Faculty of Science School of Physics

MSc - Physics

Course Structure

The Master of Science - Physics program (Research Training) offers students an exciting array of topics, designed to prepare students for a career as a professional physicist and beyond. Students must take seven Elective Discipline Subjects from a broad range, listed below, as well as undertaking one of the specialist Advanced Seminars, a key feature of the new degree.

Students are required to undertake a major Research Project spread over two years as well as one subject within the Professional Tools range.

Elective Discipline Subjects (87.5 credit points)

Students can select seven from the following subjects:


Students may substitute two approved subjects at 300 level or higher.

Advanced Seminars

A key feature of the Master of Science - Physics program is the ‘Advanced Seminars’ in which students will extend their knowledge in one of the following disciplines:

These seminars increase the breadth and depth of students’ knowledge within a specific discipline area, and provide a strong preparation for students who aim to pursue PhD studies. The advanced seminars are embedded into the research project, and all students undertake one advanced seminar in a relevant research area (usually in the second year of the course).

Research Project (100 credit points)

Students will gain research experience in Physics by completing:

Please note: actual research project is to be determined with supervisor and is a necessary condition for acceptance into the Master of Science - Physics program. Please refer to Application Process for an overview of research projects on offer.

Professional Tools (12.5 credit points)

Students must undertake one of the following subjects:

Entry Requirements

A bachelor degree with a major in an appropriate discipline with at least an H3 (65%) in the major, or equivalent.

Delivery Mode and Duration

Part-time and full-time modes of entry are possible. All programs are delivered on-campus (Parkville).

Suggested Preparation

The following subjects taken at final undergraduate year level: Quantum Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Statistical/Thermal Physics and either laboratory work and/or computational physics and/or mathematics.

Students who have completed only one of third-year Statistical Physics and Electrodynamics within their undergraduate program will be required to complete the other while undertaking the Master of Science - Physics. Since this material will be assumed knowledge for most Master of Science - Physics subjects, we strongly recommend that students intending to enroll in the MSc take all three of third-year level Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Physics and Electrodynamics within their undergraduate degree.  

We warmly welcome students from other Australian and international universities to the Master of Science - Physics program. As a guide to the appropriate background knowledge assumed, please note that each of the Quantum Mechanics, Thermal Physics and Electrodynamics prerequisites may be met by a subject of approximately 36 lectures at final undergraduate year level, which build upon subjects in these discipline areas at an earlier year level. The content of these subjects will be assumed knowledge in the MSc (whether met by undergraduate studies or taken in parallel during the first year of the MSc).

As noted above, the Master of Science - Physics program allows the flexibility to "catch-up" on some final undergraduate level subjects within the MSc, for students whose preparation is missing some key elements. We encourage students from other institutions to contact the Masters Coordinator (contact details below) to discuss their situation on an individual basis.

Application Process

  1. Application process and forms for local and international students can be found at the Graduate School of Science website (applications close typically in late November every year).
  2. Prior to submission of the application form, we encourage you to first make contact with potential supervisors to discuss and agree on a research project (a necessary condition for acceptance into the Master of Science - Physics program). All members of the "Teaching & Research" academic staff are able to supervise projects and their details can be found within the website. A summary of research groups of the School is also available.

An overview of Masters projects on offer can be downloaded here:       


Fees & Financial Support

The Master of Science programs will have ‘Commonwealth Supported Places’ (CSP) available for Australian students. For more detail please refer to the Graduate School of Science for fee tuition and scholarship support. 

Muriel Ramm Science Bursary

Awarded to a student entering a Master of Science, Honours in the Faculty of Science, or a Postgraduate Diploma in the Faculty of Science. The bursary is awarded to a student who is not expected to receive more funds other than a scholarship which covers a fee-based place.

The application form can be downloaded from the Faculty of Science website.   They are to be submitted by 5pm 5 March 2013 to:  Linda Richardson, Faculty of Science, Old Geology Building

Graduate School of Science Scholarships

The Graduate School of Science have a number of scholarships and awards to support students.  For more information click here

Contact Us

A/Prof Jeff McCallum - Masters/Honours/Postgraduate Diploma Coordinator
School of Physics
The University of Melbourne
Tel: +61 3 8344 8072
Email: jeffreym@unimelb.edu.au

Any second- or third-year ‘Continuing BSc’ students seeking general advice regarding careers their physics training can lead to, or opportunities that exist for further study and research in physics, are encouraged to make an appointment with the Coordinator of Higher Year Studies:

Dr Harry Quiney
School of Physics
The University of Melbourne
Tel: +61 3 8344 5088
Email: quiney@unimelb.edu.au

More Info...

Please refer also to Melbourne Graduate School of Science for information on the new graduate Masters degrees (including all 'Research Training' and 'Professional Development' programs).

The University has used its best endeavours to ensure that material contained in this publication was correct at the time of printing. The University gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of information and the University reserves the right to make changes without notice at any time in its absolute discretion. Users of this publication are advised to reconcile the accuracy and currency of the information provided with the relevant faculty or department of the University before acting upon or in consideration of the information. Copyright in this publication is owned by the University and no part of it may be reproduced without the permission of the University.

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