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Units in first semester 2021 may be delivered online and in alternative formats whilst restrictions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic are in place.

Physics

Physics

Undergraduate Major

MJRU-PHYSI

Major
Physics Major (BSc Science)
Admission criteria
Guaranteed ATAR 80
Credit
600

Outline

Reach for the stars, studying matter and energy in all their forms.

Cutting-edge

Graduate ready to work in environments where research and discovery abound.

Professional recognition

Gain professional membership of the Australian Institute of Physics.

Top 1 %

Curtin is ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide.

Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020.

From the kinetic energy of a speeding car to nuclear fusion energy, from nearby stars to distant galaxies, physicists examine matter and energy in all their forms.

In this course you will study real-world problems through observation, measurement and theoretical analysis. You’ll learn the core concepts of physics and gain experience using complex technical equipment, such as those found at supercomputing facilities.

You can specialise in one of the following streams:

Applied Physics
In this stream you will study matter and energy in the Earth’s natural and managed environments: the atmosphere, oceans, rivers, land, soils and living organisms.

You’ll study contemporary topics such as the development of energy-saving ‘green’ materials and the disposal of radioactive wastes. You’ll also learn how to deploy instruments during field excursions, and undertake field and satellite data analysis.

You’ll have the opportunity to undertake applied acoustics with Curtin’s Centre for Marine Science and Technology, and applied underwater optics with Curtin’s Remote Sensing and Satellite Research Group.

Astrophysics
This stream is suitable if you are interested in radio astronomy. You’ll grapple with scientific questions ranging from the origins of the Universe to the nature of dark matter.

Curtin’s major involvement in the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research and the Square Kilometre Array means you will have the chance to analyse data from cutting-edge radio telescopes.

Materials Science
This stream looks for connections between the underlying structure of a material, its properties and applications, and how processing changes the material.

You will study materials including metals, semiconductors, glasses, ceramics and polymers. You’ll also learn about analytical instruments and radiation that materials scientists use to investigate the microstructure of samples.

Mathematical Physics
Mathematical physics is the study of nature. Through mathematical models, we can predict the progress of climatic changes, the flow of oil reservoirs and development of new materials.

This stream will prepare you to work as a physicist or mathematician.

This major sits within the Bachelor of Science (Science) degree. It can also be studied as part of the Bachelor of Advanced Science course.

See our handbook for more course information.

Why study

  • Curtin offers a high-quality, student-centred learning environment, where you will receive personal attention from academic staff at all levels
  • The integration of third-year research projects with our postgraduate research groups is exceptional, with high postgraduate and staff numbers relative to undergraduate students. This creates a very high undergraduate engagement with our research teams and international collaborators.
  • Graduates gain a high level of employment flexibility, with analytical abilities, problem-solving skills and logical thinking being broadly applicable at the highest levels of industry and government organisations.

How this course will make you industry ready

You will study real-world problems through observation, measurement and theoretical analysis.

Student profile

View our student profile table to get an indication of the likely peer cohort for new students at Curtin University. This table provides data on students that commenced undergraduate study and passed the census date in the most relevant recent intake period for which data are available. It includes those admitted through all offer rounds and international students studying in Australia.

Professional recognition

You will be eligible for membership of the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP). Many international equivalents of the AIP also accept graduates as members.

Career information

Careers

  • Astrophysicist
  • Computational physicist
  • Environmental physicist
  • Materials analyst
  • Meteorologist
  • Satellite remote-sensing scientist
  • Financial analysts
  • Medical physicists

Industries

  • Astronomy
  • Defence
  • Environmental consultation
  • Manufacturing

Further study

What you'll learn

  • apply physics, mathematics, and computing knowledge, principles and concepts
  • apply critical, creative and reflective thinking to physics problems
  • access, evaluate and synthesise information relating to physics
  • effectively communicate physics ideas and concepts
  • use a range of technologies to collect and analyse data with appropriate regard to uncertainties
  • work as responsible, self-directed and motivated learners
  • apply internationally-accepted scientific conventions, standards and protocols
  • demonstrate respect for cultural diversity in professional life
  • work safely, effectively and ethically in a multifaceted scientific environment

Admission criteria

Curtin requires all applicants to demonstrate proficiency in English. Specific English requirements for this course are outlined in the IELTS table below.

IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System)
Writing6.0
Speaking6.0
Reading6.0
Listening6.0
Overall band score6.0

You may demonstrate English proficiency using the following tests and qualifications.

I recently attended high school

Applicants with recent secondary education are those whose admission is primarily based on the completion of Year 12 within the last two years, but also includes those who may have completed their senior secondary studies with a TAFE or other VET provider within the same time frame. This includes applicants whose secondary education was undertaken interstate or overseas.

  • Guaranteed ATAR : 80
  • Essential WACE subjects (pre-requisites)

    Mathematics Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR, or equivalent.

  • Desirable WACE subjects

    Mathematics Specialist ATAR and Chemistry ATAR

  • STAT entry : Not accepted.

Please see our correlation comparability for previous TEE subjects, WACE courses and WACE ATAR courses.

Other admission options

Lowest selection rank to which a recent Year 12 student offer was made (including the consideration of any equity or other adjustment factors)

View the lowest selection rank (incorporating ATAR plus any adjustments) of an applicant to which an offer of a place was made in the most relevant recent intake period, this includes any ATAR adjustments.

Selection rank adjustments (previously referred to as ATAR related adjustments)

Details of the types of adjustment factors (bonus points) commonly available to applicants can be found on our StepUp to Curtin webpage.

ATAR and selection rank profile for those offered places wholly or partly on the basis of ATAR in the most recent intake period

View data on the ATAR and selection rank profile of offers made from the most relevant recent intake period.

I have work and life experience

Applicants with work and life experience are those who left secondary education more than two years ago (i.e. who are not classified as recent secondary education applicants) and have not undertaken vocational education training (VET) or higher education study since then.

‘Experience’ includes a combination of factors sufficient to demonstrate readiness for higher education such as mature-age entry, professional experience whether completion of the Special Tertiary Admission Test (STAT) is required or not, community involvement or work experience. Applicants may have undertaken non-formal programs that have helped prepare them for tertiary education or are relevant to the proposed higher education field of study.

  • Guaranteed ATAR : 80
  • Essential WACE subjects (pre-requisites)

    Mathematics Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR, or equivalent.

  • Desirable WACE subjects

    Mathematics Specialist ATAR and Chemistry ATAR

  • STAT entry : Not accepted.

Please see our correlation comparability for previous TEE subjects, WACE courses and WACE ATAR courses.

I’ve studied at TAFE or done an apprenticeship

Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study are those whose highest level of study since leaving secondary education is a VET course. This includes study at a public TAFE or other VET provider, whether a qualification was completed or not. Applicants with VET study may have other qualifications such as a Year 10 or Year 12 secondary school certificate.

  • Guaranteed ATAR : 80 OR
  • TAFE:
    • AQF Diploma; or
    • AQF Advanced Diploma

    AND

    • satisfied the prerequisites: Maths Methods and Physics.

    The Maths Methods prerequisite can be met with:

    • Maths Methods ATAR; or
    • MATH1013 Introductory Mathematics or MATH1005 Pre-Calculus, and MATH1014 Foundations of Calculus.

    The Physics prerequisite can be met with:

    • Physics ATAR; or
    • PHYS1006 Foundations of Physics.
  • Essential WACE subjects (pre-requisites)

    Mathematics Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR, or equivalent.

  • Desirable WACE subjects

    Mathematics Specialist ATAR and Chemistry ATAR

  • STAT entry : Not accepted.

Please see our correlation comparability for previous TEE subjects, WACE courses and WACE ATAR courses.

I’ve gone to university before

Applicants with higher education are those whose highest level of study since leaving secondary education is a higher education course, such as a university degree. This includes applicants who are currently studying a higher education course at another education provider and want to transfer to Curtin University, or applicants who are currently studying at Curtin but want to switch to a different course. It also includes applicants who have completed past study with university and non-university higher education providers.

  • Curtin offers a variety of bridging courses to help you meet the admission criteria for this course. Find out more about our bridging courses.
  • Essential WACE subjects (pre-requisites)

    Mathematics Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR, or equivalent.

  • Desirable WACE subjects

    Mathematics Specialist ATAR and Chemistry ATAR

Please see our correlation comparability for previous TEE subjects, WACE courses and WACE ATAR courses.

Curtin course switcher criteria

To switch into this course, you need to have:

  • attained an ATAR of 80 and met the prerequisites; or
  • if you have studied Maths Applications or equivalent:
    • completed 100 credits within one semester, with a semester weighted average (SWA) of 65% or higher, plus any unit/s assessed as comparable to Maths Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR or higher; or
  • if you have studied Maths Methods or equivalent:
    • completed 100 credits within one semester with an SWA of 60% or higher, plus any unit/s assessed as comparable to Maths Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR or higher; or
  • completed 200 credits with a course weighted average (CWA) of 60% or higher, plus any unit/s assessed as comparable to Maths Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR or higher; or
  • completed 400 credits with a CWA of 50% of higher, plus any unit/s assessed as comparable to Maths Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR or higher.

The Maths Methods prerequisite can be met with:

  • Maths Methods ATAR; or
  • MATH1013 Introductory Mathematics or MATH1005 Pre-Calculus (12.5 credits); and
  • MATH1014 Foundations of Calculus.

The Physics prerequisite can be met with:

  • Physics ATAR; or
  • PHYS1006 Foundations of Physics.

Higher education course switcher criteria

To switch into this course from another higher education course, you need to have:

  • attained an ATAR of 80 plus any unit/s assessed as comparable to Maths Methods ATAR AND Physics ATAR; or
  • if you have studied Maths Applications or equivalent:
    • completed 100 credits within one semester with a semester weighted average (SWA) of 65% or higher, plus any unit/s assessed as comparable to Maths Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR or higher; or
  • if you have studied Maths Methods or equivalent:
    • completed 100 credits within one semester with an SWA of 60% or higher, plus any unit/s assessed as comparable to Maths Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR or higher; or
  • completed 200 credits with a course weighted average (CWA) of 60% or higher, plus any unit/s assessed as comparable to Maths Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR or higher; or
  • completed 400 credits with a CWA of 50% of higher, plus any unit/s assessed as comparable to Maths Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR or higher.

Other requirements and notes for this course

July intake: Course duration may exceed three years due to unit prerequisites.

Admission criteria may be different if you are studying this major as part of a double degree or Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

In addition to the course-specific admission criteria listed above, please read our general admission criteria. Our general admission criteria apply to all courses at Curtin University.

Application information

If applying for this major through Curtin, rather than through TISC, you will apply for the Bachelor of Science (Science).

Advanced standing

At Curtin, we understand that everyone’s study journey has been different.

You may have already studied some of the units (subjects) listed in your Curtin course, or you may have work experience that matches the degree requirements.

If this applies to you, you can apply for credit for recognised learning (CRL), which means your previous study is recognised and matched against a similar unit in your intended Curtin course.

A successful CRL application exempts you from having to complete certain units within your course and means you could finish your degree in a shorter amount of time.

CRL is also known as recognition of prior learning, advanced standing and credit transfer.

Use the CRL search to find out how much CRL you qualify for, or contact us at:

Email: crl@curtin.edu.au

Tel: 1300 222 888

CRL search

Fees & charges

Please view the degree for indicative fees.

How to apply

Please review information on how to apply for the campus of your choice

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  • The offering information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information. View courses information disclaimer.

  • Curtin course code: MJRU-PHYSI
  • Last updated on: April 19, 2021