Department of Physics

Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Physics or Geophysics

Find out how to plan and structure your Bachelor of Science degree in Physics or Geophysics.

Planning a BSc

The Bachelor of Science (BSc) is a three-year programme with majors covering biological, human and earth, computational, physical and health orientated sciences. The huge range of subjects allows you to customise your degree, incorporating different areas of interest and expertise.

A BSc will expose you to new technologies, give you the opportunity to write and present work, the chance to work independently and in groups, and to develop independent research skills. If you are science-minded and want to keep your options open, this is the degree for you.

In the Department of Physics, we can offer you a BSc majoring in Geophysics or Physics, both which can lead to further study or jobs around the world. Physicists are in short supply, so job opportunities are good.

When deciding on your major, we suggest you work backwards to find all the courses you need to take for that major.

For example: a first or single major BSc in Geophysics requires courses in Geology, Geophysics, Maths and Physics. In Year 2, you have two elective courses and Computer Science might be a good choice. In Years 2 and 3 you need to take General Education courses which include Economics, History, International Business, Marketing and Political Studies.

For more information about the BSc programme visit Bachelor of Science (BSc).


Why study Physics?

Physics study at undergraduate level – both majoring in Physics or Geophysics – will give you a detailed understanding of how the world works:

  • The core elements of traditional physics ranging from particle physics to astrophysics
  • The nature of matter, practical skills in experimental methods and use of mathematical analysis of processes
  • How to use principles of science, and physics in particular, to analyse or solve complex problems
  • How the practical, analytical and research skills you gain will make you an attractive candidate for employers or progression to postgraduate study
  • Current trends in physics learning, research and advances worldwide.

You will also gain more general intellectual and life skills that will help advance your studies and, later, your career in physics.

You can gain more knowledge, adopt a specialisation and increase your career potential by progressing to a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) or Masters.


What will you get from a BSc with a Physics major?

Physicists want to discover and understand the fundamental laws of nature past and present.
When we understand the principles of physics and the laws of nature, we have an enhanced insight into the world around us.

A degree in physics will give you an understanding of the nature of matter combined with training in experimental methods and the mathematical analysis of physical processes.

In subject terms, you will do basic and applied work in:

  • The science and technology of sustainable energy
  • The property of matter
  • Digital fundamentals
  • Analytical techniques including laboratory work
  • Classical physics
  • Networks and electronics
  • Analogue and digital electronics

From this you will gain expertise in a variety of areas:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Laser technology
  • Fundamental research
  • Applying the principles and practices of physics to problem-solving
  • The opportunity to take your core physics skills into areas as diverse as electronics and medical physics

What will you get from a BSc with a Geophysics major?

Geophysics offers you two interesting options - to look down or to look up. What does this mean? Geophysics is the study of the Earth (looking down) and its environment (looking up).

In other words, geophysics is everything from beneath our feet to the atmosphere above us. It seeks to understand the past so that we can model the future. Geophysicists research global process, explore for natural resources and help solve environmental problems.

This means you have enormous career opportunities ahead of you.

In subject terms, you will do basic and applied work in:

  • Meteorology
  • Oceanography
  • Hydrology
  • Exploration geophysics
  • Natural hazards such as storms, floods, earthquakes and volcanoes
  • Pollution monitoring.

From this, you will gain expertise in a variety of areas:

  • Modelling and data analysis
  • Computational skills
  • Forecasting
  • Knowledge about global processes from plate tectonics and earthquakes to volcanoes, the ocean and the atmosphere
  • Development of alternative energy systems and renewable energy sources
  • The use of high-tech equipment such as remote-sensing devices
  • Laboratory experimentation skills
  • Computer models and simulations
  • Mapping.

What courses will you study and how many points will you need?

You will need a total of 360 points, the equivalent of three years' fulltime study, to qualify for a BSc. There are also requirements for the Physics and Geophysics majors.

Bachelor of Science (BSc) - Physics major

Single or first major must include:

Second major must include:

Stage I courses

You should select your Stage I Physics courses according to your background preparation in Physics and the major subject or professional degree that you intend to pursue.

Students who intend to major in the physical or mathematical sciences should take both PHYSICS 120 and PHYSICS 150.

Enrolment in Maths 150 or Maths 108 in Semester One and Maths 250 or 208 in Semester Two is recommended to ensure adequate mathematical preparation for Stage II Physics courses.

The other first-year courses will be of interest to students with diverse backgrounds and interests.


Bachelor of Science (BSc) - Geophysics major

First or single major must include

Second major must include


Help and advice

For help and advice contact our undergraduate Academic Advisers.