Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science in High Performance Computational Physics

Degree Type Honours Bachelor
Duration 4 years full-time
or part-time equiv.
SATAC Code 324171
CRICOS 047800B

Enter the world of supercomputers

Love calculations, formulas and data-enabled science? Want to solve cutting-edge problems at the forefront of physics?

Computational physics is a rapidly growing and highly interdisciplinary research area. High performance computations are an essential part of modern research in particle physics, condensed-matter physics, astrophysics, fluid mechanics, quantum field theory, quantum chromodynamics, and plasma physics.

What will you do?

In our Bachelor of Science (High Performance Computational Physics)(Honours) you will:

  • take core courses in physics, mathematics and computer science
  • immerse yourself in small group discovery experiences with like-minded peers
  • explore high-performance computing techniques
  • learn to program parallel supercomputers using state-of-the-art computer languages
  • apply sophisticated computing skills to modern physics problems.

In your final year Honours Program, you’ll dive deep into theoretical or computational physics and physics applications. This includes specialist research projects and courses.

Where could it take you?

Your advanced computational and mathematical skills will enable you to pursue a wide range of careers ranging from the computer industry—including cybersecurity and defence—to physics research and investment banking.

  • Entry Requirements

    Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
    I am a:

    Domestic applicants

    Not a domestic applicant?

    Admissions information

    SATAC Code 324171
    2018 CSP ATAR 82.3
    2018 CSP IB 28
    Guaranteed Entry Score - ATAR 90
    Deferment Yes - 2 year
    Intake February and July
    Enquiries Future Students team

    2018 Admissions Data for school leavers
    (raw ATAR, excluding any applicable adjustment factors)
    Lowest ATAR to receive an offer 76
    Median ATAR to receive an offer 81.15
    Highest ATAR to receive an offer 96.75
    Selection Rank
    (ATAR plus any adjustment factors)
    Lowest Selection Rank to receive an offer 82.3
    Median Selection Rank to receive an offer 91.15
    Highest Selection Rank to receive an offer 99.2
    Minimum eligibility score 65
    Additional criteria considered Selection rank only
    Selection Criteria
    Recent Secondary Education You must not have completed more than 2 years full time equivalent (48 units) university study. You compete for a place with your Selection Rank (ATAR plus any applicable adjustment factors ). Applicants who have studied Physics 1 and/or Mathematics 1 at the University of Adelaide (or equivalent) must have achieved at least a credit grade average for these courses.
    Prerequisites SACE Stage 2: Mathematical Methods (if studied from 2017 onwards. If studied year 12 prior to 2017, the equivalent subject was called Mathematical Studies), Specialist Mathematics, Physics IB: Mathematics (HL grade 3), Physics (SL grade 4/HL grade 3)
    Higher Education Study You must have completed at least six months full time equivalent higher education study (the number of courses and units will vary depending on your prior institution however at the University of Adelaide, this equates to 4 courses / 12 units). Applicants who have studied Physics 1 and/or Mathematics 1 at the University of Adelaide (or equivalent) must have achieved at least a credit grade average for these courses. A Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated for each separate program you have undertaken (apart from some double degree programs where the GPA is combined). You are ranked on the basis of your best GPA.
    Work and life experience You must be 18 years or over before 1 February 2019. If you have studied at higher education level in the last two years (for 2019 entry this means you were enrolled in either 2018 or 2017), you must not have accumulated more than a TOTAL of 2 years full-time (or part-time equivalent) higher education study (ie. including any study prior to 2017). If you meet this criteria, you will be ranked according to your result in the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT). Your STAT result is not weighted between verbal and quantitative components. Indigenous applicants may be eligible for entry through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Scheme. See Wirltu Yarlu for further information.
    Other Entry Pathways
    How to Apply
    SATAC Code: 324171

    Student Profile
    Applicant background Semester one/Full year intake 2018
    Number of students Percentage of all students
    (A) Higher Education study
    (includes a bridging or enabling course)
    2 18.2%
    (B) Vocational education and training (VET) study N/A N/A
    (C) Work and life experience
    (admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three categories)
    1 9.1%
    (D) Recent secondary education:
    • Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR
      (regardless of whether this includes the consideration of adjustment factors)
    7 63.6%
    • Admitted where both ATAR and additional criteria were considered
      (e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)
    N/A N/A
    • Admitted on the basis of other criteria only and ATAR was not a factor
      (e.g. special consideration, audition alone, schools recommendation scheme with no minimum ATAR requirement)
    N/A N/A
    International students 1 9.1%
    All students 11 100.0%

    International applicants

    Not an international applicant?

    CRICOS 047800B
    Intake February
    Selection Criteria
    English Language Requirements
    Australian Year 12 Successful completion of an Australian year 12 qualification with a minimum pass in an accepted English language subject
    English Tests accepted by the University of Adelaide
    IELTS Overall 6.5 Reading 6 Listening 6 Speaking 6 Writing 6
    TOEFL Overall 79 Reading 13 Listening 13 Speaking 18 Writing 21
    Pearsons Overall 58 Reading 50 Listening 50 Speaking 50 Writing 50
    Cambridge Overall 176 Reading 169 Listening 169 Speaking 169 Writing 169
    Qualifications that meet minimum English requirements A range of alternative qualifications may meet the University’s minimum English requirements
    Academic Entry Requirements
    Secondary School Qualifications Selection Rank (International) 80
    International Baccalaureate (IB) 29
    Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) 19
    United Entrance Certificate (UEC) [Malaysia] 15
    General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level 9
    Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) 75
    British Columbia Certificate of Graduation (Canada) 5.2
    Alberta High School Diploma (Canada) 82
    ISC & CBSE [India] 75%
    ISBE [India] 85%
    SAT [US] 1270
    Abitur 3.1
    Thailand Certificate of Secondary Education 2.7
    Bang Tot Nghiep Trung Hoc Pho Thong 8.0
    STPM or Matrikulasi 3.00
    Kuwait General School Secondary Certificate 77
    The University of Adelaide College Foundation Program 77
    Eynesbury Foundation Program 380
    ANU Foundation Studies 69
    Monash Foundation Year 72.5
    Trinity College Foundation Studies Program 75
    UNSW Foundation Year 7.5
    University of Sydney Foundation Studies Program 6.9
    Western Australia University Foundation Studies Program 62
    University of Queensland Foundation Studies Program 4.6
    Non-Go8 Foundation Score 77
    Tertiary Qualifications Graduate entry only.
    Australian Year 12 SACE Stage 2: Mathematical Methods (if studied from 2017 onwards. If studied year 12 prior to 2017, the equivalent subject was called Mathematical Studies), Specialist Mathematics, Physics IB: Mathematics (HL grade 3), Physics (SL grade 4/HL grade 3)
    How to Apply
  • Fees and Scholarships

    Choose your applicant type to view the relevant fees and scholarships information for this program.
    I am a:

    Domestic applicants

    Not a domestic applicant?

    Annual tuition fees
    Commonwealth-supported place: $9,300

    More information on Student Contribution Amounts.

    International applicants

    Not an international applicant?

    Annual tuition fees International student place: $36,500


    These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

    Find a Scholarship.

  • Careers

    Career Readiness

    This degree sets you up for a successful career in:

    • banking
    • climate and ecosystem modelling
    • defence organisations
    • econophysics
    • government organisations
    • industry and financial organisations
    • physics
    • scientific computing
    • scientific data analysis
    • universities.

    The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

    Graduate Attributes

    The objective of this program is to produce graduates with specific attributes as outlined in University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes.
    1. Deep discipline knowledge
    2. Critical thinking and problem solving
    3. Teamwork and communication skills
    4. Career and leadership readiness
    5. Intercultural and ethical competency
    6. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Potential careers

    Physicist, Aerospace Scientist, Air-Traffic Controller, Animator, Banker, Climate and Ecosystem Modeller, Commodities or Futures Trader, Computational Scientist, Computer Programmer, Research Associates, Research Scientist, Satellite Project Scientist, Science Communicators, Science Educators, Scientific Data Analyst, Financial Systems / Computer Analyst, Scientific Officer, Space Scientist, Space and Astrophysical Research

  • Study Overseas

    A Study Overseas experience is an integral component to your academic journey at The University of Adelaide. The university is committed to offering its students the opportunity to study overseas through a range of degrees offered via Study Overseas, including student exchange, study tours, short study degrees, internships and placements. There are many exciting opportunities in Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, and Oceania ranging from a few weeks to a full academic year.

    To find available opportunities visit Study Overseas.

    Study Abroad and Exchange

    The Faculty of Sciences recommends students who want to undertake an exchange in an overseas university plan to go in Semester 2 of Level 2 and/or Semester 1 of Level 3.

    Find Study Overseas opportunities for your study area

  • Degree Structure

    Level 1 consists of core courses in physics, mathematics and computing science, with an option for students to broaden their studies in areas such as electrical engineering or chemistry.

    At level 2, students further develop in the core areas of study, with a focus on physics and applied mathematics. Level 3 involves advanced courses in physics and computational physics. Students undertake the final year honours program in theoretical or computational physics, which includes a research project and the option of specialised courses in computer science and mathematics. This enables students to apply their high-performance computing skills to modern physics problems.

    Academic Program Rules

    The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.

    Example Study Plan

    Indicative study plan
    Year1S1 COMP SCI 1101 Introduction to Programming MATHS 1011 Mathematics IA PHYSICS 1100ND Physics IA Approved Level I Elective 1 x 3 units
    S2 COMP SCI 1102 Object Orientated Programming MATHS 1012 Mathematics IB PHYSICS 1200ND Physics IB Approved Level I Elective 1 x 3 units
    Year2S1 MATHS 2101: Multivariable and Complex Calculus MATHS 2102: Differential Equations PHYSICS 2510: Physics IIA Approved Level I Elective 1 x 3 units 
    S2 MATHS 2104: Numerical Methods PHYSICS 2532: Classical Physics II PHYSICS 2534: Electromagnetism II Approved Level I Elective 1 x 3 units
    Year 3S1 PHYSICS 3542: Physics III (6 units)

    PHYSICS 3534: Computational Physics III Approved Level III Elective 1 x 3 units
    S2 PHYSICS 3006: Advanced Dynamics & Relativity III PHYSICS 3544: Quantum Mechanics III Approved Level III Elective 1 x 3 units Approved Level III Elective 1 x 3 units
    Year4S1 PHYSICS 4010 Advanced Physics (HPCP) Part 1
    [or Semester 2] (6 units)
    PHYSICS 4020 A Honours Physics (HPCP) Project
    [or Semester 2] (6 units)
    S2 PHYSICS 4015 Advanced Physics (HPCP) Part 2
    [or Semester 1] (6 units)
    PHYSICS 4020 B Honours Physics (HPCP) Project
    [or Semester 1] (6 units)


    Varies with individual courses and includes a combination of assignments, reports, tests, practical work, tutorial preparation and exams.

  • Further Information

    Further enquiries
    Phone: +61 8 8313 7335 (toll free 1800 061 459)

    The annual Open Day provides an excellent opportunity to see our campus, meet with academics, and discuss your study options.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Tuesday, 17 Sep 2019