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University

University of Canterbury
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Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Physics

This course is available

On-Campus

Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree

Next start date

Expected Jul 2024

Campus

University of Canterbury

Summary

A Bachelor of Science (BSc) is about understanding and improving the natural world through observation, experimentation, modelling, and calculation. The Bachelor of Science requires a minimum total of 360 points:

  • a compulsory 15-point Science course
  • a minimum of 255 points of Science courses
  • the remaining 90 points can be from either Science courses or courses from other degrees.

At least 225 points must be from courses above 100-level, with at least 90 points at 300-level.

Double degrees

Many students combine the study of a BSc with another degree.

Conjoint degrees

Students can study the Conjoint Bachelor of Product Design and Science or the Conjoint Bachelor of Commerce and Science, which requires 60 points less than a double degree and will be completed in four years in an intensive format.

Physics Major

What type of student might consider a Physics degree? As a child, famous UC alumnus Ernest Rutherford was intrigued by seeing a stick apparently bend when dipped into a farm bucket of water; Albert Einstein asked how his face would appear in a hand-held mirror if he ran at some significant fraction of the speed of light. A budding physicist may share this fascination with and curiosity about the natural world.

Physics aims to understand the behaviour of matter and energy from the scale of subatomic particles to that of the Universe itself. From computers to communication systems, architecture to agriculture; modern life is overwhelmingly built using the understanding of nature that physics provides.

We are currently in an incredibly exciting period in Physics. The technological advances of the last 20 years have had an enormous impact on all our lives and almost all of these advances rely on advances in Physics. Modern physics provides a framework for understanding - and contributing to - major advances in technology now and in the future.

Further Study

If you have achieved top grades during your Bachelor of Science, you may be permitted to enter the BSc(Hons), which is an accelerated 12-month postgraduate degree.

Career opportunities

Many of our graduates are employed as physicists and can be found at Crown Research Institutes, the National Radiation Laboratory, medical physics departments of hospitals, or universities and the Meteorological Service among others.

Some Physics graduates are not employed as scientists – however, their analytical skills, numeracy, and all-round thinking ability are in demand in many industries. Some of these graduates are snapped up by the IT and electronics industries, but those same skills are equally valued by merchant banks, stock brokers, and other financial services companies, as well as by the armed services, police, and aerospace industries (including airlines such as Air New Zealand). Teaching, journalism, and science communication also need people with Physics training.

Entry criteria

Applicants must have completed New Zealand University Entrance through NCEA; or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE); or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) or any other equivalent overseas qualification.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.0, with no band score lower than 5.5.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 80, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 50, and no communicative skills score below 42.

Undergraduate applications: Semester 1 (February start) by 31 October; Semester 2 (July start) by 30 April.

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