Subject Overview

This subject 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, to 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 principles of the applications of physics in the everyday world.


Subject content is presented at Ordinary level and Higher level under the headings:

  • Mechanics
  • Temperature
  • Heat
  • Waves
  • Vibrations and Sound
  • Light
  • Electricity
  • Modern Physics
    Option 1: Particle Physics (HL only)
    Option 2: Applied Electricity (HL only)

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

Students follow a course of practical work, with prescribed experiments in each of the main sections of the syllabus. Students are required to keep a record of this work.

Course Choice

If students are looking to do a course in Science ,Information Technology or Engineering at third level this is a very good subject to study for the Leaving Certificate.  If students excelled at Science and Maths at Junior Certificate this is very likely a good match for them if they want to pursue the above courses.
With bonus points in Maths at Leaving certificate higher level , if students do Physics , Maths and Applied Mathematics these subjects all complement each other and can give students the results they need to do the course they apply for.