The leaving certificate Physics syllabus aims to give students an understanding of the fundamental principles of physics and their application to everyday life. It offers a general education in physics for all students, enabling them to develop an understanding of the scientific method and their ability to observe, think logically and to communicate effectively. Science, Technology and Society (STS) is an integral part of the syllabus so that students can be aware of the applications of physics in the everyday world.

Subject content

Subject content is presented at both ordinary and higher level under the following headings:

  • Mathematics
  • Temperature
  • Heat
  • Waves
  • Vibrations and sound
  • Light
  • Electricity
  • Modern Physics
  • Option 1: particle physics (HL only)

At higher level, there is a deeper, more quantitative treatment of physics.

There are 5 class periods per week allocated to Physics, one double and three single classes.

Cross Curricular Links

There are many cross curricular links with maths and applied maths. A higher level maths background is not a necessity but students should have a keen interest in maths, problem solving and equations as it is a large part of the physics course.

Possible Career Paths

Architecture, Astronomy, Biophysicist, Computer Careers, Dentist, Doctor, Engineer (especially electrical and electronic engineering), Geophysicist, Health Inspector, Medical Laboratory Technician, Metallurgist, Meteorologist, Nurse, Oceanographer, Optician, Pharmacist, Physicist, Physics Teacher, Photographic Technician, Pilot, Radiographer, Telecommunications, Trade apprenticeships, Heating and Ventilation.