Course Title: Electrodynamics and Relativity

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Electrodynamics and Relativity

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023

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

Required Prior Study

You should have satisfactorily completed following course/s before you commence this course.

Alternatively, you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course.

Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning.

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.

Upon 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 be actively engaged in a range of learning activities such as lectorials, tutorials, practicals, laboratories, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities. Delivery may be face to face, online or a mix of both.

You are encouraged to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course.

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Assignments and Tutorials
Weighting 25%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 2: Computational/Practical laboratories
Weighting 25%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4

Assessment Task 3: Tests
Weighting 50%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.