Physics 101/102

This course is for those who might intend to continue studying Physics, it is also a pre-requisite for some other courses in the Science Faculty. It is split into 2 semesterised courses, both of which must be taken to get a credit for Physics 1:

PHY 101

  • Theory Course: Mechanics.
  • Experimental course: Measurement and data analysis.

PHY 102

  • Theory Course: Oscillations, waves, fields, AC theory, modern physics.
  • Experimental course: Electrical circuits, elementary analogue and digital electronics.

Physics 1E1 - General Physics

This is a one-semester course. Credit in Physics 1E1 is a compulsory prerequisite for the BPharm 2 curriculum. Physics 1E (or Physics 1) is a compulsory credit for students who wish to major in Chemistry.

Physics 1E2 - Electronics literacy

This is a one-semester course, which can be taken by any student registered at Rhodes University. Students learn about electricity and electronics to the extent necessary to connect up and commission modern, popular commercial instrumentation, in particular microprocessor-based devices. They gain a general understanding of how many common electronic devices work. This requires literacy in electronics, not fluency.

Physics 201/202

This is the second year course in a Physics with Electronics major. (A Pass in Physics 101/102 is needed, along with maths, for admission to this course.)

Physics 301/302

This is the final course in a Physics major. A credit in Physics 2 and Maths 2 (pure or applied) are needed for admission into this course.

The Department offers three Honours programmes, namely Physics, Electronics and a joint combination of Physics and Electronics. The Physics and Electronics programmes may be used as components in Joint Honours programmes.

The Honours year is very intensive and you should expect to spend the university vacations on your work. You will need the extra time to catch up on course work, and to complete projects, assignments and practicals.

The class goes to Hartebeesthoek for a Radio Astronomy practical in the second week of September.

Course Structure

The Honours course has 3 distinct components. These are

  • lecture courses (called theory modules, or just modules)
  • practicals
  • literature survey research project

You have some choice in the construction of your curriculum, details of which vary between programmes.


Suitably qualified students are encouraged to proceed to the research degrees of MSc and PhD under the direction of the staff of the Department.
Requirements for the MSc and PhD degrees are given in the Higher Degrees Guide which can be found on the Science Faculty Website, or by visiting the "Applying" section of the Rhodes website.
The Master's degree may be taken in Physics, or Electronics, and will be examined by thesis. Candidates may also be required to take an oral examination. Acceptance of the candidate will depend on previous academic record and availability of suitable projects. Current areas of specialisation include radio astronomy; upper atmosphere physics; luminescence; particle physics and nuclear structure . The current areas of specialisation in Electronics are transducers and digital signal processing.

A PhD degree may be taken by thesis. Candidates may also be required to take an oral examination. Acceptance of the candidate will depend on previous academic record and availability of suitable projects, and is at the discretion of the Head of Department. Current areas of specialisation are as for the MSc degree.

Registration for an MSc or PhD in the Department of Physics and Electronics involves two main steps:

  1. Negotiating with the department to find a research project and supervisor
  2. Formally registering through the university administration.