single degree

Master of Science in Theoretical Physics

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

NSCTP
  • 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, of which:

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

The 96 units must include:




30 units from completion of the following compulsory courses:

PHYS6201 Quantum Field Theory (6 units)

PHYS6203 General Relativity (6 units)

PHYS8301 Applied Mathematical Methods in Physics (6 units)

PHYS8302 Quantum Field Theory II (6 units)

PHYS8303 Nonlinear Dynamics in Physics (6 units)


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

PHYS6101 Advanced Quantum Mechanics (6 units)

PHYS6102 Advanced Electromagnetism (6 units)

PHYS6103 Advanced Statistical Mechanics (6 units)

MATH6211 Topics in Mathematical Physics (6 units)

MATH6111 Scientific Computing (6 units)


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

6 units from completion of the following course:

PHYS6205 Physics for Future Leaders (6 units)

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

ENVS6013 Society and Environmental Change (6 units)

SCOM6007 Science Communication Project Delivery and Design (6 units)

SCOM6012 Science Communication and the Web (6 units)

SCOM6015 Speaking of Science (6 units)

SCOM6016 Science in the Media (6 units)

SCOM6027 Science Politics (6 units)

SCOM6029 Cross Cultural Perspectives in Science Communication (6 units)

SCOM6031 Science, Risk and Ethics (6 units)

SCOM6032 Making Modern Science (6 units)

SCOM6501 Strategies in Science Communication (6 units)

SCOM8014 Communicating Science with the Public (6 units)

SCNC8000 Science Internship (6 units)

VCPG6001 Unravelling Complexity (6 units)

VCPG6003 Leadership and Influence in a Complex World (6 units)


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]

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

Applicants must present a Bachelor degree or international equivalent

  • with a minimum GPA of at least 5.0/7.0
  • with at least 8 courses in a cognate discipline, which must also have a minimum GPA of 5.0/7.0.

The GPA requirement for this program must be met by both the program as a whole, as well as by the 8 courses in a cognate discipline. Where more than 8 cognate courses have been completed by the applicant, ANU will take the best 8 courses when assessing the cognate GPA.

The GPA for a Bachelor program will be calculated from (i) a completed Bachelor degree using all grades and/or (ii) a completed Bachelor degree using all grades other than those from the last semester (or equivalent study period) of the Bachelor degree. The higher of the two calculations will be used as the basis for admission.

Cognate Disciplines: Physics, Engineering, Mathematics

Ranking and English language proficiency: 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. 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. 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 admission requirements and post-admission support

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: www.aqf.edu.au.

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.

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: www.uac.edu.au/future-applicants/admission-criteria/tertiary-qualifications.

Applications for course credit

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

Applicants with a Graduate Diploma or Bachelor degree with Honours in a cognate discipline may be eligible for up to 48 units (one year) of credit.

Domestic Tuition Fees (DTF)

For more information see: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/costs-fees

Annual indicative fee for international students
$49,330.00

For further information on International Tuition Fees see: https://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/fees-payments/international-tuition-fees

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: https://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/fees-payments

Scholarships

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, 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.

Further Information

Potential pathway to Masters (Advanced)

Students who are admitted to the Master of Science in Theoretical Physics can explore the option of undertaking a signficant research component. Please discuss this with the program convener before completion of the first 48 units of study at the Master level. Students have the option of applying to transfer to the Master of Science (Adv) in Theoretical Physics and undertaking a 24 unit research project if they satisfy the following requirements:

  • have completed compulsory courses in first 48 units of the Master of Science (Adv) in Theoretical Physics,
  • achieve a minimum 70% weighted average mark in the initial 48 units of coursework,
  • have the approval of an identified supervisor, and
  • meet the published admission requirements of the Master of Science (Adv) in Theoretical Physics.


Vertical Double Degree pathway UGRD-PGRD:

This program is part of the Vertical Double Degree pathway structure offered by the College of Science and the College of Health and Medicine. The Vertical Double Degree pathway presents students with the opportunity to complete a 3-year single undergraduate degree offered by the ANU College of Science or the College of Health and Medicine with a cognate 2-year Masters degree in 4 years (full-time) instead of 5 years (full-time). Not all undergraduate and Masters programs are offered as a Vertical Double Degree pathway. For more information on applicable combinations, benefits and how to apply, eligibility and conditions please visit https://science.anu.edu.au/vertical-double-degrees or https://health.anu.edu.au/vertical-double-degrees

Students who are interested in pursuing a Vertical Double Degree pathway with this program, are advised to contact the College of Science Student Administration Office at science.enquiries@anu.edu.au and seek academic advice. Students who are already in an undergraduate degree offered by the College of Science or College of Health & Medicine should seek academic advice before completion of the first 72 units of their undergraduate studies.

This pathway is not available to students in an undergraduate Flexible Double Degree.


Exit pathways:

Students who have completed 48 units and wish to exit the program have the option of transferring to graduate from a Graduate Diploma of Science.

Students who have completed 24 units and wish to exit the program have the option of transferring to graduate from a Graduate Certificate of Science.


Course offered by the College of Science and College of Health and Medicine:

An indicative list of courses offered by the College of Science and the College of Health and Medicine can be found under current students page on the College website via this link.

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:

Email: pec.rspe@anu.edu.au

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 science.enquiries@anu.edu.au

Do you want to talk to someone before enrolling? Contact Science Enquiries at science.enquiries@anu.edu.au

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