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. More specialist plans exist for studying astronomy and astrophysics and mathematical physics.

Assessment tasks vary across different courses but include poster presentations, assignments, laboratory reports and exams.

As well as content knowledge in this area you will be given the opportunity to develop a range of other skills such as problem-solving capabilities, laboratory skills and computing abilities that will equip you to pursue a career in this area.

1st to 4th Year Study Planners

The following are suggested study plans for this major and should be used as a guide to assist in planning your program. BAdvSc(Hons) students will complete #64 units in total, comprising:

  • #6 for Part A (STAT1301, SCIE1100 and SCIE2011)
  • #6 (science or non-science) electives
  • #52 for the requirements for a major as per the course list.

To fulfil the Physics major, you are required to complete a total of #52 including:

  • #44 of Compulsory Courses
  • #8 in an approved combination from the Key Courses

Please refer to the course list to ensure you complete the major requirements.

How do I use the Study Plans?

  1. Take all Compulsory Courses in each semester.
  2. Select required number of units in Key Courses for each year level.
  3. Fill any gaps in each semester with Key Courses or electives as permitted by the BAdvSc(Hons) requirements and rules.

What do the different requirements mean?

  • Compulsory for program – all students must complete this course
  • Key courses – electives from the major's course list
  • Elective - #6 science or non-science electives
  • Year 1
    Sem Compulsory Courses Key Courses Elective
    1 SCIE1100 Advanced Theory and Practice in Science

    PHYS1001 Mechanics & Thermal Physics

    MATH1051 Calculus & Linear Algebra I1
    - Please refer to the Course List
    2 STAT1301 Advanced Analysis of Scientific Data

    PHYS1002 Electromagnetism and Modern Physics

    MATH1052 Multivariate Calculus & Ordinary Differential Equations

    SCIE2111 Introduction to Science Research
    - -
    • Year 2
      Sem Compulsory Courses Key Courses
      Choose at least #4 from:
      1 MATH2001 Advanced Calculus and Linear Algebra

      PHYS2020 Thermodynamics &Condensed Matter Physics

      PHYS2055 Introduction to Fields in Physics
      PHYS2810 Electronics & Circuit Theory

      MATH2301 Linear & Abstract Algebra &Number Theory

      MATH2400 Mathematical Analysis
      Please refer to the Course List
      2 MATH2100 Applied Mathematical Analysis

      PHYS2041 Quantum Physics
      BIPH2000 Foundations of Biophysics

      COSC2500 Numerical Methods in Computational Science

      PHYS2082 Space Science &Stellar Astrophysics

      PHYS2100 Dynamics, Chaos & Special Relativity2
      • Year 3
        Year 3 Compulsory Courses Key Courses
        Choose at least #4 from:
        1 MATH4105 General Relativity2

        PHYS3040 Quantum Physics

        PHYS3051 Fields in Physics

        SCIE3250 / SCIE3251 Introduction to Research in Mathematics/ Physics3
        MATH3101 Bifurcation and Chaos

        MATH3201 Scientific Computing: Advanced Techniques & Applications

        MATH3303 Abstract Algebra & Number Theory

        MATH3401 Complex Analysis

        PHYS3071 Computational Physics
        2 PHYS3020 Statistical Mechanics

        PHYS3900 Perspectives in Physics Research
        BIPH3000 Molecular & Membrane Biophysics

        MATH3102 Methods & Models of Applied Mathematics

        PHYS3080 Extragalactic Astrophysics & Cosmology

        PHYS3825 Advanced Experimental Skills
      • Year 4
        4th Year Study Planner
        Year 4 Compulsory Courses Key Courses
        Choose at least #4 from:
        1 PHYS4030 Condensed Matter Physics: Electronic properties of crystals

        PHYS4040 Advanced Quantum Theory

        PHYS6501 Advanced Physics Research Report
        - -
        2 - MATH4104 Advanced Hamiltonian Dynamics & Chaos

        PHYS4055 Laser Physics & Quantum Optics

        PHYS4070 Advanced Computational Physics
        1. Students without Queensland Senior Maths C should complete MATH1050 before MATH1051.
        2. Students must take PHYS2100 before they take MATH4105
        3. SCIE3250 / SCIE3251 can be taken in semester 1, semester 2 or summer semester.


Physics graduates develop robust, high-level analytical and problem-solving skills that are widely applicable and highly valued by a diverse range of employers including those in education, finance, engineering, computing and management.

Physicists engage in a wide range of exciting and rewarding careers across many industries in both the public and private sectors. Many physicists are employed by governments in research and management positions; by universities in the areas of teaching, research and technical positions; as education and science communicators; in health and medical sectors; and in nuclear physics. Other physicists take a higher degree and work in research and development; undertaking fundamental research to increase scientific knowledge, or applied research to develop new devices, products or processes.

On completing a degree in Physics at the University of Queensland, students can be expected to have the following range of attributes developed in consultation with the Australian Institute of Physics.

Students will be able to

  1. Demonstrate a knowledge of fundamental physics concepts and principles;
  2. Evaluate the role of theoretical models and empirical studies in the past and current development of physics knowledge;
  3. Apply physics principles to understand the causes of problems, devise strategies to solve them and test the possible solutions;
  4. Use a range of measurement and data analysis tools to collect data with appropriate precision and carry out subsequent analysis with due regard to the uncertainties;
  5. Use the tools, methodologies, language and conventions of physics to test and communicate ideas and explanations;
  6. Work effectively and ethically in a multi-faceted scientific environment; and
  7. Be responsible, critically reflective, self-directed and motivated learners.