BSc in Physics

 

This programme provides training to develop well-rounded physicists with the technical and specific scientific skills required to make a unique contribution in research and development environments where physics-related problems are investigated, and who can undertake more intensive research and postgraduate studies in physics, or who can work in the teaching profession, or in tertiary education in science and technology. This programme offers streams of which you have to choose one. 

 

Streams: Laser Physics (Physical), Nuclear Physics, Radiation and Health Physics 

The second and third year focus on the subjects Physics and Mathematics/Applied Mathematics and are supplemented with applicable elective modules. 

Experimental physicists are required in industry and in research and development environments. As a laser physicist you are equipped to participate in various metrological applications which use light and light-matter interactions, ranging from remote trace gas detection, to diagnostic techniques in medicine, qualitative analysis and communication. Institutions such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA), Sasol, the defence industry and mining require these skills. 

As a radiation physicist you are able to work as a hospital physicist or as a radiation control official with organisations that monitor radiation risks, such as the Department of Health, nuclear power stations, and mines.  

 

As a nuclear physicist you can work in environments where techniques in nuclear physics are applied. Such environments include industries and institutions like Sasol, Eskom, the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA), the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR), the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). This stream aims to prepare students for postgraduate studies and careers where lasers and optics are applied, and where the application of nuclear- and radiation physics is relevant. 

 

This stream leads to (depending on the undergraduate curriculum taken) an honours degree programme in Physics (Laser Physics, Nuclear Physics as well as Radiation and Health Physics), or in Chemistry, or in Applied Mathematics, or in Physical and Mathematical Analysis, or in Mathematics. 

 

Stream: Laser Physics (Biological) 

The second and third year focus on the subjects Physics and Biochemistry/Chemistry and are supplemented with applicable elective modules. Because of the rapid increase in the use of lasers in medical and biological fields, there is a worldwide need for trained physicists with expertise in optics, lasers and laser applications in the field of biology and medicine.  

 

Lasers provide innovative solutions over a wide front benefitting humanity. In medicine, lasers are used to correct vision, heal eye disorders that may cause blindness, treat skin diseases and to do surgery. Microscopic techniques using lasers have become commonplace in medical applications. New materials and medicines that are activated by laser light are developed. 

 

This stream leads to an honours programme in Physics or to an honours programme in Physical and Mathematical Analysis. 

 

Stream: Theoretical Physics 

The second and third year focus on the subjects Physics and Mathematics/Applied Mathematics. This stream prepares you intensively for the research field of complex systems and for the application of quantum field theory, for instance in condensed matter physics, the physics of biological systems and particle physics. Postgraduate study will prepare you for a professional career as a theoretical physicist. 

 

Because this stream includes statistical physics components, it is closely related to a number of other disciplines and several of its modules have links with the broad field of information technology. Some of the techniques you will be trained in are already being applied in the biological and economic sciences and in geology. Since the curriculum is so focused on physics and mathematics, requiring advanced computer skills, you may look forward to career opportunities in the private sector, where there is an increasing demand for the problem-solving skills that are given major attention in this stream. 

 

This stream leads to an honours programme in Theoretical Physics and also, if applicable elective module are taken, to an honours programme in Physics or in Physical and Mathematical Analysis. 

 

See admission and selection

 

Admission requirements 

 

• Write the National Benchmark Tests AQL and MAT  

• Afrikaans or English (Home Language or First Additional Language) 4 

• Mathematics 6 

• Physical Sciences 4