What is Physics all about?
VCE Physics provides for continuing study pathways within the discipline and leads to a range of careers. Physicists may undertake research and development in specialist areas including acoustics, astrophysics and cosmology, atmospheric physics, computational physics, education, energy research, engineering, instrumentation, lasers and photonics, medical physics, nuclear science, optics, pyrotechnics and radiography. Physicists also work in cross-disciplinary areas such as bushfire research, climate science, forensic science, geology, materials science, neuroscience and sports science.
This study enables students to:
- Apply physics models, theories and concepts to describe, explain, analyse and make predictions about diverse physical phenomena
- Understand and use the language and methodologies of physics to solve qualitative and quantitative problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts
- Understand the cooperative, cumulative, evolutionary and interdisciplinary nature of science as a human endeavour, including its possibilities, limitations and political and sociocultural influences
- Develop a range of individual and collaborative science-investigation skills through experimental and inquiry tasks in the field and in the laboratory
- Develop an informed perspective on contemporary science-based issues of local and global significance
- Apply their scientific understanding to familiar and unfamiliar situations, including personal, social, environmental and technological contexts
- Develop attitudes that include curiosity, open-mindedness, creativity, flexibility, integrity, attention to detail and respect for evidence-based conclusions
- Understand and apply the research, ethical and safety principles that govern the study and practice of the discipline in the collection, analysis, critical evaluation and reporting of data
- Communicate clearly and accurately an understanding of the discipline using appropriate terminology, conventions and formats
The study 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?
There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. However, students who enter the study at Unit 3 may need to do preparatory work based on Unit 1 and Unit 2, as specified by the teacher. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4.
Levels of Achievement
Units 1 and 2
School based assessment consisting of coursework, assessment tasks and an exam
Units 3 and 4
School assessed coursework and an end-of-year examination.
- Unit 3 school-assessed coursework: 21 %
- Unit 4 school-assessed coursework: 19%
- End-of-year examination: 60 %