Department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences student experience

The Department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences prides itself on a friendly and supportive environment, where lecturers know their students by name.

Our students come from a range of disciplines and backgrounds. Many are part-time or mature age and the majority take mathematics to complement study in other disciplines.

Diversity and inclusion

At La Trobe University, we have a longstanding commitment to diversity, inclusion and social justice; our students are amongst the most diverse of all Australian universities, and we are committed to providing a learning environment and workplace where all students and staff feel valued, respected and supported to achieve their full potential.

We care about building a connected community that actively champions diversity and inclusion to help people thrive. We achieve this by supporting our people, valuing diverse thinking as a key driver of innovation, and holding ourselves to account in delivering a culture where equity is a way of life.

La Trobe is committed to promoting equal opportunities and support for all students and staff, with a focus on six key pillars: cultural, disability, gender equality, Indigenous, LGBTIQA and life stages.

Find out more about our services and events.

Student support

Mathematicians, statisticians and physicists learn by doing. Our programs are designed so that students can work in small groups, with guidance from academic staff.

We also advise our students on subject selection, majors and career opportunities, such as those currently available in data science and physics.

Our students have access to the La Trobe University Maths Hub and Science Hub, staffed by experts who help students to build their confidence and increase their skills. Mathematics, statistics and physics resources are available online, along with Zoom support from tutors. Students are encouraged to ask questions, learn new skills, and understand why mathematics and physics is an important part of their education and future career success.

The Department also hosts informal get-togethers in Bundoora and Bendigo, where students from different disciplines meet with staff to discuss, and work on, interesting problems not covered in the curriculum.

Student associations and extensive support services are available to optimise success and the overall student experience. Find out more.

Work Based Learning

Work Based Learning is a feature of our Master of Data Science. Students gain practical experience in a range of industries – from science to finance – where the questions are not always clear cut and solutions need to be built from the basics learned in class.

Students complete a research project or an intensive industry placement with organisations including the Australian Institute of Sport, Telstra and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. La Trobe also has industry partnerships with Optus, Cisco and Pivot Maritime.

While learning to build solutions, our students are also building their professional networks. They are mentored by academic staff and industry partners. The result: A work ready skillset that is particularly valued by our international students and serves to build strong connections with our communities.

Read what our students say about their Work Based Learning experience.

Global experiences

Our academic staff work with a range of international collaborators on the great challenges of our time.

Our researchers, for example, are modelling infectious diseases, working with experts in Australia and internationally to provide briefing reports and advice to governments.

Through our international research partnerships, our graduate researchers have the opportunity to spend time in international research labs and major facilities such as the European X-ray Free Electron Laser.

Our students have also received international travel scholarships through the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan (open to all Australian undergraduate students) and through the Department’s Ed Smith Travelling Scholarship for postgraduates.

And, we welcome many international students, mainly at a postgraduate level, who bring richness and diversity to our Department.