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Physics courses
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Physics courses

Understand the principles that underpin the phenomena of nature

Physics is a truly universal science. It is the rational development of experiments, observations and theories to explain the world around us and all that we perceive. 

Physics courses at Sydney


To complete a major in physics you can enrol in a huge range of science degrees, including our Bachelor of Science degree, combined Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies or the Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science to name a few.

It is also possible to undertake physics as a second major or minor through many other degrees offered within and outside of the Faculty of Science. 

You are also welcome to study individual physics units as electives alongside a different major. This will help you become a well-rounded graduate with refined problem-solving skills.

Programs, majors and minors:

Explore other study options in technology.


In your honours year you will receive technical training in research techniques and instrumentation, as well as invaluable skills in communication, project management and critical analysis.

Visit the faculty honours page for more information.

Postgraduate coursework

Graduate Diploma in Medical Physics
The Graduate Diploma in Medical Physics will sharpen your skills so you can become a part of the highly scientific and technical field of medical physics. You may then wish to continue on to the Master of Medical Physics to become a clinical physical scientist after completion of the Graduate Diploma.

Master of Medical Physics
The entry-level Master of Medical Physics qualification will give you the technical expertise to work within a clinical setting across areas of medicine including cancer treatment, diagnostic imaging, physiological monitoring and medical electronics. This course is accredited by the Australasian College of Physical Scientisits and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM).

Graduate Certificate in Sustainability
In this half-year postgraduate course you will boost your education with an understanding of complex sustainability challenges and discover tools to measure, report on and identify solutions to these challenges. As part of the embedded program, upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, students may gain entry to the Graduate Diploma in Sustainability through an internal "upgrade". In turn, upon successful completion of the Graduate Diploma in Sustainability, students may gain entry to the Master of Sustainability through an internal "upgrade".

Graduate Diploma of Sustainability
Building on the Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, the Graduate Diploma in Sustainability has been developed in collaboration with the University's sustainability experts and industry professionals from areas such as energy, finance, the media, planning, health, law, and government. It aims to turn you into a sustainability professional able to extend your discipline-specific skills with an appreciation of the technological, commercial, legal, governmental and societal imperatives underpinning sustainability issues.

Master of Sustainability
The Master of Sustainability builds on the Graduate Diploma with a capstone experience that will put you to work in teams to research current sustainability problems in collaboration with industry (including your own job, if appropriate), aiming to deliver sustainable solutions to the industry partners.

See all our postgraduate coursework degrees

Postgraduate research

To find a potential supervisor visit Research Supervisor Connect or learn more about postgraduate research.

What is physics?

Physics explores the fundamental structure of the universe, starting with the smallest subatomic particles. It deals with the nature of space and time, matter and energy, and provides the foundation for modern technology, from smartphones and tablet computers to quantum devices and medical imaging equipment.

A grounding in physics will help nurture your curious mind, enabling you to become an expert problem solver no matter what career or industry you choose.

Why study physics with us?

The School of Physics at the University of Sydney is the leading Physics department in the country*, with outstanding staff and students undertaking world-leading teaching and research.

With access to supercomputers, modern laboratories, research facilities and observatories, locally, nationally and internationally, the School of Physics provides an exceptional environment in which to learn, collaborate and thrive.

Launched in 2016, the Sydney Nano Institute is an exemplar of investment in the future of technology. The Institute has initiated a multi-year partnership with Microsoft, creating an unrivalled setting and foundation for quantum research in Sydney and Australia.

*US News Rankings by Subject, 2018.

Opportunities for talented students

The Dalyell Scholars program is offered to students with an ATAR (or equivalent) of 98+ or more. The program allows you to broaden your knowledge of physics and gain insights into the way physicists conduct their research.

You will be assigned an academic mentor who will arrange special activities for you throughout the year. Along with Advanced or Special Studies coursework, you will participate in exclusive seminars, projects and excursions – such as to the radio telescope at Parkes or the Tidbinbilla deep‑space tracking station in Canberra.

Physics careers and jobs

As a physics graduate, your choices are extensive. You could conduct research and development in universities or industry, become a high-level analyst or educator, or apply your problem-solving abilities to the world of business. Physics graduates work in next generation computing, nanoscience, artificial intelligence, medical science, the financial sector, as well as big data and technological companies, such as Google and Spotify.

Our physics graduates have become politicians and business leaders, teachers, journalists, managers, financiers and IT professionals. Many have found employment in companies such as Telstra, BHP Billiton, Canon and research organisations such as CSIRO, DSTO and NASA.

Astronomy and astrophysics

How to study astronomy 

The School of Physics is very active in the area of astronomy and we offer several undergraduate astronomy courses:

First Year

  • OLET1618 Data Science in Astronomy: Algorythms
  • OLET1620 Data Science in Astronomy: Analysis
  • OLET1636 Astronomy: From Earth to Exoplanets
  • OLET1638 Astronomy: From Stars to Black Holes
  • OLET1640 Astronomy: From Big Bang to Darkness

Second Year

  • PHYS 2013/2913 Astrophysics and Relativity

Third Year

  • PHYS3037 Plasma and Astrophysics.
  • Special projects are also available which may involve working with staff on an astronomy project.

Honours Year
There are a number of astronomy honours projects available each year.

Read the Physics Honours Projects for current availability.