Physics Course Catalogue

Physics seeks to understand and explain the physical world. It examines models and ideas used to make sense of the world and which are sometimes challenged as new knowledge develops. By looking at the way matter and energy interact through observations, measurements and experiments, physicists gain a better understanding of the underlying laws of nature.

VCE Physics provides students with opportunities to explore questions related to the natural and constructed world. The study provides a contextual approach to exploring selected areas within the discipline including atomic physics, electricity, fields, mechanics, thermodynamics, quantum physics and waves. Students also have options for study related to astrophysics, bioelectricity, biomechanics, electronics, flight, medical physics, nuclear energy, nuclear physics, optics, sound and sports science. Students examine classical and contemporary research, models and theories to understand how knowledge in physics has evolved and continues to evolve in response to new evidence and discoveries. An understanding of the complexities and diversity of physics leads students to appreciate the interconnectedness of the content areas both within physics, and across physics and the other sciences.

An important feature of undertaking a VCE science study is the opportunity for students to engage in a range of inquiry tasks that may be self-designed, develop key science skills and interrogate the links between theory and practice. In VCE Physics inquiry methodologies can include laboratory experimentation, local and remote data logging, simulations, animations and literature reviews. Investigation in physics is diverse and may take many forms including the design, building, testing and evaluation of a device; the investigation of the operation of a device; creating a solution to a scientific or technological problem; and the investigation of a physical phenomenon. Students work collaboratively as well as independently on a range of tasks. They pose questions, formulate hypotheses and collect, analyse and critically interpret qualitative and quantitative data. They analyse the limitations of data, evaluate methodologies and results, justify conclusions, make recommendations and communicate their findings. Students investigate and evaluate issues, changes or alternative proposals by considering both shorter and longer term consequences for the individual, environment and society. Knowledge of the safety considerations associated with physics investigations is integral to the study of VCE Physics.

As well as an increased understanding of scientific processes, students develop capacities that enable them to critically assess the strengths and limitations of science, respect evidence-based conclusions and gain an awareness of the ethical, social and political contexts of scientific endeavours.

The VCE study design is made up of four units:
Unit 1 : What ideas explain the physical world?
Unit 2 : What do experiments reveal about the physical world?
Unit 3 : How do fields explain motion and electricity?
Unit 4 : How can two contradictory models explain both light and matter?

Course List

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For example, entering Unit 3 into the search field would show all Unit 3 Physics Courses.