Postgraduate study in Physics

What can you study in Physics?

Whether your interest lies in pure physics or a multidisciplinary field, postgraduate study in Physics offers you a wide-range of research options.

From inventing new kinds of lasers, creating innovative technologies to diagnose illness in living tissue, understanding the earth’s changing climate, searching for planets around distant stars, to understanding the connections between particle physics and the Big Bang - our graduates are well-equipped to work in industry and academia.

You will gain an understanding of the nature of the physical world, alongside training in experimental methods, and the mathematical analysis of physical processes.

Areas of research interests open to exploration include:

  • Physics of the Environment
    • Predictability of planetary atmospheres
    • Fractal characterisation of clouds
    • Physics of sustainable building technology and alternative energy
    • Physics of tropical atmosphere and the modelling and theory of climate
  • Physics of Atoms, Molecules and Optics
    • Theory of open quantum systems with applications in quantum optics and quantum information
    • Dissipative quantum phase transitions for photons and applications of quantum stochastic processes
    • Theoretical and experimental investigations across nonlinear optics and laser physics
    • Design of ultrafast fibre lasers
    • Exploration of nonlinear dynamics in lasers and related systems
    • Leveraging photonic systems to study interdisciplinary wave phenomena
  • Particle Physics and Astrophysics
    • Physics of the very early universe
    • Astrophysical observables and inflationary cosmology
    • Stellar evolution and structure
    • Dark matter and the growth of structure in the universe
    • High energy nuclear physics
    • Space science
  • Statistical and Condensed Matter Physics
    • Nanophysics and nanotechnology
    • Electronic transitions in functional materials
    • Computational materials design
    • Physics of soft matter and fluids
  • Complex Systems and Biophysics
    • Physics of complex systems
    • Econophysics and interdisciplinary physics
    • Network science
    • Origin of genetic coding
  • Medical physics and imaging technologies
    • Theory of light matter interactions relevant to biological systems
    • Development of optical sensing and imaging systems
    • Data and image processing
    • Development of instrumentation and optical probes

Structuring your postgraduate programme in Physics

Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BSc(Hons)) in Physics

Master of Science (MSc) in Physics 120-point (one-year) research masters

Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Physics

30 points from 600 and 700 level courses in related subjects: Biological Sciences, Geophysics, Mathematics, Medical Physics and Imaging Technology, Photonics, Chemistry, Earth Sciences and more. Please contact your postgraduate adviser to discuss these, and other, options.


Where can postgraduate study in Physics take you?

All of modern science and technology is underpinned by physics and postgraduate study is a good foundation for a career in research, business, finance, IT and the engineering sector.

Jobs related to Physics include:

  • Geophysicist/field seismologist
  • Investment analyst
  • Metallurgist
  • Meteorologist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Radiation protection practitioner
  • Researcher
  • Scientific instrument manufacture
  • Software engineer

Scholarships and awards

Each year we award scholarships and prizes to thousands of students.

Find out about the scholarships you may be eligible for, search available scholarships or begin an application by visiting Scholarships and awards.

Help and advice

Student Hubs 

Visit your hubs for help and advice on any aspect of your studies and life at University.

The Student Hubs are your physical gateway to Waipapa Taumata Rau | the University of Auckland. 

The Student Hubs services are available seven days a week at the City, Grafton, Epsom and Tai Tonga campuses and six days a week at Tai Tokerau, with friendly staff available to provide you with advice on any aspect of your studies and life at the University.

Find out more

To find a supervisor to work with you on your research project please see Postgraduate Research Topics.