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Bachelor of Science - - MJRU-PHYSI Science and Engineering
Guaranteed ATAR 80 This is the ATAR level at which an offer of admission is guaranteed, subject to any other non-ATAR criteria being met.
Location Bentley
Study method Full-time or part-time
Study mode On-campus
Intake February or July

July intake: Course duration may exceed three years due to unit prerequisites.

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, physicists examine matter and energy in all their forms.

Curtin’s Department of Physics and Astronomy works closely with the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA), which 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, and the birth of the first stars and galaxies in the Universe.

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 includes units 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 potential to provide you with hands-on experience analysing data from cutting-edge radio telescopes, using state-of-the-art supercomputing facilities.

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 particulates in the atmosphere and oceans, 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, and field and satellite data processing and analysis. It also provides exposure to a number of multidisciplinary activities in fields such as biology, geology and chemistry.

You will have the opportunity to experience applied acoustics first-hand through coursework and projects involving Curtin’s Centre for Marine Science and Technology, which specialises in underwater acoustics and has strong linkages to industries such as defence, offshore oil and gas, fisheries and government. For those interested in underwater optics and related applications
or satellite remote sensing of oceans, Curtin’s Remote Sensing and Satellite Research Group also provides opportunities for liaison during your study.

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 the 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 used by materials scientists and you will learn how to apply it to 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 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
  • Mathematician

Note: Most career paths require postgraduate studies to master or doctoral level.

Admission criteria

In addition to the course-specific admission criteria listed below, please read our general admission criteria. Our general admission criteria apply to all courses at Curtin University.

Admission criteria for Australian and New Zealand students

Guaranteed ATAR This is the ATAR level at which an offer of admission is guaranteed, subject to any other non-ATAR criteria being met.


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.

Please see our correlation comparability for previous TEE subjects, WACE courses and WACE ATAR courses.

ATAR-related adjustments

Details of the types of ‘bonus points’ commonly available to applicants can be found on our StepUp to Curtin page.

ATAR and selection rank profile for those offered places wholly or partly on the basis of ATAR in the most recent intake period

View data on the ATAR and selection rank profile of offers made from the most recent intake period.

Mature age entry

Discover other ways you can qualify

Essential WACE courses

  • Mathematics: Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR, or equivalent.

Desirable WACE courses

Mathematics: Specialist ATAR and Chemistry ATAR, or equivalent.

English language proficiency

IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System)
Writing 6.0
Speaking 6.0
Reading 6.0
Listening 6.0
Overall band score 6.5

Other qualifications may also satisfy our English language admission criteria. Please view our English language requirements page to find out more.


July intake: Course duration may exceed three years due to unit prerequisites.


Fees for Australian and New Zealand students

Year Student type Cost
2018 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 and are subject to passage of legislation.

*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.

Credit for previous study

Applications for recognition of prior learning (RPL) are assessed on an individual basis. Try our RPL search to find out what credit you might be eligible for.

Learn about Credit for Recognised Learning (CRL).

Career opportunities

This course can help you become a:

  • Physicist
  • Astronomer
  • Meteorologist
  • Computational physicist
  • Computer programmer
  • 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.

Student profile

View our student profile table to get an indication of the likely peer cohort for new students at Curtin University. This table provides data on students that commenced undergraduate study and passed the census date in the most relevant recent intake period for which data are available. It includes those admitted through all offer rounds and international students studying in Australia.