The Bachelors Program (BSc in Physics)

The Bachelors Program (BSc in Physics):

Our students enroll in the BSc in Physics degree. This is a broad-based physics degree, which will equip you for a wide-range of future options after graduation.

We offer opportunities to improve your knowledge of astronomy and astrophysics throughout your degree with our six astronomy subjects that explore the subject in terms of science, history, culture and society.

First Year

Life, Earth and Universe (MULT10011) is a broad subject examining the prospects for detecting life around other stars by studying how life began and the requirements for life (biology), what makes a planet habitable and how the Earth has evolved (geology), how the Universe began (physics), how planets and stars form (cosmochemistry), how we are detecting exoplanets (astronomy), and how we might detect evidence of life on planets around other stars (astrobiology).

From the Solar System to the Cosmos (PHYC10008) takes a more in-depth, physics-oriented look at the fundamentals of modern astronomy, including dark matter and energy, the formation of planets and stars, the evolution of galaxies and the universe, the ongoing search for life in the cosmos, and the latest discoveries in astrophysics.

Indigenous Astronomy (PHYC10010) examines the science behind the astronomical knowledges and traditions of living Indigenous cultures of the world, with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures of Australia. Students learn how knowledge of the stars is used to mark time, forecast weather, navigate land and sea, predict seasonal change, and how this knowledge is passed down through cultural traditions using frameworks of orality.

Second Year

Archaeoastronomy (PHYC20017) examines how cultures and civilisations in the ancient past used astronomy and conceptualised their place in the cosmos, including Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia, ancient Europe, the Pacific, southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa by analysing their material culture using archaeological methods and techniques.

Third Year

Astrophysics (PHYC30019) examines the physics of stellar evolution, the structure of the Milky Way and galaxy clusters, black holes, neutron stars, high-energy astrophysics, relativistic cosmology, and cosmological models.*

* Astrophysics questions are embedded throughout the 2nd and 3rd year Laboratory and Computational Physics subjects, with the option for students to complete a 6-week intensive project in astrophysics instead of some of the normal labs during the 3rd year Laboratory and Computational Physics subject.

Astronomy and Society in the Space Age (PHYC30025) (offered in 2025) examines topics at the intersection of sociology and astronomy, including the ethics of space exploration and colonisation, building astronomical and space facilities on Indigenous lands, the social impacts of light pollution and micro-satellites, philosophical implications of finding extraterrestrial life, space archaeology, and more.

Breadth Stream

Indigenous Astronomy (PHYC10010), Archaeoastronomy (PHYC20017), and Astronomy and Society in the Space Age (PHYC30025) can be combined into a Breadth Stream that explores astronomy at the crossroads of science, culture, and society.

Research Opportunities

We strongly encourage undergraduate students at all levels to pursue research projects during their degree. Research can be undertaken for credit through the Science Research Project (SCIE30001) during either semester.

Research projects can also be undertaken during either the summer or winter teaching breaks, typically with a stipend.  The first step to finding a research project is to figure out who you might like to work with. After that, knock on their door or email them to arrange a time to chat.