1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Best Australian University for Undergrad Physics?

  1. Aug 22, 2013 #1
    I'm having a hard time choosing between ANU and UoM for undergrad physics. Which one do you think is more internationally recognised and offers a better education?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2013 #2
    what about the location, I hear everything goes down in Melbourne and that its the place to be.
    from what I've read both schools are very very good in Australia so I doubt it'd make a difference for an undergraduate degree unless you have something very specific in mind.
  4. Aug 23, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Hey TysonM8.

    Are you looking at astrophysics or normal physics? If I recall correctly, ANU has a good astro-physics program (graduate program) which you might want to investigate at the appropriate time.
  5. Aug 23, 2013 #4
    Theoretical physics (particle physics in particular). ANU actually has a theoretical physics major, and it also has available honours projects on topics including super-symmetry, string theory, M-theory, etc., whereas UoM doesn't even offer honours anymore (you just go straight to a Master's). However, I've heard so many claim that UoM is the most prestigious university in Australia. It is a "sandstone university" and has a lot of history, but its academic structure makes me wonder. So which do you think would be best for undergrad physics in terms of education, international reputation and opportunities for international PhD programs?
  6. Aug 23, 2013 #5
    That's what makes the decision so hard. Melbourne seems like the place a 17 year old just moving out of home should be. However, things like breadth subjects, having to do a masters instead of honours, and the staff to student ratio put me off. UoM has a much better campus, more funding, and is considered by many to be more prestigous. However, ANU doesn't require you to take breadth subjects (subjects outside math and science), the staff to student ratio is great, it's considered to be more focused on research, and it offers honours projects that I'd be interested in once I finish my degree.

    It really is a hard choice. I believe I would get a better education at ANU, but I'm not sure if it will be as easy to get into a PhD program overseas, or if missing out on all the fun was worth it.
  7. Aug 23, 2013 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    The UoM has adopted what is known as the "Melbourne Model" which is similar to how things are done in the US.

    Basically the model is the you have to do a lot of Gen Ed credits and the big degrees like Law, Medicine, and Engineering are becoming graduate only degrees.

    Many universities in Australia have a model similar to the English model where you do a 3/4 year degree with the possibility of doing an honors year in which you can apply for a PhD spot after that honors year (you usually have to get 1st class or thereabouts).

    UoM is a good university, but if you can go to a university that does the physics and avoids all the BS gen ed credits then I would suggest looking at that.

    You are definitely right about all the theoretical physics stuff and if you are interested, you should probably take a look at the course pages and email some of the admin or faculty for more information.

    Usually the prestige factor matters for particular degrees like law, business (including MBA), and a few others. I think for physics ANU or UoM would both be good as long as you get good marks.

    Also realize that physics in Australia is not the same as physics in Europe or the US: we have colliders and other research centres here but not in the same capacity as abroad.
  8. Aug 23, 2013 #7
    Yepp, that's why I would like to go to the best university I can here in Australia, in the hope that I can do my graduate studies in the US or UK.

    And yeah, I think it would be good to avoid those other subjects, and just focus on maths and physics. I guess that leaves ANU as my only option. Thanks for the advice :)
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook