Course Title: Physics for Leaders

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Physics for Leaders

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: Dr Gail Iles

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2610

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Physics for Leaders is an introductory course designed for any university student interested in the science underlying modern technology and its implications for real life issues.  Just as the leaders of a country should be expected to be informed about the basic principles around contentious issues such as climate change and nuclear power, the same applies to every university student. The course covers topics such as: energy, global warming, terrorism, health, internet, satellites, remote sensing, ICBMs, DVDs and HDTVs - all economic and political issues increasingly have a strong high technology content. The course does not have any mathematical prerequisites.

 (This course is also core to the Applied Science Program and is aimed at students who have not studied Physics at secondary level. As stated above, it aims to educate you in a wide range of physics and technological topics without the usual mathematical framework).

This course is not designed to lead on to second or third year studies in Physics. For that you should take PHYS2123 Modern Physics.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On the successful completion of this course you should be able to:   CLO-1 Demonstrate a basic knowledge of physics related to mechanics, matter and everyday physical phenomena.   CLO-2 Develop a systematic approach to solving physics problems related to mechanics, matter and everyday physical phenomena.    CLO-3 Use conventional physics and mathematical notation to present problem-solving strategies and worked solutions.   CLO-4 Perform laboratory work competently and safely.   CLO-5 Report and analyse laboratory results accurately and effectively.

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes:

2. Scientific Knowledge

  • PLO-2.2 You will have knowledge in at least one discipline other than your primary discipline and some understanding of interdisciplinary linkages.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn in this course by:

  • attendance at lectures where material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;
  • private study, working through the material as presented in lectures, texts and notes;
  • taking part in tutorials, workshops and discussions designed to enhance further understanding, and to give feedback on student progress and understanding;
  • completing written assignments requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter;
  • Formative assessment, including Canvas tests.

Total study hours


A total of 120 hours of study is expected during this course, comprising:

Teacher-directed activities (48 hours): It is expected that your group will meet with the lecturers at least once per week.

Student-directed activities (72 hours): You are expected to work as a group and independently as needed to achieve the project goals.


Overview of Learning Resources

The course is supported by the Canvas learning management system which provides specific learning resources.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.   Assessment 1: Weekly Canvas Tests  35% Addresses CLOs: 1, 2, 3   Assessment 2: Interactive laboratory activities 25% Addresses CLOs: 4, 5   Assessment 3: Exam 40%  Addresses CLOs 1, 2, 3