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Study Physics at Otago

Otago Global

Overview

Physics tries to answer the bottom-line questions: What? and Why? when we see things in nature that are not understood. For instance, why is the sky blue whereas sunsets are red? What happens when a star explodes? What is radiation? What causes an aurora? Physics also involves the application of this knowledge to other fields. For instance, if you really understand about lasers then you will be better placed to develop new uses for them in applications such as communications, engineering and medical science. Often students take a degree in Physics because they have a particular career in mind, but for many their first priority is simply to understand Physics. They take Physics because it interests them.

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Contact details

Email physics@otago.ac.nz
Website otago.ac.nz/physics

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Qualifications

Papers

See the full list of Physics (PHSI) papers.

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Programme Requirements

Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Physics

Level Papers Points
100-level

PHSI 131  Fundamentals of Physics I, or PHSI 191 Biological Physics

PHSI 132  Fundamentals of Physics II

MATH 160  Mathematics 1

MATH 170  Mathematics 2

18

18

18

18

200-level

PHSI 231  Quantum and Thermal Physics

PHSI 232  Electromagnetism and Optics

PHSI 282  Experimental Physics 1

MATH 202  Linear Algebra

MATH 203  Calculus of Several Variables

ELEC 253 recommended

18

18

18

18

18

300-level

PHSI 331  Quantum, Atomic and Particle Physics

PHSI 332  Electromagnetism and Condensed Matter

PHSI 381  Experimental Physics II

One other 300-level PHSI or ELEC paper

18

18

18

18

Plus

126 further points, must include 18 points at 200-level or above. Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Science.

Notes: (i) PHSI 191 assumes an understanding of NCEA Level 2 Physics; PHSI 131 and 132 assume an understanding of NCEA Level 3 Physics and Mathematics.
(ii) Qualified candidates may substitute ELEC 253 or PHSI 243 for PHSI 131 with approval from the Head of Department.

126
Total   360

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Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) in Physics

Papers

Prerequisites:
Four 300-level PHSI papers
One further 300-level ELEC, MATH or PHSI paper

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Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Physics

Papers

Only one of PHSI 480  Research Project,  or PHSI 490  Dissertation, may be included.

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Master of Science (MSc) in Physics

Papers and Thesis

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Minor Subject Requirements

Physics as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, or BASc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), or Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degree

Level Papers Points
100-level

See below

  

200-level

See below

  

300-level

Five PHSI papers, at least three of which must be above 100-level, including at least one at 300-level or above

90

 

MATH 160 and MATH 170 are prerequisites or corequisites for some PHSI papers

 
Total   90

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