single degree

Master of Science in Theoretical Physics

A single two year graduate award offered by the ANU College of Science

  • Length 2 year full-time
  • Minimum 96 Units
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.
  • Length 2 year full-time
  • Minimum 96 Units
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.

Program Requirements

The Master of Science in Theoretical Physics requires completion of 96 units which must consist of:

A minimum of 24 units from completion of 8000-level courses.

The 96 units must include:

18 units from completion of the following courses:

PHYS8301 Applied Mathematical Methods in Physics

PHYS6201 Quantum Field Theory

PHYS6203 General Relativity

6 units from completion of a foundational course from the following list:

PHYS6101 Advanced Quantum Mechanics

PHYS6102 Advanced Electromagnetism

PHYS6103 Advanced Statistical Mechanics

MATH6211 Advanced Topics in Mathematical Physics

MATH6111 Scientific Computing

12 units from completion of the following courses:

PHYS8302 Quantum Field Theory 2

PHYS8303 Non-Linear Dynamics in Physics

12 units from completion of Science and Society Courses from the following list which must include:

6 units fom completion of the following course:

PHYS6205 Physics for Future Leaders

6 units from completion of courses from from the following list:

ENVS6013 Society and Environmental Change

POGO8093 Science Innovation and Public Policy

SCOM6007 Science Communication Project Delivery and Design

SCOM6012 Science Communication and the Web

SCOM6015 Speaking of Science

SCOM6016 Science in the Media

SCOM6027 Science Politics

SCOM6029 Cross Cultural Perspectives in Science Communication

SCOM6030 Science Dialogue Theory & Practice

SCOM6031 Science, Risk and Ethics

SCOM6032 Making Modern Science

SCOM6501 Strategies in Science Communication

SCOM8014 Communicating Science with the Public

SCNC8000 Science Internship

VCPG6003 Leadership and Influence in a Complex World

VCPG6004 Creating Impact

VCPG6002 Mobilising Research

VCPG6001 Unravelling Complexity

24 units from completion of further courses from the foundations list or 6000-8000 level PHYS- Physics courses not already taken

24 units from elective courses offered by ANU

Capstone Courses

[PHYS8302, PHYS8303]

Hurdle Requirements

Students must achieve a minimum GPA of 5.0 in the first 96 units attempted to commence the 24 units of Masters courses in their Bachelor degree. Students who do not achieve this GPA will be able to complete and graduate from their Bachelor degree but will not be able to undertake Masters courses.

If the total number of units attempted exceeds 96 in the same teaching period in which the 96th unit is attempted, all courses attempted will be used in the calculation of the GPA.

Study Options

Year 1 48 units PHYS8301 Applied Mathematical Methods in Physics 6 units Foundational Course 6 units 6000- 8000- level PHYS 6 units ANU elective
PHYS6201 Quantum Field Theory 6 units PHYS6203 General Relativity 6 units PHYS6205 Physics for Future Leaders 6 units ANU elective
Year 2 48 units PHYS8302 Quantum Field Theory II 6 units PHYS8303 Nonlinear Dynamics in Physics 6 units Science & Society 6 units ANU elective
6000- 8000- level PHYS 6 units 6000- 8000- level PHYS 6 units Science & Society 6 units ANU elective

Admission Requirements

At a minimum, all applicants must meet program-specific academic/non-academic requirements, and English language requirements. Admission to most ANU programs is on a competitive basis. Therefore, meeting all admission requirements does not automatically guarantee entry. 


Applicants must present a Bachelor degree or international equivalent

  •   with a grade point average of at least 5.0/7.0
  •   with at least 8 courses in the field of Physics and/or Engineering and/or Mathematics (minimum grade point average of 5.0/7.0 in these subjects)


Cognate Disciplines

Physics, Engineering, Mathematics


In line with the university's admissions policy and strategic plan, an assessment for admission may include competitively ranking applicants on the basis of specific academic achievement, English language proficiency and diversity factors. 

Academic achievement & English language proficiency

The minimum academic requirement for full entry and enrolment is a Bachelor degree or international equivalent with a minimum GPA of 5.0/7.0. 

However, applicants will first be ranked on a GPA ('GPA1') that is calculated using all but the last semester (or equivalent) of the Bachelor degree used for admission purposes. 

If required, ranking may further be confirmed on the basis of: 

• a GPA ('GPA2') calculated on the penultimate and antepenultimate semesters (or equivalent) of the Bachelor degree used for admission purposes; and/or

• demonstrating higher-level English language proficiency. 

Prior to enrolment in this ANU program, all students who gain entry will have their Bachelor degree reassessed, to confirm minimum requirements were met.

Further information: English Language Requirements for Admission 


Diversity factors

As Australia’s national university, ANU is global representative of Australian research and education. ANU endeavours to recruit and maintain a diverse and deliberate student cohort representative not only of Australia, but the world. In order to achieve these outcomes, competitive ranking of applicants may be adjusted to ensure access to ANU is a reality for brilliant students from countries across the globe.


Assessment of qualifications

Unless otherwise indicated, ANU will accept all Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications or international equivalents that meet or exceed the published admission requirements of our programs, provided all other admission requirements are also met.

 Where an applicant has more than one completed tertiary qualification, ANU will base assessment on the qualification that best meets the admission requirements for the program. Find out more about the Australian Qualifications Framework:

ANU uses a 7-point Grade Point Average (GPA) scale. All qualifications submitted for admission at ANU will be converted to this common scale, which will determine if an applicant meets our published admission requirements. Find out more about how a 7-point GPA is calculated for Australian universities:

Unless otherwise indicated, where an applicant has more than one completed tertiary qualification, ANU will calculate the GPA for each qualification separately. ANU will base assessment on the best GPA of all completed tertiary qualifications of the same level or higher.

Credit Granted

Applicants with a Bachelor Degree or Graduate Certificate in a cognate discipline may be eligible for 24 units (one semester) of credit. Applicants with a Graduate Diploma or Honours in a cognate discipline may be eligible for 48 units (one year) of credit.

Cognate Disciplines

Physics, Engineering, Mathematics

Annual indicative fee for domestic students

For more information see:

Annual indicative fee for international students

For further information on International Tuition Fees see:

Fee Information

All students are required to pay the Services and amenities fee (SA Fee)

The annual indicative fee provides an estimate of the program tuition fees for international students and domestic students (where applicable). The annual indicative fee for a program is based on the standard full-time enrolment load of 48 units per year (unless the program duration is less than 48 units). Fees for courses vary by discipline meaning that the fees for a program can vary depending on the courses selected. Course fees are reviewed on an annual basis and typically will increase from year to year. The tuition fees payable are dependent on the year of commencement and the courses selected and are subject to increase during the period of study.

For further information on Fees and Payment please see:


ANU offers a wide range of scholarships to students to assist with the cost of their studies.

Eligibility to apply for ANU scholarships varies depending on the specifics of the scholarship and can be categorised by the type of student you are.  Specific scholarship application process information is included in the relevant scholarship listing.

For further information see the Scholarships website.

A mastery of theoretical physics allows you to unlock the secrets of our universe. From quantum field theory to general relativity, theoretical physics not only answers the most fundamental questions of our existence, but is also at the forefront of scientific discovery.

Take gravitational waves for example. Researchers at The Australian National University supplied equipment and techniques used in the detection of gravitational waves, opening up a new avenue for astronomical discovery. This global scientific collaboration was the culmination of a 100-year journey that started with Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

The Master of Science in Theoretical Physics brings students to the cutting edge of research in an interactive training environment, being taught by some of the world’s leading theoretical physicists. You will discover the breadth of theoretical physics, including understanding how non-linear dynamics can be applied to complex problems.

If you are interested in big questions, like how the universe works or how elementary particles interact with each other to form nuclei and stars, then you will enjoy learning about quantum field theory. With applications such as particle physics and condensed matter, quantum field theory is arguably the most far-reaching attempt to combine special relativity and quantum physics in a unique framework.

Drawing on world leading expertise from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering, this program will provide you with the techniques and skills necessary for a bright future in research or related careers in education, science and industry.

Career Options

ANU ranks among the world's very finest universities. Our nearly 100,000 alumni include political, business, government, and academic leaders around the world.

We have graduated remarkable people from every part of our continent, our region and all walks of life.

Learning Outcomes

  1. demonstrate high level knowledge in theoretical physics and its methods;

  2. apply their knowledge in theoretical physics to new problems;

  3. interpret, synthesize and critically analyse published literature of relevance to theoretical physics;

  4. demonstrate theoretical and/or practical skills relevant to techniques and research methodology in theoretical physics;

  5. critically analyse data within applications of theoretical physics to reach independent conclusions;

  6. demonstrate a critical understanding of science in society;

  7. clearly communicate theory and results in both written and oral formats.

Inherent Requirements

Information on inherent requirements is currently not available for this program.

Academic Advice

The first step to enrolling in your new program is to seek academic advice in order to discuss the courses you will be studying. This is done by making an appointment to meet with the program convener (details below).

Your academic advice session is a great opportunity to discuss with the convener the direction in which you want your studies to go. The convener will be able to advise you about course selection and content of courses that you will undertake as part of your program. Ideally you should bring along a copy of your academic record/academic transcripts as these will greatly assist your convener when giving you course advice.

To book an appointment you can:


Phone: 02 6125 2747

Please also bring along your Planning Your Program document that is available from the enrolment website and your Postgraduate coursework checklist for new students. These documents will help you plan your degree and assist you with finalising your enrolment. 

Further enrolment information can also be found here.

An indicative list of courses offered by Science can be found here.

Please follow each step and read through the additional information in the pdf guides, especially the ISIS enrolment guide in Step 2 and the How to enrol guide for new students in Step 3.

If you have any issues enrolling yourself through ISIS please contact us on 02 6125 2809 or email

Do you want to talk to someone before enrolling? Contact Science Enquiries at

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