Why Study Physics?

Physics tutorial

Physics is the basis of most of the sciences. Many techniques developed by physicists are used in all the sciences, e.g. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Radio-Carbon Dating, Medical Resonance Imaging, Nuclear Medicine, Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy and Electron Microscopy.

If your course allows it, you should also consider continuing with Physics throughout your course. As Dr Karl says “Do Physics First!”.

A degree in Physics opens the door to a variety of careers – because the skills you gain are valuable in so many jobs. These skills include:

  • problem solving;
  • information handling;
  • critical reasoning and logical thought;
  • clear communication, and
  • computer skills.

If you have other interests, such as any of the ‘majors’ listed below, we suggest that you at least take Physics in your junior (first) year.

Agricultural Chemistry, Anatomy and Histology, Biochemistry, Biology, Cell Pathology, Chemistry, Computational Science, Computer Science, Geography, Geology, Geophysics, History and Philosophy of Science, Immunobiology, Information Systems, Marine Science, Mathematics, Medicinal Chemistry, MIcrobiology, Nanoscience and Technology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Physiology, Psychology, Soil Science & Statistics.

Studying of Physics with any of these majors will lead you to an interesting and exciting degree program and offer you increased prospects for future studies or employment opportunities.

The Faculty of Science advises students who are unsure of their ultimate field of specialisation to take Junior courses in Maths, Physics and Chemistry in order to leave the widest possible scope for progress in later years.

What sort of Physics can I study?

Very talented physics students may be invited to join the Physics Talented Student Program

Physics in a Pre-Med Program

Major changes in Medicine at Sydney and several other Universities mean that all medical students at these Universities now complete a first degree before enrolling in Medicine.

Admission to the Graduate Medical Program at Sydney is now based on the combination of your undergraduate results, the GAMSAT (Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test) results and an interview. The GAMSAT will assess your:

  • written communication skills
  • reasoning abilities in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • reasoning abilities in the Biological and Physical Sciences

Although no particular first degree will confer any preference in selection, a knowledge of Chemistry and Biology at first year tertiary level is assumed for GAMSAT, with sufficient Physics and the necessary numeracy to support that learning. These subjects are the foundation of the medical sciences.

Entry into the postgraduate medical degree is not easy. Students should seek to undertake subjects in which they are interested and in which they are therefore likely to do well. A Credit average or higher is the minimum requirement for your first degree. Physics at Sydney University has traditionally attracted many of Australia's top science students and offers an opportunity for strong students to perform exceptionally well, quite apart from the basic skills and knowledge promised by a degree with a strong Physics component.

Students enrolling in Science, especially those interested in the BMedSc degree, should note that the Junior Physics course offers a Life Sciences and Environmental Stream specifically designed as a foundation for studies in this area and in other areas of the Biological and Life Sciences. The Junior Physics courses also include an emphasis on communication skills.

More Information

Contact , Room 210, ground floor, Physics Building or phone +61 2 9351 3037.