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Nanoscience, physics and chemistry of advanced materials

Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

What is Nanoscience and Advanced materials?

The ability to create new technologies or functional devices would not be possible without mastering advanced materials at the nanoscale. New methods of fabricating or interacting with such nanostructures is what nanoscience is all about. Nanoscience incorporates applications in energy, photonics, medical diagnostics, ultra-fast electronics and many other areas. These include superconductors, polymers, lasers and optoelectronics and affect industries such as electronics, telecommunications, healthcare and even airlines. Nanodevices may behave in surprising ways, unlike miniaturised versions of the macroscopic devices. Making devices smaller by approaching the nanoscale can reduce energy cost, while increasing speed or adding functionality. Further energy conversion and storage are important research fields of advanced materials.

Is this the right course for you?

If you enjoy laboratory work and have the desire to apply your scientific skills to industries and technologies that are shaping our world, then this may be the course for you.

Why study Nanoscience at Trinity?

Studying Nanoscience at Trinity offers you the opportunity to learn from world-leading experts based in the Schools of Physics and Chemistry, and in CRANN (Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices), which is Ireland’s research centre for nanoscale materials. This degree will teach you how to use and apply principles of chemistry and physics to solve practical problems associated with the development of new technologies and their application to Nanoscience.

What will you study?

In the first two years, you will follow the Science (TR071) programme, taking chemistry, physics and mathematics. There will be special tutorials on historical and modern aspects of nanoscience and materials science from leading experts based in the Schools of Physics and Chemistry. There are approximately 15 hours of lectures/tutorials and 6 hours of laboratory classes per week.


In third year, students really begin to specialise in Nanoscience. Six hours per week are spent in the specialised nanoscience teaching laboratory, where they will be introduced to a wide range of techniques for the synthesis, preparation and characterisation of nanoscale materials. Additional laboratory training is provided in CRANN using their state of the art facilities.


  • Quantum Mechanical Concepts in Physical Chemistry
  • Molecular Thermodynamics and Kinetics
  • Solid State Materials
  • Analytical Methods
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Electromagnetic Interactions I
  • Condensed Matter I
  • Condensed Matter II
  • Practical in Nanoscience and Advanced Materials


The fourth year course further explores nanoscience theory and its applications including more advanced solid state physics and chemistry, non-linear optics, materials for electronic and optoelectronic devices, computer simulation and advanced growth techniques. In this year, students also carry out a major research project, where they become familiar with the applications of advanced materials, nanostructures or nanodevices in real-life situations. The project can take place in Trinity or can be pursued abroad in an academic or industrial research laboratory.


  • Advanced Physical Chemistry II
  • Materials Chemistry I
  • Materials Chemistry II
  • Condensed Matter III
  • Nanoscience
  • Photonics
  • Advanced Topics in Physics
  • Practical in Advanced Materials

If you would like more detailed information on all the modules offered, see:

Study abroad

Many students carry out their final year research project abroad, mainly in Belgium, France, Germany, North America or China. Recent examples of laboratories where projects have taken place, include the IMEC micro- and nano-electronics research centre in Leuven, Belgium; The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California; the University of Alberta, Canada, and the University of Wollongong, Australia, and the University of Potsdam (Universität Potsdam), Germany.

Further information on the course programme, and a list of partner universities, can be found at:


The Nanoscience degree is recognised by the Institute of Physics, which is the professional body for physicists in Ireland and the UK. This degree will provide graduates with a flexible qualification for employment in cutting-edge high technology industries such as the semiconductor, polymer and optical industries. Our graduates will be strongly sought after in the knowledge economy, where their interdisciplinary training in physics and chemistry will give them a clear edge in solving practical problems in high-tech industry. There are also opportunities to carry out postgraduate study in nanoscience, a key research area in Trinity itself with world class facilities in CRANN ( Graduates of the course are now working in a range of fields, including multinationals such as Intel, indigenous start-ups and in further academic research.

Further information

A Maths/Physics Open Day is held in November each year, see:

Twitter: @npcamtcd

Email: | Tel: +353 1 896 1675 / 2024

Specific Entry Requirements

Leaving CertificateOA2 or HC3 Mathematics
HC3 In two of: physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics/chemistry or applied mathematics
GCSEGrade A Mathematics
Advanced GCE (A-Level)Grade C Mathematics
Advanced GCE (A-Level)Grade C In two of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics or applied mathematics
Combinations not permitted:
Physics/chemistry with physics or chemistry
Applied mathematics with mathematics
Other EU examination systemsSee

Student Profile

Cathal O’Connell

I completed my degree in NPCAM in 2008. During my final year I got the opportunity to undertake a short research project at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Developing this contact is probably the most life-defining outcome of the course for me, as it led to my PhD position in Australia. I found that NPCAM provided a very solid fundamental understanding of both physics and chemistry. This has allowed me to transition between fields and between projects, and to publish in both chemistry and physics journals. The course also placed a strong emphasis on developing physical models to explain new phenomena. These skills have been invaluable in my later research.