it, see effects not yet detected nor realized, and even predict how it will behave. You will need to be comfortable with mathematics, and have an innate curiosity as to how the world works. You should also be interested in applying your skills in mathematics and physics to understanding and solving real world problems.

Why Study Mathematics and Physics at UL?

Traditional mathematical physics degrees in Ireland have been narrow in their scope. This course seeks to provide a genuine mixture of the two subjects. In addition to developing core and advanced mathematical skills, training will be provided in fundamental physics spanning mechanics to quantum mechanics, and in state-of-the-art applications of physics such as nanotechnology.


The analytical training and broad physical understanding of challenges likely to be encountered in an industrial setting will prove to be a valuable asset for prospective employers.  The applied aspects in particular will ensure that, on graduation, you will be at an advantage in comparison to more traditional Maths Physics graduates, when seeking employment in the smart economy. In such an economy envisaged by the Government, academic and industrial research will be closely coupled.

This full time programme is of four years duration. The first two years are a combination of the main modules taken in both the mathematical sciences degree and the applied physics degree at UL. In these first two years the fundamental aspects of physics and mathematics are established. Physical subjects will include such topics as Mechanics, Waves, Light, Thermal Physics, Electromagnetism, and Modern Physics, which spans the scope of current basic understanding in physics. In addition, more applied topics are Optics and Semiconductors which are essential to modern technology.

Mathematical subjects include Calculus, Algebra, Vector Analysis, Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations, Numerical Analysis, Fourier Analysis and Computer Software.

During the spring semester of the third year, a period of cooperative education (placement in industry) provides you with practical experience in a relevant work environment. This is organised by the University’s Cooperative Education Department in collaboration with representatives from various industries, both in Ireland and abroad. Students are interviewed by company representatives. On selection, they are offered full-time employment during the Cooperative Education period and are paid at a competitive rate.

The remainder of the modules taken during third and fourth year offer a more in-depth view of both mathematics and physics. The offered modules include: Quantum Mechanics, Solid State Physics, Atomic, Molecular and Laser Physics, Nano-technology, Numerical Solution of Partial Differential Equations and Mathematics of Natural Phenomena. These more advanced subjects will prepare you for both an industrial career and also for a career in research and development.

During the final year, a project is undertaken that allows you to analyse a particular problem in depth. This also gives students interested in postgraduate research an opportunity to carry out an exploratory investigation of a potential research topic.

For further details, go to

Year 1 Semester 1   Semester 2 Summer
PH4131 Mechanics/Heat/Elect/Mag PH4102 Waves/Light/Modern Physics  
PH4051 Meas. & Properties of Matter PH4092 Semiconductor Devices  
CE4701 Computer Software 1 MS4022 Calculus 2  
MS4021 Calculus 1 MS4212 Data Analysis  
MS4131 Linear Algebra 1 MS4111 Discrete Mathematics  
Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4 Summer
PH4041 Optics PH4072 Electromagnetism  
PH4171 Mechanics PH4132 Modern Physics  
MS4013 Linear Analysis PH4042 Thermal Physics  
MS4613 Vector Analysis MS4014 Intro to Numerical Analysis  
MS4403 Ordinary Differential Equations MS4404 Partial Differential Equations  
Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6 Summer
PH4061 Quantum Mechanics   Cooperative Education  
PH4021 Physics of Solids      
MA4607 Introduction to Applied Mathematical Modelling      
MS4025 Applied Analysis      
  Elective from      
PH4161 Atomic/Molecular/Laser Physics      
MS4008 Numerical Solutions to PDEs      
MS4105 Linear Algebra 2      
MS4213 Probability Theory      
Year 4 Semester 7   Semester 8 Summer
PH4607 Solid State Physics 1 PH4608 Solid State Physics 2  
MS4627 Maths of Natural Phenomena MS4018 Dynamical Systems  
MS4407 Asymptotic Analysis MS4408 Mathematical Models  
PHXXXX Project 1 MSXXXX Project 2  
  Elective from   Elective from  
PH4081 Nanotechnology 1 PH4062 Nanotechnology 2  
PH4091 Physics of Modern Measurement PH4018 Medical Instrumentation  

Applicants are required to hold the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include:

Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

In addition, applicants must hold a minimum grade H3 in Mathematics. A Special Mathematics Examination will be offered at UL following the Leaving Certificate results for those students who did not achieve the Mathematics requirement.

We welcome applications from mature students. Mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.

Careers open to you with a degree in Mathematics and Physics include;

•Patent Agent
•Planetary Scientist
•Acoustical Physicist

As more and more of the world’s leading technical and finance companies locate in Ireland, graduates with the skills provided by the B.Sc. in Mathematics and Physics are needed now more than ever. Examples include companies such as Havok who build the physics engines that power video games and special effects.

Another example is the financial services industry where physics underlies much of financial modeling. The combined mathematical and physics content will train students to have analytical minds, to develop logical problem solving abilities, and will give you the ability to apply this knowledge. Employers value these assets highly and often hire mathematicians and physicists even though their specific training might not be directly relevant to the job on offer.


The B.Sc. in Mathematics and Physics prepares students for postgraduate degrees, which can lead to research opportunities at UL such as MASCI(Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry). This is a network of applied mathematicians and physicists who work on solving industrial problems that come directly from companies within Ireland. Graduates might also opt for the MSc in Mathematical Modelling.

Want to find out more about possible careers with this degree? Click Here

Student Profile

Stephen Cowpar 
I chose to study at UL as it offered me the opportunity to continue my study of both Maths and Physics, without having to choose one over the other. In the first two years I gained a solid grounding in both subjects, which has enabled me to go on to study more advanced topics such as Quantum Mechanics, Dynamical Systems and Mathematical Modelling. I have found that studying Physics has enabled me to develop a physical intuition that has given me real advantage in some of the more advanced Mathematics classes, and likewise, studying Mathematics has enabled me to go deeper into some of the topics covered in more advanced Physics classes.

I completed my co-op placement with Analog Devices Inc, one of the leading manufacturers of the solid state devices that form the integrated circuits vital to all of modern technology. During my placement, I worked closely with the process development team, gaining many hours of laboratory experience, and so directly applying the analytical skills that I had developed at UL. I was highly involved in the development of new products; my knowledge of semiconductor device physics that I had learned on my course was invaluable to me in this regard. Co-op taught me a lot about the skills necessary to excel in the workplace; my communication and teamwork skills, for example, benefited greatly from the experience.

Studying here at UL has helped me to develop the skills necessary for a wide variety of jobs in industry and also for academic research. UL has prepared me very well for my entry into the PhD program in Applied Mathematics at Cornell University in the US this August.