Award Type and NFQ level : UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE (8)

CAO/PAC code : MH204

CAO Points : 376

Closing Date : 01 July 2024

View QQI details

If you are passionate about understanding astrophysical phenomena, this degree has been designed for you. It is based on the Single Major degree in Experimental Physics but with an increased emphasis on studying the physical principles needed to understand astronomical objects such as planets, stars and galaxies, as well as the dynamics of the Universe as a whole.

  • You will study the latest telescopes, satellites, detector technology and data analysis techniques used to make the exquisitely sensitive observations needed in modern astrophysics.
  • In addition you will receive an excellent grounding in all the core areas of Experimental Physics, opening up all the career opportunities available to physicists.
  • Maynooth University has a long tradition of excellence in Experimental Physics. The inventor of the induction coil, Nicholas Callan, was Professor of Experimental Physics here from 1826 to 1864.
  • Facilities include state-of-the-art laboratories, an observatory with a computerised Meade telescope, an atmospheric physics facility, and radio and cosmic ray telescopes.
  • Field trips and scientific visits are organised to other facilities such as L’Observatoire d’Haute Provence (France), the European Space Agency (the Netherlands), Jodrell Bank (UK), St. Luke’s Hospital and Armagh Observatory.
  • Students attaining 60% in Experimental Physics and 60% in either Mathematics or Mathematical Physics in 1st MH201 Science may apply to transfer into MH204 in 2nd year. Places are limited and are based on results. 

Duration: 4 years

1st year

  • Physics with Astrophysics
  • Mathematics
  • Choose 2 other Science subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering Science, Mathematical Physics - please note that not all combinations of 2 subjects are possible due to timetable restrictions. Engineering Science cannot be taken with Biology. Students taking Engineering Science must also take Computer Science. Students may take Computer Science and not take Engineering Science.)

2nd year

  • Physics with Astrophysics
  • Continue with 2 of your 1st year subjects
  • Optional 10 credit Elective OR Critical Skills

3rd year

  • Physics with Astrophysics
  • Continue with 1 of your 2nd year subjects

4th year

  • Students take Physics with Astrophysics only
Course Duration: 4 years

Physicists and astrophysicists find employment in high-tech fields and in areas where analytical and problem-solving skills are valued. Graduates have progressed to roles at Met Éireann, St. Luke’s Hospital Dublin, the European Space Agency, NASA, Caltech, Intel, Hewlett Packard, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  • Astrophysicists can find challenging and rewarding careers in astrophysics and also in fields such as medical physics, computational physics, forensic science, meteorology, environmental and atmospheric physics.
  • Students who do sufficiently well are eligible to undertake research for an MSc or PhD degree under the supervision of one of the members of academic staff, who run active research programmes in these areas. This option is especially suitable for those wishing to pursue research careers, either in industry or academia.

Visit the Graduate Studies website for more information about postgraduate options.

This table displays the requirements for Leaving Certificate applicants.
Subject Required Ordinary Level Grade Higher Level Grade
Irish Yes O6 H7
English Yes O6 H7
Language No N/A N/A
Math Yes O4 H7
Science Yes O6 H7

International & EU/EFTA Entry Requirements

Mature Students

Mature Applicants 

Mature applicants are assessed separately to school-leavers. Mature applicants are 23 years or older by 1st January in the year of entry to the University. For part-time/flexible degrees the mature age is 21. 

Click here to be taken to our mature applicant information page - tab 3 on that page outlines application steps for this degree.

Mature applicants who have a disability 

If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia), and require examination support for any written tests that may be required, please submit supporting documentation by 15 March 2024 to the Access Office. 

Unfortunately we are unable to consider applications for alternative examination accommodation after this deadline. 

For further information on the supporting documentation required, as well as examination and other supports visit the Access Office website.

01 February 2024

Additional Information

Leaving Certificate Applicants 

Required to present (as a minimum): 2H5 & 4O6/H7 and O6/H7 in Irish, English, Science subject (i.e. Agricultural Science, Applied Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics, or Physics with Chemistry) & O4/H7 Mathematics. MH204 Round 1 Points 2023: 376


DARE: The Disability Access Route to Education is a third level alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education.

HEAR: The Higher Education Access Route is a third level admissions scheme for school leavers from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Contact the Access Office for more information about these access routes.

The Maynooth Education

Click here for details about optional Critical Skills courses, Electives and degree pathways. 



The application process depends on the type of applicant you are. Click here for all information about how to apply.

Categories of applicant:

  • School-leavers (Leaving Certificate students)
  • Mature students (23 years or older by 1st January in the year of entry to the University/part-time degrees the mature age is 21)
  • EU/EFTA/UK students
  • International students (outside the EU)
  • QQI (Further Education) students
  • Transferring students
  • Deferring students
Back to top