Course Title: Introduction to Electromagnetism

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Introduction to Electromagnetism

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Dr Blanca del Rosal

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed Knowledge

You will need to either have completed or, at the same time, be enrolled in a first-year undergraduate course in calculus (or equivalent).

Contact your course coordinator for more information.

Course Description

Fields, waves, and light will be studied in the context of an important branch of physics known as electromagnetism. These topics are an essential part of a physicist's training, as they are fundamental to our understanding of the physical universe, which can be divided into two parts: radiation and matter. In this first-year course you will be introduced to the concept of a field and learn about the laws that govern electromagnetic phenomena, such as electricity and light. Through interactive learning activities you will apply mathematics to the description of physical systems, including those that vary in time like oscillators and waves. The skills gained will form the basis of further study in physics.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs):

PLO1: Apply a broad and coherent knowledge of scientific theories, principles, concepts and practices, relevant to the field of space science and technology with multi-disciplinary collaboration

PLO5: Work independently, with agility, safety, and accountability for one’s own learning and professional future.   

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Explain the fundamental concepts that govern electromagnetic phenomena, oscillators, and waves, and use this knowledge to analyse the behaviour of physical systems in different contexts. 
  2. Apply a systematic method to solve elementary problems related to electromagnetic phenomena, oscillators, and waves, and demonstrate their understanding by making connections to established theory. 
  3. Apply modern scientific conventions and mathematical notation common to physics to accurately present scientific facts, and effectively communicate these using numerical reasoning. 
  4. Interpret measurements and calculations from rudimentary experiments, including recording and analysing data as a member of a team. 
  5. Demonstrate responsibility for your own learning and professional development by working independently and maintaining a safe and responsible approach to your work.  

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. This course will be delivered in blended mode,  with weekly online learning activities and face-to-face lectorials, tutorials and laboratories. 

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 RMIT Student website My Course page

You will learn in this course through: 

  • lectures, that will be supported by lectorials, where concepts will be introduced and explained through worked examples and demonstrations; 
  • private study, such as revising the concepts presented in lectures and practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems;
  • participation in tutorials designed to give you further practice in the application of important concepts, as well as feedback on your progress;
  • completing assignments that require an integrated understanding of the subject matter;
  • performing experiments related to the course material and the writing of laboratory reports. 

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through RMIT Student website My Course page.

Extensive use will be made of the prescribed text and its associated learning materials. Other notes may also be provided. You will have access to laboratory facilities on campus.

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 Student website My Course page.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Tasks 
Much of the assessment in this course is formative and therefore done continuously throughout semester. This will encourage you to engage with concepts as they are presented, and provide you with timely feedback. Theory assessments include written assignments and quizzes that may contain either conceptual or numerical problems. You are expected to participate in tutorials, which will test your ability to recall concepts from lectures and apply them to solve unfamiliar problems. Laboratory skills are assessed through the conduct of experiments and report writing which develops your ability to communicate scientific ideas. Finally, your integration of the concepts and mastery of the course material will be assessed in written tests. 

Assessment Task 1: Problem solving written assignments and quizzes 
Weighting: 20% 
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 and 5 

Assessment Task 2: Tutorials  
Weighting: 5% 
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 and 3 

Assessment Task 3: Laboratory reports 
Weighting: 25% 
This assessment task supports CLOs 3, 4 and 5

Assessment Task 4: Written tests 
Weighting: 50% 
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 and 3 

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.