As physicists, we explore the most basic and fundamental science, which is crucial to our understanding of the world around us. Physics explores the laws under which our universe operates from the incredibly small, sub-atomic scale to the size of the universe.
Our physics research and teaching leads to great innovations that change our lives – from discovering new fundamental particles and waves that make radiotherapy safer to developing new solutions for defence.
Physics also forms the basis of many other sciences, including chemistry, oceanography, seismology, and astronomy. Problem solving and critical thinking skills learnt in physics, through our study programs, can be applied to diverse areas such as finance, climate modelling, software development, engineering, and medical sciences.
The discipline of physics at the University of Adelaide was established in 1886 – just twelve years after the University was founded.
Our researchers contribute to projects which range from – studies of the structure of sub-atomic matter; to the development of novel optical and photonic systems; to medical physics and geophysics; to the investigation of the structure of the universe, understanding the atmosphere and extreme astrophysics. We contribute to the biggest international physics projects including Ice Cube, Large Hadron Collider and LIGO Gravitational Wave Detector.
Extensive undergraduate and postgraduate teaching
Our undergraduate courses in physics are accredited by the Australian Institute of Physics. Within the Bachelor of Science, students can major in Physics where they learn to solve cutting-edge problems. There’s the option to specialise further and choose Theoretical Physics or a double major of Experimental and Theoretical Physics.
We offer the chance to delve into the depths of the solar system and distant galaxies with a Bachelor of Science (Space Science and Astrophysics) or into data-enabled science with a Bachelor of Science in High Performance Computational Physics (Honours) – a rapidly growing and highly interdisciplinary research area.
We run postgraduate programs in areas where specialists are in short supply such as a Masters of Medical Radiation Physics and Graduate Certificate in Medical Physics to join the fight against cancer. We also offer a Graduate Certificate in Radiation Management, which enables safe radiation usage in a hugely diverse range of industries.
Higher Degrees by Research (HDR)
Whether planning to work in research or industry or to upskill to change jobs, our Higher Degrees by Research provide additional insight and deliver a competitive career edge.
We have postgraduate students working in all areas of research and supported by research training scholarships, industry, and cooperative research centre funding.
We offer two postgraduate research degrees:
The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a two-year full-time (or part-time commitment) and teaches you about applying research methodology to critically evaluate literature and results in your field.
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is our flagship research award and is the standard qualification for a research career or academic position. Study a research degree in an area of interest and be supported by one of our highly talented research supervisors.
The University offers scholarships to undergraduate and postgraduate students. These scholarships (as well as many others) funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.