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Applied Physics & Instrumentation

  • Course Code

    CR 001

  • Field of Study

    Applied Physics and Instrumentation

  • Type of Course:


  • Type of Qualification:


  • Type of Study:

    Full time

  • Application Closing Date:

Course duration:

3 Years (6 Semester)

Admission Requirements:

For admission to a programme, standard applicants must
• score the necessary CAO points and
• meet the minimum entry requirements

Leaving Certificate in five subjects i.e. Grade O6 or H7 in five subjects

The five subjects must include Mathematics, and either English or Irish.


Work Placement

There is a mandatory eight week placement during the second semester in third year either in industry or a European university.

Leaving Cert Subjects:

Helpful subjects are Physics, Engineering, Technology, Chemistry, and Mathematics.

Course summary

The course programme comprises both theory and laboratory elements, with continuous assessment and end of module examinations.

Further studies

Qualified students are eligible to apply for the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Physics and Instrumentation.


Physical Sciences

Further Study Courses

Students who successfully complete Year 2 of this programme and do not wish to progress to Year 3 will receive the Higher Certificate in Science in Applied Physics and Instrumentation.

What is Applied Physics and Instrumentation?

As the science which deals with fundamental physical concepts, such as energy, force and time, physics is at the heart of everything in the natural world such as gravity, heat and light. Applied Physics is the term used when we apply these concepts, and thus Applied Physics is at the heart of everything in the manmade world. Instrumentation is the specific technology that allows us to measure and control a wide range of physical and other quantities that are essential to life today.

Safety, reliability, productivity, efficiency, sustainability and economy, for example, are underpinned by instrumentation. Communications, healthcare, oil & gas exploration, energy generation, transportation, food safety and research & development are examples of sectors that are increasingly dependent on instrumentation. Quite simply, instrumentation makes things happen!

About the Course

The aim of this course is to prepare graduates for a range of technical positions within the multi-disciplinary field of Applied Physics and Instrumentation. Whilst there is particular emphasis on employment within process industries, such as chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food, beverage and water, graduates are well equipped for employment in other sectors such as computers, medical devices and microelectronics, as well as in hospitals and in research and development.

Graduates will acquire comprehensive knowledge of process control, quality and safety systems in the context of the operations of process industries and the nature of their products. They will also be able to diagnose problems and implement solutions for a wide range of instrumentation systems used to measure and control technical processes.


This Degree is recognised by the Institute of Physics. Graduates of recognised Degrees qualify for Associate Membership upon graduation and may apply for full Membership after appropriate work experience.

The Institute of Physics provides routes for suitably qualified and experienced Members to become Chartered Physicists and Chartered Engineers. Further details can be found on the Institute of Physics website.

Work Placement

There is a mandatory eight week placement during the second semester in third year. Students are placed in an applied physics and/or instrumentation role within an industry, organisation or research group. It may be possible for the placement to be in an international location.


The Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Physics (Level 8) degree that follows  Bachelor of Science  in Applied Physics and Instrumentation (Level 7) satisfies the degree requirements of the Teaching Council. As with other recognised degrees, a postgraduate programme of Initial Teaching Education, accredited by the Teaching Council, consisting of two years full time study or 120 ECTS credits must subsequently be completed to be eligible for registration with the Teaching Council.


Suitably qualified graduates are eligible to apply for entry to the final year of

Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Physics and Instrumentation (Level 8) or
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Instrument Engineering (Level 8)

Question Time

Is this course an extension of Leaving Certificate Physics?
Whilst Physics at Leaving Certificate level is helpful, it is not essential as the key content in Physics is covered in Year 1 of the course.

What personal skills are most suited to the course and subsequent careers?
Motivation, initiative, dependability, commitment, and analytical ability.

What should my interests be?
How things work, problem-solving and meeting technical challenges.

Where am I likely to work?
There are excellent employment opportunities locally, nationally and internationally for graduates in Applied Physics and Instrumentation. Whilst many of these opportunities are in pharmachem, biotech and other process industries, graduates have found employment in other manufacturing sectors such as computers, medical devices and microelectronics, as well as in hospitals, and in research and development.

graduate profile

Colin Horgan
Automation Engineer

“I completed the BSc in Applied Physics & Instrumentation in 2010 and progressed to the final year of the BSc (Honours) in Applied Physics & Instrumentation where I specialised in Instrument Engineering. Within three weeks of completing my Honours Degree I had three offers of employment.

In July 2011 I joined Rockwell Automation Ireland as an Automation Engineer and have been working on automation projects for different clients with particular emphasis on programmable logic controllers (PLCs). I have also been working on distributed control systems (DCSs). While I found myself on a steep learning curve in industry, the familiarisation with the hardware and software of PLCs and DCSs provided by the course proved invaluable and very much eased my transition from college to industry.”


Full details of the modules on this programme of study are available by clicking the following link:

Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics & Instrumentation CR001

Higher Certificate in Science in Applied Physics & Instrumentation

The multi-disciplinary strengths of the graduates are particularly attractive to the small-to-medium enterprises often found in Ireland as these companies place a high value on the expertise, self-sufficiency and practical skills that courses in the CIT Department of Physical Sciences are designed to cultivate. Looking beyond Ireland, the European dimension to the courses prepares graduates for work within the larger European and international firms and research institutes.

For over thirty years this course has been the premier gateway to a range of careers in the Applied Physics and Instrumentation field. Many of our graduates hold key positions in major process industries within the pharmaceutical, fine chemicals, food and beverage sectors as well as in leading engineering service companies that support these sectors. Other graduates have developed rewarding careers in a range of manufacturing industries, hospitals, education and research. The excellent career opportunities open to graduates at the various levels reflect the broad interdisciplinary scope of a curriculum that includes electronics, computing and mathematics along with physics and instrumentation.

The streams available in the BSc (Honours) in Applied Physics and Instrumentation course enable students to specialise whilst retaining their interdisciplinarity. The course has a strong engineering orientation with many graduates establishing careers as Instrument Engineers and Automation Engineers by continuing their studies to honours degree level. This education broadens the perspective of the student and helps to develop their design capabilities.

At Bachelor Degree Level
Typically, 95% of graduates find employment in Ireland across various sectors of industry, including: computing (24%), electronics (18%), engineering services (31%) and the chemical industry (8%).

Potential Areas of Employment
• Calibration
• Instrument/Automation/Control Engineering
• Research and Development
• Metrology


Application for this course are processed by the
Central Applications Office (CAO)

CAO 1st Round:


CAO Cut off:

Not Specified

CAO Average:

Richard Peard
021 4335870