Postgraduate Courses

The Physics Department offer Postgraduate research programmes to MSc and PhD level and welcome applications from suitably qualified graduates. Postgraduate studies are completed in conjunction with one of the research groups in the Department. Much of the Department’s research is performed collaboratively and there are excellent opportunities for students to broaden their skills and experience by spending time in one of our collaborating institutions in Europe, the USA, Asia or Australia.The department also offers a taught Masters in Photonics that is supported by multiple photonics groups in Physics, Electrical Engineering and at the Tyndall National Institute.

Entry Requirements and Application Procedure

To be eligible for consideration to undertake a programme of study for a Master’s Degree by Research or the taught Master’s degree in Photonics, a candidate must have obtained a standard of at least Second Class Honours in an approved primary degree or equivalent.
Students are advised to consult with the relevant Head of Department to discuss their proposed area of research prior to making an application through the Postgraduate Applications Centre. Applications for research programmes are accepted throughout the year. Prospective students are advised to complete their applications at least three months in advance of their desired start date as all applications go through three different stages of approval – Department, Faculty and Inter Faculty Graduate Studies Board. The three start dates during the year are January, April and October. A candidate who wishes to obtain a Master’s degree by research must pursue a programme of supervised research for at least the equivalent of one year full-time from the date of first registration for the programme.

Taught MSc in Photonics

The Masters in Photonics is a one year taught Masters designed to prepare students for further research or a career in Photonics. Within the one year Masters in Photonics program the student will complete six courses and laboratory work designed to impart the theoretical and practical knowledge required to pursue either further studies or a career in Photonics. Then, during the summer they will complete a research project in Photonics to gain further experience. For more information please refer to the web site for the Photonics MSc.

What is the difference between a taught and a research Masters?

A Master’s Degree may be obtained in one of two main modes, namely by:
(a) Research only, or by
(b) Coursework, Examination and Dissertation/Minor Thesis (Taught Masters).

A candidate who wishes to obtain a Master’s degree by research must pursue a programme of supervised research for at least the equivalent of one year full-time from the date of first registration for the programme. They must prepare and submit a masters thesis of original work (approx 40,000 words) in consultation with the supervisor(s) and the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee.
A candidate who wishes to obtain a Taught Master’s must:

(i) pursue a prescribed postgraduate programme for at least the equivalent of one year full-time from the date of first registration for the programme;

(ii) must pass an examination on the programme and reach a required standard; and

(iii) must submit a dissertation/minor thesis or a research project.

How do I apply for a postgraduate programme at UCC?

Application for all taught and research programmes for EU students is made on-line through the Postgraduate Applications Centre at www.pac.ie. The full procedure is outlined here.

Postgraduate Funding

Internal Scholarships: There are many opportunities for internal funding for postgraduate research students. These may be in the form of Assistantships or Scholarships and vary in value. External Scholarships: The Irish Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) – The Embark Initiative, a major national funding programme operated by IRCSET, provides funding to new researchers planning to complete either Masters or Doctorate level research in the sciences, engineering or technology under its Postgraduate Scholarship Research Scheme. Under this scheme, funding of €24,003 is provided for each of three years for doctorate level research (total funding of €72,009) and one year (€23,004) for Master’s level research. For further information, application forms and closing dates please see IRC.

Postgraduate Prospectus – Research Programmes

For prospective research students, please visit the UCC Graduate Studies website. Useful information about applications, funding and opportunities can be found here.