Senior Physics

Physics provides opportunities for students to engage with classical and modern understandings of the universe. Students learn about the fundamental concepts of thermodynamics, electricity and nuclear processes; and about the concepts and theories that predict and describe the linear motion of objects. Further, they explore how scientists explain some phenomena using an understanding of waves. They engage with the concept of gravitational and electromagnetic fields, and the relevant forces associated with them. They study modern physics theories and models that, despite being counterintuitive, are fundamental to our understanding of many common observable phenomena. Students develop appreciation of the contribution physics makes to society: understanding that diverse natural phenomena may be explained, analysed and predicted using concepts, models and theories that provide a reliable basis for action; and that natter and energy interact in physical systems across a range of scales. They understand how models and theories are refined, and new ones developed in physics; investigate phenomena and solve problems; collect and analyse data; and interpret evidence. Students use accurate and precise measurement, valid and reliable evidence, and scepticism and intellectual rigour to evaluate claims; and communicate physics understanding, findings, arguments and conclusions using appropriate representations, modes and genres. Students learn and apply aspects of the knowledge and skills of the discipline (thinking, experimentation, problem-solving and research skills), understand how it works and how it may impact society.



A course of study in Physics can establish a basis for further education and employment in the fields of science, engineering, medicine and technology. 
​By the conclusion of the course of study, students will:
  • describe and explain scientific concepts, theories, models and systems and their limitations 
  • apply understanding of scientific concepts, theories, models and systems within their limitations 
  • analyse evidence 
  • interpret evidence 
  • investigate phenomena 
  • evaluate processes, claims and conclusions 
  • communicate understandings, findings, arguments and conclusions.​


Unit 1
​Unit 2
​Unit 3
​Unit 4
Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics
  • Heating processes 
  • Ionising radiation and nuclear reactions 
  • Electrical circuits​

Linear motion and waves
  • Linear motion and force 
  • Waves
Gravity and electromagnetism
  • Gravity and motion 
  • Electromagnetism​

Revolutions in modern physics

  • Special relativity
  • Quantum theory 
  • The Standard Model 


Schools devise assessments in Units 1 and 2 to suit their local context. In Units 3 and 4 students complete four summative assessments. The results from each of the assessments are added together to provide a subject score out of 100. Students will also receive an overall subject result (A–E). ​

Summative assessments​

​Unit 3
​Unit 4
Summative internal assessment 1 (IA1):
 •  Data test
​Summative internal assessment 3 (IA3):
 •  Research investigation 
Summative internal assessment 2 (IA2):
 •  Student experiment 
​Summative external assessment (EA):  
• Examination