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3.3.3.8    Physics

Physics is one of the most fundamental of all sciences, and is the basis of our scientific knowledge of the physical world. It seeks to explain the behaviour of matter, time and space in the universe and covers phenomena ranging from subnuclear interactions to cosmological events like the Big Bang. The traditional B.Sc. degree in Physics is centred on understanding scientific fundamentals and it is through this basic approach that advances in scientific knowledge and technological innovations are made.

Programme Structure and Curriculum Rationale

B.Sc. and B.Sc. (Hons.) in Physics are rigorous courses covering the core topics in physics. The broadness of the scope and the training in critical thinking and in analysis will enable graduates to choose from a wide variety of careers. B.Sc. (Hons.) students can choose to specialise in one of the following areas:

(i) Astrophysics;
(ii) Nanophysics; and
(iii) Quantum Technologies

These programmes will prepare graduates with in-depth knowledge in each area of specialisation.

Career Prospects

The Physics Department, which has research strengths in many frontier areas including nanoscience, quantum information technology, optical and magnetic materials, and biophysics, provides a stimulating learning environment for all students who wish to major in physics. Physics graduates will be able to embark on career paths in R&D in the physical sciences, engineering industries and microelectronics industries, as well as education and training, government scientific services sectors and IT. The unique problem solving skills our graduates acquire have enabled them to work and succeed in commerce, banking and finance.

Graduation Requirements

To be awarded a B.Sc. or B.Sc. (Hons.) with a primary major in Physics, candidates must satisfy the following:

Module Level Major Requirements Cumulative Major MCs
Level-1000

(24 MCs)

Pass:

PC1141       Introduction to Classical Mechanics

PC1142       Introduction to Thermodynamics and Optics

PC1143       Introduction to Electricity & Magnetism

PC1144       Introduction to Modern Physics

MA1101R    Linear Algebra I

MA1102R    Calculus

24
Level-2000

(24 MCs)

Pass:

PC2130       Quantum Mechanics I

PC2131       Electricity and Magnetism I

PC2134       Mathematical Methods in Physics I

PC2132       Classical Mechanics

PC2193       Experimental Physics I

PC2230       Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

48
Level-3000

(20 MCs)

Pass:

PC3130       Quantum Mechanics II

PC3193       Experimental Physics II

And any three modules from the following electives:

  • PC3231       Electricity and Magnetism II
  • PC3232       Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • PC3233       Atomic and Molecular Physics I
  • PC3235       Solid State Physics I
  • PC3236       Computational Methods in Physics
  • PC3238       Fluid Dynamics
  • PC3241       Solid State Devices
  • PC3242      Nanofabrication and Nanocharacterization
  • PC3243       Photonics
  • PC3246       Astrophysics I
  • PC3247       Modern Optics
  • PC3251       Nanophysics
  • PC3267       Biophysics II
  • PC3274       Mathematical Methods in Physics II
  • PC3239       Special Problems in Undergraduate Physics II
  • PC3288       UROPS in Physics I^
  • PC3289       Advanced UROPS in Physics II^
  • PC3294       Radiation Laboratory
68
Level-4000

(32 MCs)

Pass:

PC4199       Honours Project in Physics

And any five modules from the following electives:

  • PC4228       Device Physics for Quantum Technology
  • PC4230       Quantum Mechanics III
  • PC4236       Computational Condensed Matter Physics
  • PC4240       Solid State Physics II
  • PC4241       Statistical Mechanics
  • PC4242       Electrodynamics
  • PC4243       Atomic and Molecular Physics II
  • PC4245       Particle Physics
  • PC4246       Quantum Optics
  • PC4248       General Relativity
  • PC4249        Astrophysics II
  • PC4253       Thin Film Technology
  • PC4259       Surface Physics
  • PC4262       Remote Sensing
  • PC4264       Advanced Solid State Devices
  • PC4267       Biophysics III
  • PC4268       Biophysical Instrumentation and Biomolecular Electronics
  • PC4274       Mathematical Methods in Physics III
100

^ A maximum of 4 MCs of UROPS module may be used to fulfil the Physics major requirements.

Note:
Level-4000 PC prefixed modules may be taken to replace up to 8 MCs of the Level-3000 PC elective modules above. In such an event, these Level-4000 modules cannot be counted towards the Level 4000 major requirements.

B.Sc. (Hons.) students majoring in Physics have the option to qualify for a specialisation in

  1. Astrophysics; or
  2. Nanophysics; or
  3. Quantum Technologies.

To be awarded a specialisation in Astrophysics, candidates must read and pass the following modules, as part of the major requirements for B.Sc. (Hons.) with a primary major in Physics.

Module Level Specialisation Requirements Cumulative Major MCs
Level-3000 Pass:

PC3246      Astrophysics I

4
Level-4000 Pass:

PC4248       General Relativity

PC4249       Astrophysics II

PC4199       Honours Project in Physics (Astrophysics)**

24

To be awarded a specialisation in Nanophysics, candidates must read and pass the following modules as part of the major requirements for B.Sc. (Hons.) with a primary major in Physics.

Module Level Specialisation Requirements Cumulative Major MCs
Level-3000

and

Level-4000

Pass any 24 MCs from the following:

PC3235       Solid State Physics I

PC3241       Solid State Devices

PC3242      Nanofabrication and Nanocharacterization

PC3243       Photonics

PC4246       Quantum Optics

PC4253       Thin Film Technology

PC4199       Honours Project in Physics (Nanophysics)**

24

** Honours Project has to be in the area of specialisation.

To be awarded a specialisation in Quantum Technologies, candidates must read and pass the following modules as part of the major requirements for B.Sc. (Hons.) with a primary major in Physics.

Module Level Specialisation Requirements Cumulative Major MCs
Level-3000 and Level-4000 Pass:

PC4228      Device physics for quantum technology

PC4199     Honours Project in Physics (**)

Pass any 8 MC from the following:

PC3233     Atomic and Molecular Physics I

PC3288     Advanced UROPS in Physics I (**)

PC4230     Quantum Mechanics III

PC4243     Atomic and Molecular Physics II

PC4246     Quantum Optics

24

** UROPS and Honours Project have to be in the area of specialisation.

Summary of Requirements B.Sc. B.Sc. (Hons.)
University Requirements 20 MCs 20 MCs
Faculty Requirements 8 MCs* 8 MCs*
Major Requirements 68 MCs 100 MCs
Unrestricted Elective Modules 24 MCs 32 MCs
Total 120 MCs 160 MCs

*Faculty requirements of 12 MCs and 16 MCs [required for the B.Sc. and B.Sc. (Hons.) programmes respectively] are partially fulfilled through the reading of MA1101R and MA1102R within the major.

Students undertaking the B.Sc. and B.Sc. (Hons.) programmes are required to fulfil the remaining 8 MCs of Faculty requirements from any two (2) of the following subject groups: Computing Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Life Sciences and Multidisciplinary & Interdisciplinary Sciences; but not from the following subject groups: Physical Sciences and Mathematical & Statistical Sciences.