Course Title: Electromagnetism

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Electromagnetism

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021

Course Coordinator: Prof Toby Allen

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 0439

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 014.12.017

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment, by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Familiarity with differential and integral calculus as well as vectors is essential to understand the material presented and examined. Taking the Mathematics for Physicists MATH1129 course should be seriously considered ideally before or if necessary concurrently with this course. One or both of PHYS2127 Thermodynamics and Electromagnetism and PHYS2123 Modern Physics provide a useful introduction to the concepts covered in this course.

Course Description

This course provides you with a quantitative understanding of the physical behaviour of electric and magnetic fields in free space and in matter. You will study in detail the laws of electromagnetism, and explore some of their important applications and consequences. The topics covered for an essential prerequisite for advanced studies in physics.

The treatment of topics is mathematical and rigorous as this course is designed to provide the requisites in electromagnetic theory for post-graduate students in Medical Physics.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BP229, BP305 and BP247:

PLO 1: Understanding science: 

PLO 1.1:  You will demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and an ability to apply the scientific method in practice.

PLO 1.2: You will demonstrate an understanding of the role and relevance of science in society.

PLO 1.3: You will demonstrate an understanding of the role and importance of evidence in the continuous evolution of scientific knowledge. 

PLO-2: Scientific knowledge

PLO 2.1:  You will have broad knowledge in your chosen discipline, with deep knowledge in its core concepts.

PLO-3: Inquiry and Problem Solving

PLO 3.2: You will be able to gather, critically review and synthesise information relevant to a scientific inquiry or research project.

PLO 3.3:  You will be able to choose appropriate tools and methods to solve scientific problems within your area of specialization.

PLO 3.4: You will demonstrate well-developed problem solving skills, applying your knowledge and using your ability to think analytically and creatively.

PLO-4: Communication

PLO 4.1: You will be able to communicate the solution to a problem or the results of a scientific investigation using effective oral, written and presentation skills.

PLO-5: Personal and professional responsibility

PLO 5.1: You will develop a capacity for independent and self-directed work.

PLO 5.2: You will work responsibly, safely, legally and ethically.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs):

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. understand Maxwell’s governing equations of electromagnetism;
  2. solve straightforward electric and magnetic field problems and describe the behaviour of the different components of electromagnetic fields in matter as described in Maxwell’s equations;
  3. explain the varied effects of conductivity, magnetic permeability and dielectric permittivity in matter;
  4. solve elementary problems in electrodynamics;
  5. communicate and explain these concepts to others;
  6. apply the theory learned to novel physical situations, through mathematical manipulation of the underlying equations.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn in this course by:

  1. online delivery of the content, supported by both tutorials and self-directed study, in which material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;
  2. private study, working through the theory as presented in lectures, texts and notes, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems;
  3. completing tutorial questions designed to give you further practice in application of theory, and feedback on your progress and understanding;
  4. completing written and online assignments consisting of numerical and other problems requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter.

Overview of Learning Resources

The course will closely follow the material in one recommended textbook on electrodynamics. This textbook has proven to be of lasting value to Physics professionals. Other notes will also be provided.

Overview of Assessment

Note that: This course has no hurdle requirements

Assessment tasks

Assessment Task 1: Assignments
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Assessment Task 2: Computational/Practical laboratories
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Assessment Task 3: Skills and capability assessment
Weighting 40%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 and 4.