Undergraduate physics

ANU has some of the best physics educators in Australia, with several national award-winning teachers as well as an active program of physics education research and development. Our program is distinctive in our ability to offer individual attention to all our students - with over 150 academic physicists and class sizes of around 40-80 in second year and 10-30 in third year, you can be sure that staff and students really get to know each other. This allows us to provide you with continuous, tailored advice throughout your studies, and to offer opportunities for all to engage with our research activities.

The Research School of Physics is one of Australia's largest and most varied sites for physics research, with cutting edge research being undertaken in fields as diverse as Cosmology, Nuclear and Plasma Physics, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Non-linear Physics, Quantum Cryptography, Gravity Wave Detection and Electronic Materials Engineering - so there are plenty of ways to get involved, and research projects to suit all tastes and interests.

We have well-equipped undergraduate laboratories, an excellent staff to student ratio in labs and tutorials and a strong Peer Assisted Learning program to help those in first year adjust to University study.

For those interested in research-focused or advanced degrees such as the Bachelor of Philosophy or the Bachelor of Science (Advanced), we have a long history of engaging with these programs to provide special opportunities and experiences throughout your degree.

Scholarships and awards

Find out about scholarships and awards available to undergraduate students.

Course structure

Through the Physics Education Centre, the Physics ANU offers a range of coursework programs at undergraduate and graduate level with a range of Majors and Specialisations.

First year (for physics majors)
Semester 1Semester 2
PHYS1001-Foundations of Physics 
PHYS1101-Physics I
 PHYS1201-Physics 2
 PHYS1004-Life Physics
Second year (for physics majors)
Semester 1Semester 2
PHYS2013-Quantum MechanicsPHYS2016-Electromagnetism
PHYS2020-Thermal and Statistical PhysicsPHYS2201-Classical Mechanics
 PHYS2204-Soft Condensed Matter
 PHYS2205- Physics for Future Leaders
Third year (for physics majors)
Semester 1Semester 2
PHYS3005-Photonics LaboratoryPHYS3010-Hydrogen Economy
PHYS3057-Optical PhysicsPHYS3032-Solid State Physics
PHYS3060- Fibre Optic Communication SystemsPHYS3051-Photonic Sensing Systems
PHYS3101-Advanced Quantum MechanicsPHYS3070-Physics of the Earth
PHYS3102-Advanced ElectromagnetismPHYS3201-Quantum Field Theory
PHYS3105-Physics of MatterPHYS3202-Fluids and Plasma
 PHYS3203-General Relativity
PHYS3042-Research Topics Physics* (Also available over summer)
PHYS3058-Work Experience in Photonics
PHYS3103-Advanced Statistical Mechanics
PHYS3104-Physics Advanced Laboratory
Honours year
Find the details of honour year on the honours website

*Shaded courses can be counted towards the major requirements

Course Tree

We also offer a Physics Minor for those students wishing to pursue some physics to complement a major in another discipline.


Updated:  26 January 2022/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster