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Honours subject area

Physics deals with the fundamental phenomena of nature: space, time, matter and energy. It underpins all science and technology. Through studying physics, you can develop an understanding of everything from the nucleus of an atom to the structure and origin of the universe. If you are curious about the world around you then consider studying physics at the University of Sydney. The skills acquired through a physics specialisation, such as problem-solving, information handling, quantitative analysis and the use of computers as a problem solving tool, are in demand for jobs in research, medicine, communications, manufacturing, environmental science, teaching, finance, journalism, public service and management, to name but a few.

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About honours

Requirements for entry into Honours in Physics
For entry to Honours year in physics, all requirements for a completed an undergraduate degree with a major in Physics must be satisfied. Furthermore, for normal entry into Honours a credit (65) average across Senior Physics, as well as a SciWAM of at least 65 or above is necessary.

Before applying, all prospective Honours students are required to identify an Honours Project in an area in which they wish to pursue their research and to communicate with a prospective Honours Supervisor.

Written agreement that the supervisor is willing to direct your research project is required.

External applicants (from outside University of Sydney or overseas) will have their academic records translated onto an equivalent scale. 

For more information aout Honours visit the Faculty of Science site.

Honours syllabus

  • Six lecture courses 
  • A research project in physics. These projects involve computational, experimental, observational, and/or theoretical research, and your work is assessed by a 30-minute talk and a 40-page (approximately 9000-words) report. The projects are supervised within the research groups of the School of Physics, although these groupings are flexible and students may often have projects which span interests in more than one research area. A more detailed listing of research areas and specific topics is given in Research Projects.
  • With approval from the Honours Coordinator, projects may be jointly supervised by researchers from groups outside the School of Physics, including other University Departments, the CSIRO, etc. The primary supervisor however has to be at the School of Physics.
  • In February there is an induction to introduce students to their Honours year, including a compulsory instructional course on Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) and a library information session on database management and bibliography tools. All Honours students are expected to attend School of Physics Colloquia.

Half of the total marks available are allocated to coursework and half to the research project. The mark for the research project is obtained by combining the mark given by the student's own research group, a mark based on the assessment of the report by external examiners from other research areas in the School of Physics, and a mark for the talk which counts 10% to the project mark.

Honours is awarded at five distinct levels: First Class Honours with medal; First Class Honours; Second Class Honours, first division; Second Class Honours, second division; and Third Class Honours. Exceptional performance is required for award of a medal. The other honours grades are awarded based on the student's total mark in the honours year; first and second class honours are also subject to conjunctive grading, i.e. a certain minimum mark must be met in both the coursework and research project components.


Career pathways
Courses that offer honours

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Units of study in honours

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The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

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