Physics/Pure Physics

Course Duration

Undergraduate: 3 - 4 years

Total Average Fee

Local Public University: RM 7,000 - 15,000
Local Private University: RM 41,600 (UTAR)
Overseas University: RM 100,000 - RM 250,000
(Applicable for Malaysian Students)

Prospects

RM 61, 000 per year
(Source: PayScale)

What is Physics/Pure Physics?

To many, if not most lay persons, physics is just about the study of forces, and their effects on our everyday objects and experience; think the hackneyed high school physics questions on finding the velocity of the billiard balls after collisions, the time of flight of a projectile and the distance travelled by some toy cart etc. Meanwhile, to sci-fi enthusiasts, physics revolves around the theoretical studies of superstrings and wormholes.

The truth is, these are almost accurate.

Its dictionary definition being “the study of matter, energy, and the interaction between them”, physics encompasses everything in the universe, from tiny subatomic particles to colossal galaxies, from the energy of a ground state electron to that of one moving near the speed of light, and from the weakest yet widely observable gravitational force to the strongest yet obscure strong nuclear force — way beyond just billiards balls! And as a result of this vastness of knowledge to be covered in a Physics degree, the emphasis would be on introducing the key theories and concepts in the major fields of physics (classical and modern physics), and more importantly, the problem-solving and analytical skills as well as numeracy needed to understand them.

What are the subjects covered by the course?

  • Mathematical Methods
  • Modern/Contemporary Physics
  • Vibrations and Waves
  • Computation and Numerical Methods
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Statistical Physics
  • Modern Optics and Laser
  • Material Science
  • Thermodynamics
  • Atomic and Nuclear Physics
  • Solid State Physics
  • Astronomy and Cosmology
  • and etc

What are the requirements to study the course?

  • Pass SPM with at least a Credit in THREE (3) subjects including Mathematics and a Pass in English Language.
  • A minimum B Grade at STPM/ GCE A-Levels/ Diploma or equivalent in Physics, and Mathematics/ Additional Mathematics.
  • B.Sc in Physics or other relevant Bachelor’s degree (in terms of subjects included)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General test and Physics subject test scores (for US graduate schools)
  • English proficiency test scores
  • B.Sc or Master in Physics courses
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General test and Physics subject test scores (for US graduate schools)
  • English proficiency test scores

*Entry requirements may vary for different institutions.

What does the education pathway look like?

SPM/O-Levels –> STPM/A-Levels/International Baccalaureate (IB)/Foundation/Diploma/Other Pre-University Courses –> Bachelor’s Degree –> Master’s Degree –> Doctoral Degree (PhD)

What are the career prospects for this course?

Most professions in “physics”, especially in research and academia, require a PhD or at least a Master’s degree either in physics or in other fields. Some of these include astrophysicist, geophysicist, medical physicist, nuclear physicist and university professors.

However, given the skills such as problem solving, computer expertise and advanced numeracy and analytical ability a physics degree student is equipped with, there are many other options for Bachelor’s degree holder, too:

  • Engineers (Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical)
  • Laboratory Technicians
  • Data Scientists
  • Software Engineers
  • Financial analyst
  • Science Journalism
  • High school physics/science teacher

What skills do you need for this course?

  • Aptitude for Mathematics/Numeracy
    In order to understand and describe the universe effectively, physics theories and concepts, abstract or otherwise, are almost always explained alongside rigorous mathematical derivations and complex expressions. Therefore, it is crucial to have a good understanding of basic calculus and algebra before starting the degree, and to possess the ability to grasp various other useful mathematical tools introduced throughout the course.
  • Good Logical Thinking Skill
    Logical and scientific reasoning skills are essential to problem solving -- something that will be done routinely in the course. The ability to recognise patterns in data and logical reasoning is needed in order to apply the relevant mathematical tools and arrive at solutions.
  • Technical Knowledge
    Physicists often have to deal with large amounts of data that involve laborious operations, thus knowledge in scientific or computing softwares and programming are basically mandatory for a physics student to acquire. Therefore, basic technical knowledge in these topics will be a big plus.
  • Curiosity and Passion
    This might seem cliched or of minimal significance but is in fact the most crucial quality a Physics student should possess. Without the enthusiasm to quench your thirst for knowledge, you will quickly find yourself struggling to wade through volumes and volumes of textbooks, most of which require a great amount of time and effort to understand.

Where can you study this course?

Have more questions?

Get into contact with the mentor behind this page, Wilson Lee, through our mentorships page

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