Unit description

Engineers deal with materials under a wide variety of conditions and they need to understand the properties, behaviours and responses of such materials. This unit introduces the basic concepts of mechanics (Newton’s Laws) and conservation laws, waves and optics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, and atomic structure and material properties.

Unit content

Topic 1: Newton’s Laws (Mechanics) and Conservation Laws
Topic 2: Waves, optics and optical properties
Topic 3: Thermodynamics and thermal properties
Topic 4: Electricity and electrical properties
Topic 5: Magnetism and magnetic properties
Topic 6: Atomic structure and material properties
Topic 7: Engineering materials

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • In order to develop a much deeper appreciation of the lecture material, you are strongly encouraged to acquire a copy of the reference text:: Knight, RD, 2013, Physics For Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics: New International Edition, 3rd edn, Pearson Education, USA. ISBN: 9781292020785.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Lecture on-site 3 hours (12 weeks)
Practical session 1 hour (3 weeks)
Tutorial on-site 1 hour (9 weeks)
Tutorial Exercise10%
Practical Report10%
Tutorial Exercise10%
Practical Report10%
Exam: closed book50%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2017 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.