Why pick Physics?
About 50% of 3rd level courses involve
science, medicine or technology.
– Physics is usually part of these
– Choosing physics keeps options open.
– Physics can be hard to pick up as a new
subject at 3rd level.
– It is worth taking at least one science
• 40% of physics graduates earn over
€60,000 per annum.
• Physics opens doors to many careers.
It is a highly regarded subject at
both school and college level.
• Physics graduates can end up in a
wide variety of careers.
• It is a good choice if you are
interested in science (Physics),
technology, astronomy etc.
Content of Course
• Content can be divided into
5 general areas
Radioactivity/Nuclear Physics
Option – Particle Physics
• There are 24 mandatory practical's
– these must be written up. Section A on
paper (30%) is based on these.
Good choice on the Paper
Paper has two sections
Section A
Answer 3 out of 4 questions based
on 24 compulsory experiments – 30%
Section B
Answer 5 out of 8 questions – 70%.
Two questions have a choice within
them. One question is based on an
optional topic which we always do.
Is Physics Hard?
Like any leaving cert subject
• there is a lot of learning, especially
definitions. Formulas are now given.
• Much more detail is required when
compared to the junior cert.
• A small number of topics are a
– However, this is true of all subjects,
especially if you take higher level.
• Physics is a two year course – not
two months cramming at the end!!
• If you like science, are good at
maths and work consistently then
it is a manageable subject.
Physics HL National
Figures for 2014
• Typically > 70% get
a C or higher
• Two thirds do
Higher level
• In Loreto most
students do higher
Do you need to be good at
Maths to do Physics?
• You need to be able to do calculations, know
basic algebra and geometry.
• You do not have to do H.L. maths for the
leaving .
• About 30% of the marks in the leaving cert
are for maths type questions.
• To do higher level physics you should
have an honour in higher level Junior
Cert Maths (preferably an A or B).
• This is not compulsory, but you will
probably find the subject difficult or
opt for Ordinary level.
• People who are good at maths are often
good at the type of thinking needed for
Will you like Physics?
• Do you like science?
• Do you like practical work?
• Did you like physics for the junior
• Do you switch off if a science
programme is on the TV?
Science in Ireland
• Ireland has a strong tradition in
science and technology
• Science Foundation Ireland funds a
very wide range of research in Ireland
• Many of the top technology companies
now have large operations in Ireland
• If you are interested in science there
are opportunities for you in Ireland
• Physics graduates are very employable