“All of physics is either impossible or trivial. It is impossible until you understand it, and then it becomes trivial.”



Physics is the fundamental science. It deals with the laws of nature and how they impact on our daily lives. The course provides a good basis for further study of sciences and also for any course where the ability to think logically is required.

Science, technology and society (STS) is the fundamental part of the syllabus so that students can be aware of the principles of the applications of physics in the everyday world. Physics gives us an understanding of many of the everyday things which we take for granted.

The Physics Department in Bailieborough Community School has a strong focus on the practical aspects of Physics at both the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate cycles. The school’s tradition of discovery learning in Science is now an important part of the new Department of Education and Science syllabi through mandatory experiments.

Course Content

The leaving certificate course covers the following topics:

  • Optics
  • Mechanics
  • Heat
  • Waves
  • Light
  • Sound
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • Electromagnetism
  • Electron beams
  • X-Rays
  • Radioactivity
  • Option: Modern Physics or Applied Electricity

The course includes 24 mandatory experiments, which are covered in-depth throughout the two years at senior cycle (5th and 6th year).

Approximately 50% of the course is dependent upon learning – involving the mandatory experiments and definitions. The remaining 50% is down to your own logic and reasoning. It examines your comprehension of the course content and your ability to apply your knowledge and understanding to the problem at hand.

Physics and Careers

Physics contributes to a student’s future career in many ways.

  • It helps, in conjunction with the other Leaving Certificate subjects, to provide a broad, balanced education for any student
  • Physics teaches students to think logically and enables them to express their thoughts in a concise manner.
  • The skills and knowledge developed through their study of physics can be useful in a wide variety of situations.
  • Physics is a useful subject for many courses and careers and a good foundation for a broad range of scientific and technical careers.
  • Many careers benefit from the logical and numeracy skills developed by the study of physics. Many technical courses involve components of physics.

Physics and physics-related courses may be taken at both certificate and degree level in third-level institutions.Physics forms some part of the following courses at third level:

  • Forensic Physicist
  • Physics Teacher
  • Games Developer
  • Rocket Scientist
  • Imaging Processing Researcher
  • Geophysicist
  • Low Yield Analyst
  • Computational Physicist
  • Medical Physicist
  • Nanotechnology Researcher
  • Meteorologist
  • Astronomer
  • Solar Physicist
  • Physics Student
  • Strategic Planner
  • Failure Analysis Engineer
  • Econophysicist
  • Wind Analyst
  • Particle Physicist
  • Video Producer
  • Solar Thermal Research Physicist
  • Field Geophysicist
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