• Class Number 6234
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Jodie Bradby
    • Prof Jodie Bradby
    • Dr Mika Kohonen
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

The concepts of physics can be used to help understand many systems and processes in living organisms and the environment. For example, the physics of momentum and energy help us to understand the effects of collisions and impacts; the physics of heat and energy helps us to understand how changes in temperature affect both our bodies and the world around us; the physics of sound and light helps us understand how we hear and see. In addition, physics has provided us with ideas and technologies which have revolutionised medicine and studies of biology and the environment, including techniques such as carbon dating, ultrasound, PET scans and more.

This course is intended to provide non-physics students in the College of Science and College of Health & Medicine (particularly those interested in biology and medical science) and students in the other Colleges with an introduction to the fundamental concepts of physics in the context of biological, medical and environmental examples. Topics covered may include: the relationship between force and energy, the physics of impact and stress, the physics of blood flow and breathing, hearing and seeing, radiation, medical imaging and nuclear power.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. analyse physical situations and problems using the language and approaches of physics
  2. obtain quantitative answers to basic theoretical problems
  3. design and perform experimental measurements to answer particular questions about the physical properties of a system
  4. evaluate the limitations of particular experimental approaches in specific situations
  5. work constructively in small groups to solve theoretical and experimental problems
  6. communicate effectively about physics with their peers.

Required Resources

There is no mandated textbook, however we will be referencing the open access book College Physics which is available as a free downloadable PDF

In the past we have recommended Physics for the Life Sciences - 2nd edition, by M. Zinke-Allmang et al, ISBN: 0176502688 however this book is designed for a year-long course and generally treats concepts with excessive detail. Other books that may be useful too such as Newman: Physics of the life sciences, Wilson, Buffa and Lou: College Physics, Tipler: Physics for Scientists and Engineers.

Most text books with a title like “College Physics" or “University Physics” that presents a non-calculus physics 1st year university Physics course are a good resource.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Please note, that where there are multiple assessment tasks of the same type, e.g weekly quizzes, a date range is used in the Assessment Summary. The first date is the approximate due date of the first task, the return date is the approximate return date for the final task. Further information is provided in the assessment section of the class summary, and details are provided on the course wattle site

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lectures All the lectures are online in the form of a series of short videos accessed via EdX which students must watch before the workshop each week. There are online questions in edX associated with each video which must be answered before each workshop (worth a total of 10%).
2 Review Lecture / Workshop, comprising: (a) a 1-hour lecture discussing the more challenging and interesting parts of the week's course material (attendance non-mandatory) (b) a 1-hour workshop to tackle physics problems in groups (mandatory) A question from each workshop will need to be completed and handed in at the end of each workshop (worth a total of 10%)
3 laboratory program 6 sessions during weeks 2-11 Mandatory experiments to be done within lab times in pairs. These experiments introduce basic techniques and practices such as careful observation and log-book keeping. You will be assessed on the basis of the logbook you keep during 4 separate experiments (not including the introductory lab in week 2) plus one formal report. (worth a total of 20%)
4 In-class tests in weeks 6, 10 (pland drop-in tutorial in weeks 2,3,5,7,9,11,12 2 in-class tests are planned for weeks 6 and 10 for practice on exam-type questions (worth 10% total if better than exam grade). These may not go ahead, depending on social distancing rules.

Tutorial Registration

To access the course in EdX, you will first need to register with edge.edX. For instructions on setting up your account, please refer to the PHYS1004 Wattle page

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Final Exam 50 % 1,2
On-line questions 10 % 1,2
Workshop Questions 10 % 1,2,5,6
In-class tests x 2 10 % 1,2
Laboratory Logbook 15 % 3,4
Laboratory Formal Report 5 % 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


  • 1 x 1hr compulsory workshop, with a remote option for the assessment component
  • 1 x 1hr lecture, recorded.
  • 5 formal experiments aligned to course content, 7 x 3hr sessions during weeks 2-11. Alternative at-home labs available if needed.
  • 1 x 1hr in-class test in weeks 6 and 10, can be done remotely if needed.


Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 50 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Final Exam

A 3-hour closed book exam that will ask questions similar to those tackled during tutorials and in-class tests. Please refer to the Examinations Timetable and/or PHYS1004 Wattle page for exam scheduling.

Exam Revision: We will run an exam revision and info session in the week leading up to the final exam.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

On-line questions

Associated with lecture videos in edX

Students are expected to contribute on an on-going basis throughout the semester.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,5,6

Workshop Questions

One question from each week's problems is submitted at the end of each workshop in weeks 2-11

Students are expected to contribute on an on-going basis throughout the semester.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

In-class tests x 2

Closed-book test of exam-style problems, held at the same time as the weekly tutorial

Week 6

Week 10

It is intended that the marked tests will be returned within 7 days after the test.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

Laboratory Logbook

A laboratory manual which includes a guide to keeping a logbook and writing reports will be handed out before the start of the lab program.

You will be assessed on the basis of the logbook you keep during 5 separate experiments (not including the introductory lab in week 2), worth a total of 20%.

The logbook will be handed in following each laboratory and will be marked, with feedback, and returned in time for the following lab. The logbook will also be marked following the week 2 lab (but not for marks) to provide students feedback on what is expected.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 5 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Laboratory Formal Report

Students choose one of the first four laboratories to write up as a formal report, worth 5%, to be submitted Friday week 11

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 5 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations or for online edX questions.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

All assignments will be marked within one week. Assignments submitted in hardcopy will usually be returned at the compulsory workshop in the following week. See the Laboratory manual for details on the return of the Lab notebooks and reports.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

There is no opportunity for resubmission of assignments

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Jodie Bradby

Research Interests

Prof Jodie Bradby

Prof Jodie Bradby

Research Interests

Prof Jodie Bradby

Dr Mika Kohonen

Research Interests

Dr Mika Kohonen

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions