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Applied Physics

A minor in Applied Physics will provide you with a broad introduction to physics principles and concepts, and is designed to strengthen and broaden a subject major in Earth Sciences, Biology or Chemistry.

Applied Physics

The Applied Physics minor is designed to show how an understanding of fundamental physics principles can strengthen and enrich subject competence. It has a distinctively interdisciplinary flavour that will enhance the learning experience of both science and non-science students.

You will learn through practical examples drawn from geophysical exploration, nuclear chemistry and biomedical systems, supported by laboratory and field work.

Studying Applied Physics will allow you to:

  • Understand how fundamental physics concepts relate to other science subjects (Biology, Earth Sciences, and Chemistry);
  • Gain problem-solving skills applied to biological systems, geophysical applications, nuclear chemistry and radiation physics; and
  • Gain practical experience in exploration geophysics, biological and biomedical physics, and nuclear chemistry.

Year one paper Physics in Context will appeal if you have an interest in the subject but have studied little or no physics and/or mathematics at school. In years two and three you’ll gain knowledge in geophysical exploration techniques and applications to geological and environmental remote-sensing challenges, and the applications of physics to chemistry, medicine, and the life sciences.

Field trips and practical work

Field trips are planned for the Exploration Geophysics paper in particular, while practical work in nuclear chemistry and biomedical measurements will be undertaken as laboratory exercises.


Lab-based exercises make use of specialised teaching and research equipment, and includes resistivity probes, bioelectrodes, amplifiers and oscilloscopes.

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Key information

Study Locations: Hamilton

Career opportunities

  • Geophysical Surveying
  • Mineral and Hydrocarbon Exploration
  • Medical Imaging and Tomography
  • Medical Physics and Instrumentation

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
APHYS111Physics in Context18A (Hamilton)
This is an introductory paper in physics for students who have not studied physics or mathematics at NCEA level 2 or 3. It is intended to support a major in other science subjects. Emphasis is placed on describing everyday physics concepts using correct terminology. Examples of physics in action are drawn from many science areas. T...

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
APHYS211Exploration GeophysicsThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
APHYS212Nuclear and Particle Physics18B (Hamilton)
This paper will provide the student with an introduction to the theory of nuclear structure, nuclear decay and reactions, and elementary particle physics. Practical examples include radioactivity, radioisotope production, dating of materials using radioactive decay, sterilisation of food/equipment using radioactive sources, radioac...

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
APHYS311Biological PhysicsThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.

Timothy Walmsley A PhD focused on increasing the energy efficiency of milk powder production has led University of Waikato engineering graduate Tim Walmsley to a full-time job with the very research group within which he worked as a PhD candidate.

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New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Undergraduate Scholarship in Physics  Closed

For students enrolled full-time in the third year of undergraduate study towards a Bachelor of Science with a major in Physics. The scholarship will have a value of $500.

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Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 / 0800 438 254