Subject details

This unit covers:

Unit 1 Physical quantities & measurement

  • Ch 1 Measurement and quantities

Unit 2 Forces and motion

  • Ch 2 Motion in a straight line
  • Ch 3 Vectors and Graphing
  • Ch 4 Forces in action
  • Ch 5 Projectile, circular and periodic motion
  • Ch 6 Astrophysics
  • Ch 7 Hydrostatics: the physics of fluids

Unit 3 Energy and momentum.

  • Ch 8 Momentum
  • Ch 9 Work and Energy

Unit 4 Thermal physics

  • Ch 10 Heat and temperature
  • Ch 11 Heat and matter
  • Ch 12 Heat transfer

Unit 5 Wave motion

  • Ch 13 Wave motion in one dimension.
  • Ch 14 Wave motion in two dimensions.
  • Ch 15 Light - a wave.
  • Ch 16 Sound, music and audio technology.

Unit 6 Optics

  • Ch 17 Reflection of light
  • Ch 18 Refraction
  • Ch 19 Lenses
  • Ch 20 Optical instruments

Unit 7 Electricity

  • Ch 21 Electrostatics
  • Ch 22 Electric circuits
  • Ch 23 Electronics
  • Ch 24 Electronic systems

Unit 8 Magnetism & electromagnetism

  • Ch 25 Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Ch 26 Electromagnetic induction

Unit 9 Atomic and nuclear physics

  • Ch 27 Atomic structure
  • Ch 28 Nuclear physics
  • Ch 29 Quantum physics and fundamental particles

Unit 10 Extension topics

  • Ch 30 Special and General Relativity
  • Ch 31 Designing practical electronic circuits
  • Ch 32 Solar physics
  • Ch 34 Medical physics
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
      • Streaming Multimedia
      • Web links
      • Wikis
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links
      • Printable format materials
      • Simulations
      • Online Assessment

Entry Requirements

You are recommended to have completed the following subjects(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:


If you have not participated in a high level maths unit (Math B or equiv.) in the last couple of years, it is highly recommended that you complete UNL32 Senior Mathematics prior to attempting UNL71.

Special requirements

No special requirements

The subject is a preparatory physics subject designed to help you gain the necessary knowledge to enter into a tertiary study. This subject provides a foundation for the study of matter and its motion through space and time. Physics is needed for those who wish to move into engineering, high military applications and fields in space study. This subject covers topics equivalent to those covered in the last two years of physics at high school. The subject concentrates on the concepts and models which physics uses to enhance your understanding of the real world and the techniques for presenting and analysing the data from experimental observation.

This subject includes individual tutorial support with an experienced high school physics teacher. Tutorial support is via email, phone and an online classroom with discussion forums. There is also a Unilearn Student Support Officer available to help you throughout your study. This subject provides 4 core credits towards your QCE.

The subject has flexible enrolment dates to meet your needs. Start your study when you want and complete the subject any time within the 12 month enrolment window. This subject requires a minimum of 220 hours or 18 weeks to complete. The 18-week option is only available to you if you complete the subject in the online classroom. For international students, an additional $150 is applied to your subject for postage and handling of overseas materials. The cost of the textbook is not included in the degree price.

The final exam is not included in the subject price. The cost of the exam is $75 (International exams $150). For more information please call the Student Advisor team on 13OPEN (13 6736) or visit

Note: Most students take 540 hours to complete the degree as the 220 minimum hours is the learning in the textbook only and does not take into account completing homework, reading time, tutorial help and progress tests. Please keep this in mind when nominating to complete in an accelerated timeframe.

  • Assignment 1 - Progress tests (10%)
  • Assignment 2 - Practice Questions (0%)
  • Assignment 3 - Invigilation by provider (80%)
  • Assignment 4 - Lab Activities (10%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject