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Postgraduate subject


Mātai Ahupūngao

07 November 2023
Modern Physics contributes to major advances in technology.




Physics aims to understand the behaviour of matter and energy from the scale of subatomic particles to that of the Universe itself. From computers to communication systems, architecture to agriculture; modern life is overwhelmingly built using the understanding of nature that physics provides.

We are currently in an incredibly exciting period in Physics. The technological advances of the last 20 years have had an enormous impact on all our lives and almost all of these rely on advances in Physics. Modern physics provides a framework for understanding – and contributing to – major advances in technology now and in the future.

Students in Physics Lab with Laser


What will my study involve?

  • Te Kura Matū | School of Physical and Chemical Sciences has many collaborations nationally and internationally that give access to some of the best facilities around the world. For example, UC is a member of CERN, the enormous particle accelerator centre in Geneva, and also collaborates with the Van der Veer Institute and hospitals on medical imaging and radiation therapy.
  • UC physicists are currently involved in exciting projects such as building huge laser equipment to study gravitational waves; creating tiny nanoelectronic devices that can act as transistors or sensors; measuring the behaviour of the upper atmosphere in order to understand global warming; obtaining fundamental theoretical understandings of cosmology and sub-atomic physics.



UC offers the following postgraduate programmes in Physics:


See the individual qualification pages for more information on degree requirements.

Graduate Diploma in Science specialising in Physics

To complete a GradDipSc with a Physics focus, students will need to complete at least 60 points in 100 to 300-level PHYS courses throughout their degree. In total 90 points must be at 300-level in the GradDipSc from Physics and/or other Science courses.

Bachelor of Science with Honours majoring in Physics

Complete PHYS480 Physics Research Project, and another 90 points chosen from:

Postgraduate Certificate in Science majoring in Physics

Complete at least 45 points in 400-level PHYS courses for the major. In total 60 points must be completed for the PGCertSc from Physics and/or other Science courses.

Postgraduate Diploma in Science majoring in Physics

At least 120 points (8 courses) is required for the major. You can chose from two pathways:




Master of Science majoring in Physics

Part I of the MSc in Physics is 120 points (8 courses), including:

You will need a B+ Grade Point Average to proceed to Part II of the degree.

Part II requires PHYS690 MSc Thesis.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Physics

In the PhD, you will complete a thesis of original research in the Physics field (PHYS790 Physics PhD).


Career opportunities

Many of our graduates are employed as physicists and can be found at Crown Research Institutes, the National Radiation Laboratory, medical physics departments of hospitals or universities, and the Meteorological Service, among others.

Some Physics graduates are not employed as scientists – however, their analytical skills, numeracy, and all-round thinking ability are in demand in many industries. Some of these graduates are snapped up by the IT and electronics industries, but those same skills are equally valued by merchant banks, stock brokers, and other financial services companies, as well as by the armed services, police, and aerospace industries (including airlines such as Air New Zealand).

Teaching, journalism, and science communication also need people with Physics training.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Physics.

Related brochures

Postgraduate Prospectus 2024

Whakatairanga Tāura

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International Prospectus 2024/2025

Download (application/pdf, 6 MB)
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