Physical and chemical sciences




Your inquisitive mind has undoubtedly pondered the biggest questions posed by humankind – such as the ultimate fate of the universe and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Astrophysics addresses these questions by using theory, observations made with the largest telescopes, and calculations done on the world's largest supercomputers. You will study the distribution of matter in the universe and celestial objects such as planets and stars, comets, pulsars and quasars, galaxies and black holes.

Monash's impressive undergraduate program is currently the most comprehensive in Australia. It is home to world-leading experts in observational and theoretical astrophysics, whose expertise is directly relevant to the content of the undergraduate program.

Modern astrophysics draws heavily on physics, mathematics and computational and numerical analysis. The Monash astronomy and astrophysics program provides excellent training in modern science and problem-solving.

We have developed a new way of teaching physics and astronomy – called the Physics and Astronomy Collaborative-learning Environment (PACE). The PACE studios and our teaching laboratories were designed to promote independent learning and teach problem-solving, effective communication and teamwork. We are forging a community of students who are active learners, able to apply their knowledge and skills in creative and imaginative ways.

As a graduate with a major in astrophysics, you will be equipped with the tools to find employment in areas that require an analytical mind and exceptional problem-solving skills. Career pathways include areas such as government, private industry, science journalism and teaching, or at research laboratories, universities and planetariums.



Chemistry is the science of matter and energy – the study of the makeup and structure of substances, how atoms and molecules react and interact, and how that behaviour can be harnessed to transform materials, medicine, and technology.

Your studies will take place in our brand new state-of-the-art chemistry building, with sophisticated laboratories, learning and research spaces, as well as inspiring interactive facilities. The chemistry department at Monash is among the top in the world. This is truly where the global shift to innovative chemistry begins.

In this major you will cover aspects of synthetic, analytical and physical chemistry, with emphasis on the environment, materials, medicine, biology and sustainability. We place a strong emphasis on research, innovative teaching and science education, developing students in modern chemical practice and problem-solving.

As chemistry is the foundation for a range of more specialised disciplines, your career scope is wide and exciting. You might choose to apply your expertise in medical research, the technology industry, environmental sciences, food science, forensics, research and development or academia. Your analytical and logical-thinking skills will also be of interest to the legal, financial, and commercial worlds.

Materials Sciences

Materials science

Materials science is a revolutionary field with the capacity to transform many aspects of modern life. Advances in materials are at the core of countless technological breakthroughs, be it in the health, engineering or manufacturing industries.

As a discipline, it examines different types of materials (metals, polymers, ceramics, glasses and composites) and the fundamental structural reasons for the astounding range of properties displayed. Studying Materials Science at Monash will ensure you understand and can manipulate materials to benefit technological advances and make significant contributions in the field of your choice, be it the mining, nanotechnology, biomedical or aerospace industries.

Materials science is highly interdisciplinary, and draws upon the fundamental principles from physics, chemistry and biology for the creation of materials with specific, targeted needs.

The course covers a broad range of topics, including crystallography, thermodynamics, biological engineering and solid mechanics. You will focus on real-world applications of a wide spectrum of materials ranging from polymers, ceramics, metals, and metal alloys, to biomaterials, nanomaterials and functional materials.

As a graduate with a major in Materials science, you will have the ability to develop new materials or improve existing ones, and hence make a unique contribution to the design of new devices, products and components. The solid technical foundation acquired during your studies, along with your capacity to innovate, will open the door to many exciting and cutting-edge areas, such as:

  • metallurgy
  • plastics engineering
  • ceramics
  • adhesive science
  • solar energy and battery devices
  • biomedical implants and drug delivery
  • chemical and pharmaceutical industries
  • aerospace and automotive industries



If you're curious about things such as why the sky is blue, how a mobile phone works, or what the universe is made of, physics can quench your thirst for knowledge and prepare you for a fascinating career.

By studying Physics at Monash you will have access to world-leading researchers and facilities. We have developed a new way of teaching physics and astronomy – called the Physics and Astronomy Collaborative-learning Environment (PACE). The PACE Studios were designed purposefully to promote independent learning, and develop the analytical, problem-solving and communication skills prized by industry. We are forging a community of students who are active learners, able to apply their knowledge and skills in creative and imaginative ways.

Physics is the study of space and time, matter and energy. By carrying out experiments and developing conceptual models, physicists seek to provide a fundamental understanding of how our physical universe works. Physics ranges from the very practical, such as developing biomedical-imaging and optoelectronic devices, to asking curiosity-driven questions about the nature of reality or how complexity arises from simple constituents.

The skills you gain through studying Physics at Monash can be used in a diverse range of areas including the following: modelling complex financial systems, climate modelling, looking at innovative ways to address sustainability, understanding our place in the universe, understanding things like consciousness and complex biological systems.

With a major in Physics you will have a vast range of challenging and fascinating career options. You may find yourself working with lasers, medical imaging, and nanotechnology in a range of contexts, including electronics, communications, aeronautics, minerals exploration and space science.

As a physicist you may be employed as researcher in a university, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, the Australian Synchrotron, and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation. Physicists are also found working in the renewable energy sector, science teaching, climate modelling and science communication.