Course Title: Physics 1 (Advanced)

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Physics 1 (Advanced)

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2008

Course Coordinator: Ken McGregor

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3396

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

The course continues the development of students’ knowledge in physics based on VCE Physics Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 or similar senior schooling. Facility in VCE specialist maths is useful although Mathematics Methods Year 11 and 12 is adequate. Students should expect that the concurrent Maths for Engineering course will assist in Physics.

Course Description

This course is a core first-year theory and lab component of streams leading to a B. Eng qualification in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. It covers theory and laboratory work in three areas:

  • Introductory Physics & Oscillations - a revision of basic mechanics, in particular sinusoidal oscillations;
  • Electromagnetism – a study of electric and magnetic fields, and
  • Optics & Waves: the fundamentals of wave motion, geometric optics and interference effects.

Basic theory introduced in high-school physics is developed further and its relevance  to a fundamental understanding of communication and electrical engineering is illustrated. It is a springboard to later year courses in the B. Eng program.
The course is supported by a set of laboratory exercises in mechanics and optics and to a lesser extent in electromagnetism. The first year Mathematics course which is normally taken simultaneously with this course is advantageous

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The capabilities that you will learn, develop and exercise in this course are:

  • The ability to apply the core physics skills and techniques presented in this course to problems relevant to engineering studies in SECE
  • The ability to communicate effectively in writing (both textually and graphically).
  • The ability to undertake self-directed study.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities in this course are:

  • 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 theory as presented in lectures, texts and notes, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems;
  • completing tutorial questions designed to give further practice in application of theory, and to give feedback on student progress and understanding;
  • completing written assignments consisting of numerical and other problems requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter.
    participating in formative assessment including (ConcepTests, Concept Inventories) to inform lecturer and student of progress on key concepts.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students participating in this course will be expected to purchase  a copy of the textbook for reading set sections, sample problems, conceptual questions and numerical problems.

Previous examination papers will be provided where relevant.

Overview of Assessment

There is ongoing assessment during the semester to encourage students to engage with the material and to give feedback on progress. This is performed with laboratory tests and assignments. The assignments comprise a mix of Web-based questions to test student concepts and a mid-semester class test.
There is a final examination which will mainly test conceptual understanding of the material, with some shorter numerical and mathematical exercises.