Study Planner Information

What will I study?

In this major, you will develop a broad knowledge of classical and modern physics. Courses in physics include: astronomy, biophysics, electromagnetism, laser physics, mathematical physics, mechanics, optics, quantum physics and thermodynamics.

In later years you can specialise in your particular area of interest. Electives under the general stream will prepare you for most areas of physics including quantum information and quantum optics, condensed matter physics, biophotonics and laser science. Alternatively students can pursue a specialisation in Astronomy and Astrophysics or Mathematical Physics.

Assessment tasks vary across different courses but include poster presentations, assignments, laboratory reports and exams. As well as content knowledge, students are provided with the opportunity to develop a range of other skills such as problem-solving capabilities, laboratory skills and computing abilities that will equip graduates to pursue a career in this area.

Physics is available as a single or extended major, or it can be included as part of a dual major in Computational Science or Biophysics, or taken alongside another single major in the BSc.

1st Year Study Planner

What do the different requirements mean?

  • Compulsory for program – all BSc students must complete this course
  • Prerequisite for major – course required for this major
  • Recommended – other science course which complements the major, but can be substituted for an elective
  • Elective - choose a Level 1 course that interests you
Year 1-Semester 1
Course Code & Title Requirements

MATH1051 Calculus & Linear Algebra I1,3
MATH1071 Advanced Calculus & Linear Algebra I3

Prerequisite for major
PHYS1001 Mechanics & Thermal Physics I Prerequisite for major
SCIE1000 Theory & Practice in Science Recommended
Elective Elective


 Year 1-Semester 2
Course Code & Title Requirements
STAT1201 Analysis of Scientific Data Compulsory for BSc
PHYS1002 Electromagnetism and Modern Physics Prerequisite for major
MATH1052 Multivariate Calculus & Ordinary Differential Equations3
MATH1072 Advanced Multivariate Calculus & Ordinary Differential Equations3
Prerequisite for major
Elective Elective

1. Students without at least a Sound Achievement in Senior Maths C are required to take MATH1050 as an elective before MATH1051.
2. MATH1050 is not available for students with a High Achievement or higher in Senior Maths C. MATH1050 is not available to students who have passed MATH1051 and/or MATH1071 and/or MATH1052 and/or MATH1072
3. Students with a high achievement in Senior Maths C (or a 6 or 7 in MATH1050) should take the sequence MATH1071 and MATH1072. Students with a sound achievement in Senior Maths C (or a 4 or 5 in MATH1050) should take the sequence MATH1051 and MATH1052.

Year 2 to 3 Study Planner

The following are suggested study plans for this major and should be used as a guide to planning your program. Please refer to the course list to ensure you complete the major requirements.

What do the different columns mean?

  • Sem - Semester
  • Compulsory courses – compulsory for the major.
  • Key courses – electives from the major's course list.
  • Recommended courses – complements the major.
Year 2
Sem Compulsory Courses
Complete all courses
Key Courses
Choose at least #4 from:
Recommended Courses
1 PHYS2020 Thermodyn & Condensed Matter

PHYS2055 Intro to Fields in Physics
PHYS2810 Electronics & Circuit Theory MATH2001 Advanced Calculus and Linear Algebra
2 PHYS2041 Quantum Physics PHYS2100 Dynamics, Chaos & Special Rela

PHYS2082 Space Sc & Stellar Astrophysic

BIPH2000 Foundations of Biophysics
MATH2100 Applied Mathematical Analysis

Suggested electives:
COSC2500 Num Meth in Computational Sci

PHIL2011 Phil of Modern Physics
Year 3
Sem Compulsory Courses
Complete all courses
Key Courses
#10 for:
Recommended Courses
1 PHYS3040 Quantum Physics1

PHYS3051 Fields in Physics1

PHYS3071 Computational Physics
SCIE3250 Introduction to Research
2 PHYS3900 Perspectives in Physics BIHP3001 Frontiers in Biophysics

PHYS3020 Statistical Mechanics1

PHYS3080 Extragalatic Astrophy & Cosm

PHYS3825 Experimental Design
SCIE3250 Introduction to Research


1. Students must choose at least #4 from PHYS3040, PHYS3051 and/or PHYS3020 to complete the requirements for the Physics major.

Careers in Physics

Physicists engage in a wide range of exciting and rewarding careers across many industries in both the public and private sectors. Physics graduate attributes include robust, high-level analytical and problem-solving skills that are widely applicable and highly valued by a diverse range of employers in the public and private sector, including such areas as:

  • Education and Science Communicators
  • Engineering
  • Computing
  • Management
  • Finance
  • Research and Technical Positions
  • Health and Medical Sectors
  • Nuclear Physics

Many BSc graduates also enter into further research-based studies in Honours, Masters and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs. Subsequently physicists can find employment opportunities in research and development to increase scientific knowledge, or applied research to develop new devices, products or processes.



Starting at UQ

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Important dates

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First Years - St Lucia

First Year Guide 2017 for St Lucia Students

First Years - Gatton

First Year Guide 2017 for Gatton Students

First Years - Gatton (External)

First Year Guide 2017 for External Gatton Students