Physics and Astronomy

Prerequisites: Students need to have completed or be concurrently enrolled in VCE Units 3 and 4 Physics

Semester 1

Principles of Physics A

This subject will enable you to solve problems in classical physics (mechanics, thermodynamics and waves) which provide the basis for further study in physics, engineering or another science. You will learn to use essential equipment in a physics laboratory to analyse measurements. You will gain an understanding of the vocabulary and concepts of classical physics.


Linear and rotational kinematics and dynamics, thermodynamics, and simple harmonic motion. You will conduct nine experimental investigations related to these topics.

Duration: weekly

  • 1 hour lecture (available online)
  • 2 hour problem class (laboratory session included)
  • 6 hour study hall session (optional, come and go as you please)

Semester 2

Astronomy and space: the infinite frontier

This subject introduces you to contemporary astronomy and our developing understanding of the universe. You will explore our solar system and the individual planets, through the galaxy to the distant features of the universe, star life, exotic objects such as quasars and black holes, cosmology and the big bang. In daytime and evening viewing sessions, you develop basic experimental and problem-solving skills. In computer-based laboratories students simulate the role of practising astronomers.


Stars and Constellations; The Moon and Eclipses; Planetary Motion, Newton’s and Kepler’s Law; Electromagnetic Radiation; Telescopes; Planetary Formation and Atmosphere; The Sun; Stella Formation and Spectra; Galaxies; The Big Bang.

Duration: weekly

  • Two 1 hour lectures (available online)
  • 3 hour laboratory session on campus
  • 2 evening viewing sessions