300 Level Courses - Physics and Astronomy - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

300 Level Courses

Ernest Rutherford, a famous graduate of this University, described physics as 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration, but he also believed that physics should be fun, interesting, stimulating, challenging and wide ranging. This third physics year is the last year of the BSc degree and you should be well on the way to a career in science. Throughout this third year we help you to:

  • develop your ability to apply logic and scientific knowledge and judgement to physical problems,
  • understand the fundamentals of physics and their application to every-day life,
  • design and carry out experimental work to resolve problems in physics,
  • present results clearly in written and spoken English to others at your level,
  • appreciate physics as a scientific discipline and a cultural activity,
  • acquire the necessary skills for a future career in physics.

If you are a Physics B.Sc. major you must do PHYS310, 311, 313 and 381. (A Physics and Mathematics double major – typically for those going on to Mathematical Physics Honours may with permission of HOD replace PHYS381 by PHYS326 for the majoring requirement. This should be discussed with the 300-level course coordinator.)

If you are an Astronomy B.Sc. major you must do (ASTR381, ASTR323 or ASTR325; PHYS310 and one course from PHYS311-PHYS313

Students intending to take Honours require a minimum 30 points of 300-level maths courses for Physics, 60 points for Mathematical Physics, or 30 points of 300-level maths or statistics for Astronomy.  When choosing maths courses note: MATH302, MATH353, MATH365 are possibly the most useful 300-level maths courses for our majors. MATH302 is useful for all students, MATH353 for students who require numerical skills in data analysis, and MATH365 for theoretical work in physics and engineering.  MATH343, 363 are also relevant. The paper STAT314 is particularly useful for astronomy students.

Physics and Astronomy majors proceeding to postgraduate study should take both PHYS311 and PHYS313 in their third year, and PHYS326 if possible. PHYS326 may be taken in semester 1 of the 4th year as PHYS456 for those unable to fit it in their 3rd year.

If you will be a Mathematical Physics B.Sc. (Hons) major you must do all four courses PHYS310, 311, 313, 326 AND four courses from MATH 302, 321, 343, 353, 363, 365. Ordinarily MATH302, 343, 365 are included.

Note: The choice of courses is subject to the approval of the Head of Department. When planning your selection of 300-level courses, bear in mind your interests, those of possible employers, and options for possible graduate study. If you have any questions or concerns, seek advice from the 300-level supervisor of studies before selecting courses.


Further advice

If you have further questions, direct them as appropriate to:

300 level Supervisor of Studies

Assoc Prof Michael Albrow, Room 616, phone Phone 369 5189 Internal 95189

Head of Department

Rutherford Building Room 530, DDI: +64 3 369-4252 (Internal 94252)

or any of the lecturers concerned.

  • Department of Physics and Astronomy
    University of Canterbury,
    Private Bag 4800,
    Christchurch 8140,
    New Zealand.
  • hod-secretary@phys.canterbury.ac.nz
    Phone: +64 3 364 2523
    Fax: +64 3 364 2469
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