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Bachelor of Science - - MJRU-PHYSC Science and Engineering
Indicative ATAR See the Physical Sciences Pre-major (link below) Indicative TER (ATAR) - This figure provides an indication of the TER (ATAR) normally required to enter this course. It is provided as a guide only.
Location Bentley
Study method Full-time or part-time
Study mode On-campus
Intake February or July
Duration 3 years full-time

Course overview

From the kinetic energy of a speeding car to nuclear fusion energy, from nearby stars to distant galaxies, physics examines matter and energy in all their forms.

Curtin’s area of Physics and Astronomy works closely with the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA), which focuses on scientific and technological advances in the field, and is involved in the Square Kilometre Array and the Murchison Widefield Array, as well as the investigation of active galactic nuclei and radio galaxies, transient radio phenomena and pulsars.

Successful completion of the 1st-year pre-major is followed by the Physics Major in the 2nd- and 3d-years with a choice of the four streams below.

In this major, you will study a range of real-world problems through observation, measurement and theoretical analysis. You will develop an understanding of the core concepts of physics and gain hands-on skills with complex technical equipment and computers.

You can specialise in the following streams:


This stream provides study units that are suitable for those interested in radio astronomy, particularly the Square Kilometre Array. You’ll have the chance to grapple with some of the biggest scientific questions, ranging from the origins of the Universe, to the nature of ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’.

Curtin’s involvement in the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and the Square Kilometre Array project has the unique potential to provide you with an understanding of advanced instrumentation for astrophysics.

Environmental Physics

In this stream you will learn how to study and measure matter and energy in the Earth’s natural and managed environments: the atmosphere, hydrosphere (oceans, rivers), land and soils, and living organisms. You will study a diverse range of topics, including the development of sensors and energy-saving ‘green’ materials, the interaction of sunlight with airborne particulates, disposal and storage of radioactive wastes, and the dynamics of the ocean and atmosphere.

This stream includes a strong emphasis on physics principles in an environmental context, applied computer programming, instrument deployment during field excursions, data processing and analysis, as well as exposure to a number of multidisciplinary activities in fields such as biology, geology and chemistry.

Materials Science

This stream examines materials from a unified point of view; it looks for connections between the underlying structure of a material, its properties, how processing changes it and what the material can do. You will study a range of materials, including metals, semiconductors, glasses, ceramics and polymers. You will also learn about analytical instruments and different forms of radiation that materials scientists use to investigate the microstructure of samples.

These include electron microscopes, X-ray scattering facilities including synchrotrons, and neutrons generated in a nuclear reactor. Computer simulation is another key technology utilised by materials scientists and you will learn how to apply it in your work.

Mathematical Physics

Mathematical physics is the study of nature using advanced mathematics. This field is advancing in everything from basic physics to quantum mechanics, and on every scale from the quark to the Big Bang.

Through mathematical models and powerful supercomputers, we can predict the progress of climatic changes, the flow of oil reservoirs, development of new materials, and nanotechnology.A degree in this field prepares you to work as a physicist or mathematician, with and with experience in using supercomputer technology.

Career opportunities

This course can help you become a Physicist, Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Computational Physicist, Computer Programmer, Materials Analyst, Meteorologist, Remote-sensing Scientist, Optical-radiation Physicist, Marine Physicist and Mathematician. Note: most career paths require postgraduate studies to master or doctoral level.

You can study this as part of a double degree:

*Please note not all majors are offered online

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for Australian and New Zealand students

Indicative TER (ATAR) Indicative TER (ATAR) - This figure provides an indication of the TER (ATAR) normally required to enter this course. It is provided as a guide only.

See the Physical Sciences Pre-major (link below)

STAT entry STAT entry - The Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) assesses competencies considered important for success at uni. These tests are provided by the Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC) to help mature age candidates apply for certain courses.

Not accepted.

Mature age entry

Discover other ways you can qualify

Essential WACE courses

Mathematics 3C/3D and Physics 3A/3B

Desirable WACE courses

Chemistry 3A/3B and Mathematics: Specialist 3C/3D

Other requirements

Successful completion of the Physical Sciences Pre-major.


Fees for Australian and New Zealand students

Year Student type Cost
2016 Commonwealth supported What is a Commonwealth supported place (CSP)? - A CSP is subsidised by the Australian Government. They pay part of the course fees directly to Curtin and then the student pays the remainder. The student can defer this fee to their HECS-HELP loan.

All Australian students studying an undergraduate degree are automatically awarded a Commonwealth supported place.

Learn more about CSPs and whether you're eligible by visiting the Australian Government's StudyAssist website.

Fees are indicative first year only.

*The indicative first-year fee is calculated on 200 credit points, which is the typical full-time study load per year, however some courses require additional study to be completed, in which case the fee will be higher than that shown.

This fee is a guide only. It may vary depending on the units you choose and do not include incidental fees (such as lab coats or art supplies) or the cost of your textbooks - visit other fees and charges for more information. For more information on fees and to determine your eligibility for HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP, please visit fee basics or the Study Assist website

If you're not an Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen, please see information for international students.

Professional recognition

Successful completion of the Physics Major will enable membership of the Australian Institute of Physics. Many international equivalents of the AIP also accept graduates as members.

Career opportunities

This course can help you become a:

  • Physicist
  • Astronomer
  • Meteorologist
  • Computational physicist
  • Computer progammer
  • Materials analyst
  • Optical physicist
  • Radiation physicist
  • Remote sensing scientist.

Why Physics?

  • We offer a high-quality, student-centred learning environment, and you will receive personal attention from academic staff at all levels
  • The integration of third-year research projects with our postgraduate research groups is exceptional, with high postgraduate and staff numbers relative to undergraduate students. This leads to a very high undergraduate engagement with our research teams and international collaborators.
  • Graduates enjoy a high level of employment flexibility, as their analytical ability, problem solving skills and logical thinking is broadly applicable at the highest levels of industry or government organisations.