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Undergraduate | MUR-PEN152-2023

Principles of Physics

Previously MUR-SCI19

Study method

100% online


100% online

Entry requirements

Prior study needed


13 weeks

Start dates

  • 27 Nov 2023

Price from


Upfront cost


HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP available

About this subject

What you'll learn

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. Communicate in-depth knowledge of the principles and fundamentals of physics
  2. Enhance your problem solving and critical thinking skills
  3. Develop the skills needed to design and perform experimental tests, acquire data, analyse that data, and communicate the significance of your results to others.
    • Motion and energy (e.g. Newton's Laws, work, energy, momentum, non linear oscillatory and circular motion),
    • Introduction to continuum mechanics (e.g. stress, strain, viscosity, non-Newtonian fluids, elasticity, plasticity),
    • Electromagnetism (e.g. Electrostatics, DC circuits, magnetism), Classical Optics (e.g. reflection, refraction, lenses).
    • The unit also provides a brief introduction to special relativity in the context of frames of references, light and GPS navigation.
  • This unit covers the principles of physics underpinning engineering, technology and the sciences. It will also be valuable to secondary educators, especially in the physical sciences. The unit will be a student's first experience of the use of calculus to express the fundamental physical principles. For many this reinforces and motivate an important mathematical technique. At the same time calculus helps unite many of these physical principles, thus enabling deeper insight and broader application.

    Please Note: All students studying at Murdoch University will need to complete the compulsory unit, Murdoch Academic Passport (MAP100), which only takes 2-3 hours to complete online. Find out more:

  • Assessment in this subject is designed to facilitate student learning on a continual basis. There are 5 multiple choice tests to help students consolidate their knowledge. Two assignments of a problem solving type help students develop their problem solving skills and one assignment where students write a scientific report based on a small proof-of-concept experiment, develops their experimental design and communication skills. Self-tests on the unit website allow students to practice what they learn, without penalty. The final exam focuses on understanding and problem solving. Students can do more than the minimum amount of work to get a better understanding of the material by working through the questions and problems at the end of each chapter in the textbook.

    • Open book timed online exam (50%)
    • Scientific Report (10%)
    • Workshops and Test (12%)
    • Laboratory Reports (10%)
    • Assignment (18%)
  • For textbook details check your university's handbook, website or learning management system (LMS).

  • This research-based university in Perth has a strong interdisciplinary focus and a reputation for outstanding teaching and ground-breaking research. With more than 25,000 students and 2,400 staff from over 90 countries, and campuses in Dubai and Singapore, Murdoch embraces free thinking, shared ideas and knowledge to make a difference, and Open Universities Australia is certainly part of that.

    Learn more about Murdoch.

    Explore Murdoch courses.

    QS Ranking 2023: 27

    Times Higher Education Ranking 2023: 31

Entry requirements

Prior study

You must have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject:

You must either have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject, or enrol in the following subject(s) to study at the same time or prior to this subject:

Equivalent subjects

You should not enrol in this subject if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • MUR-SCI19-Principles of Physics (no longer available)


A final scaled score of 60% or more in WACE Physics 3A/3B or equivalent background education if a student has not completed pre-requisite PEN120/SCI16 General Physics.

Additional requirements

No additional requirements

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