DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU


Module Specifications

Archived Version 2008 - 2009

Module Title Physics For General Science II
Module Code PS123
School School of Physical Sciences

Online Module Resources

Module Co-ordinatorDr. Paul SwiftOffice NumberN107
Level 1 Credit Rating 0
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Module Aims
  • This module aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the physics topics of optics and electricity & magnetism, directed towards general science and computing students.
  • The subjects taught and the method of approach will be chosen to give students a full and thorough knowledge of the topics.
  • The modules aims to develop student knowledge and appreciation of general physics and to be able to confidently handle problems, using non-calculus-based methods.
  • Students also taking the Physics Laboratory module PS153 will be able to see the relationship between the classroom material and their practical experiments.

Learning Outcomes
  • The student should gain familiarity with the more advanced concepts in optics and electricity & magnetism.
  • The student should be able to confidently tackle problems in these areas and apply the knowledge gained to the physics laboratory aspect of their course.
  • The student should be aware of the relevance of the topics studied to their field(s) of specialisation.
  • This awareness will focus on the possible sources of confusion for students with certain topics which are more conceptually demanding or abstract than normal. The module will be structured to address these issues, giving the students a good background and understanding of these topics.

Indicative Time Allowances
Lectures 34
Tutorials 12
Laboratories 0
Seminars 2
Independent Learning Time 27

Total 75
Assume that a 0 credit module load represents approximately 75 hours' work, which includes all teaching, in-course assignments, laboratory work or other specialised training and an estimated private learning time associated with the module.

Indicative Syllabus

Electricity and Magnetism:

Electric Charge and fields, Gauss Law and flux

Electric potential

Capacitors and dielectrics

Current, resistance and EMFDC circuits

Magnetic fields and forces

Amperes Law and magnetic field sources

EM Induction Maxwells equationsInductance

AC circuits and resonance


EM waves

Optical waves and propagation

Imaging systems, microscopes and telescopes

Interference and diffraction

Introduction to lasers and holography

Continuous Assessment20% Examination Weight80%
Indicative Reading List

Physics: (6th edition) by D.C. Giancoli (Prentice Hall 2005)


How things work by Louis A Bloomfield (2nd edition) Wiley 2001

University Physics by H. D. Young, (Addison Wesley 1992)

Understanding Physics by M. Mansfield and C. O’Sullivan (Wiley 1998)


PS122, PS123 & PS113

No minimum pass mark is required in either of the individual sub modules PS122 and PS123. The result in the ten credit main module PS113** is calculated based on the average of sub-modules PS122 and PS123. The minimum pass mark for module PS113 is 40%. University compensation regulations apply to the main module PS113 only.

If a student fails to reach a mark of 40% in main module PS113, and is not eligible to compensate according to University guidelines in module PS113, then they must repeat the individual sub-module(s) (PS122 & PS123) where they received a mark of less that 40%. Following the repeat sitting of the failed element the average of modules PS122 and PS123 will be recalculated and a repeat mark awarded in the main module PS113.

There is no requirement in the repeat diet to attain a minimum mark in either sub-element PS122 or PS123. The pass mark for the main module PS1113 at the repeat sitting is 40%.

****Students who register for modules PS122 and PS123 must also register for the combined master module PS113 for averaging purposes.

Programme or List of Programmes
ACBSc in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sc.
ASBSc in Analytical Science
BTBSc in Biotechnology
CESBSc Common Entry into Science
ESHBSc Environmental Science & Health
GCBBSc in Genetics & Cell Biology
IFCCESInt Foundation Cert (Science)
SCIBSc Science International
SEBSc Science Education