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Student Information

Within the School of Physics, Condensed Matter Physics is taught at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, leading to Honours degrees in Physics, and Masters and PhD research degrees. This page gives some information on various research projects and scholarships available.


Vacation Scholarships
UNSW Undergraduate students are eligible to apply for Vacation Scholarships through the UNSW Faculty of Science Vacation Scholarship program in the School of Physics. The best place to start withj these is to talk with prospective supervisors and Sue Hagon in the School Office.

Undergraduates from other Australian & New Zealand universities may also be considered. Scholarships will generally last between 6 and 10 weeks, to be negotiated between the student and their supervisor. Australian students will also be eligible to have return travel to Sydney paid for. Please contact individual academics directly by September 30th for scholarships during the summer period from December through to February.

Exchange and practikum students
We regularly take on international exchange students who are interested in obtaining research experience or professional/industrial practice. Interested students should contact potential supervisors directly, and see here for official details of UNSW's Practicum Program .

Honours year Research projects are available to students from UNSW and other universities. Honours projects are available either as full year or 1/2 year projects. Interested students should contact prospectiuve supervisors to discuss possible research projects - a list of projects is available here. The School of Physics also offers advanced level Honours courses in Condensed Matter Physics.

Students can also do full year Honours research projects in CMP through UNSW's Nanotechnology program.

Master of Philiosophy and Graduate Diploma in Physics
The minimum requirement for admission to the PhD or MSc by Research is a four year Bachelor's degree with 1st or upper 2nd class Honours from an Australian University that includes a substantial research component, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent by the Higher Degree Committee. Students who do not have this qualification may wish to enrol into the Master of Philosophy, Graduate Diploma in Physics, or Graduate Diploma in Physics Research Techniques, first.

The Master of Philosophy is a research degree. It will take 3 sessions to complete and students complete 24 units of credit of courses and one rsearch project. Entry to the MPhil requires at least a three year Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in Physics.

Postgraduate research degrees (MSc, PhD) in Physics
The School of Physics offers a Master in Science by Research and a Doctor of Philosophy degree. These research degrees involve the student independently researching a specific topic under the guidance of a supervisor. If you are interested in doing a postgraduate research degree at UNSW you should contact one of the academics in the department to discuss possible projects. A current, although by no means exhaustive, list of potential PhD projects on offer in the school can be found here. In addition, details of research projects can be found on the individual web-pages of the different research groups.

Research Scholarships
Scholarships are available for local and international students for Masters and PhD degrees. If you have an honours degree and wish to pursue a Masters or PhD at UNSW, you can apply for either an

  • Australian Postgraduate Award (APA)/ University Postgraduate Award (UPA): This is a government funded living stipend open to Australian citizens and permanent residents of Australia, valued at approx. $26,000 pa (in 2010). Further details can be found from the Graduate Research School.
  • Postgraduate Assistanceship - The School of Physics, UNSW offers a number of Postgraduate Assistantship (PA) positions each year. This stipend is intended to provide a reasonable level of financial support for higher degree (MSc/PhD) candidates in physics.
  • From time to time, individual reseach groups offer scholarships funded by grants.

International students will need to obtain scholarships to cover university fees, and some scholarships also cover living expenses. International scholarships are administered through the Graduate Research School, and include:

  • UNSW International Research Fellowships are available to international students with good academic records.
  • Home country scholarships are available from selected countries
  • Endeavour Scholarships are available for short to medium term visits.


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