Applied Physics

Applied Physics equips graduates with the rigorous analytic skills of a traditional Physics programme and provides a broad range of additional interdisciplinary skills sought by both New Zealand industry and many areas of modern scientific research.

Subject overview

Applied Physics is designed for students with a strong interest in the application of physical theories to solve problems and a desire to undertake research.

Students can choose from five sub-disciplines which include:

Computational Science - Computation science seeks to solve complex, real-world problems using tools from applied mathematics and physics. Students will be trained in the analytic and numerical techniques from both disciplines, and apply these to problems across the physical sciences, as well as to problems in economics and social science.

Medical Physics and Imaging Technology (MPIT) - Medical Physics and Imaging Technology is the application of physics theories, technologies and methods in the field of biomedical imaging, modelling, diagnostics and disease treatments. This specialisation will train graduates who are proficient in the complementary areas of physics, biology and physiology, and skilled in the design and application of imaging and biomedical technologies. Graduates will work in either the biomedical industry, pursue a research career in biomedical optics or engage in further training to qualify as registered medical physicists.

Nano and Materials Physics - Throughout history, people’s lives have been improved by efforts to make, understand and use new materials. Today, basic physics and chemistry are critical skills for making the materials which will build tomorrow’s computers, improve medical care, monitor and care for our environment, and support a sustainable economy driven by renewable energy. Materials innovation generates companies and technologies that have global impact, and has underpinned recent growth in NZ’s high-value manufacturing sector.

Photonics - Photonics is the science and technology of light. It is one of the key enabling technologies of the 21st century with applications across sensing, communications, manufacturing and health. A recent study by the Australia and New Zealand Optical Society estimated the total value of Photonics to the NZ economy to be 1.2 billion NZD. A combination of courses from Physics and Electrical Engineering will enable students to work in this exciting new area.

Space Systems - New Zealand is now a space-faring nation, with a burgeoning space economy valued by a recent report at 1.7 billion NZD. Space systems includes remote sensing, imaging, orbital dynamics, material science, mechanics, programming and fluid mechanics. This degree combines courses from Physics and Mechanical Engineering and will prepare students to work in a fast-evolving marketplace.

The program has a strong applied focus with a 45 point fourth year research project typically to be carried out in collaboration with a local industry or medical partner. The many strong relationships Physics department researchers have already established with NZ high-tech companies will allow students to choose from a wide range of potential industry projects.

The Applied Physics specialisation is taught at the City Campus.

Where can Applied Physics take you?

The degree is designed to position its graduates for entry into New Zealand’s high-tech industries, as well as allow them to proceed to graduate study.

Explore your study options in Applied Physics