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Department of Physics

About the Department

The Department of Physics offers an academic programme that prepares students for a career in industry, while building a fundamental understanding of physics. Physicists specialize in either theoretical or experimental research. Theoretical physicists do a lot of thinking and calculations on paper and on computer. Experimentalists on the other hand would spend time doing measurements in a laboratory. Our department offers research projects in computational and experimental physics.


Although physics encompasses a wide variety of phenomena, all competent physicists are familiar with the basic theories of classical mechanics, electromagnetism, relativity, thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics of which are offered in the department. Current students can apply and be admitted to many research and internship opportunities available to help prepare them for the career of their choice (See Career Opportunities below).


Transforming Physics through excellence in teaching and learning, Research, Community Engagement and Innovation.


Dedicated to provide quality education and training in different fields of physics through excellence in teaching, learning, research and community engagement.


  • Build a fundamental understanding of Physics.
  • Prepares students for a career in industry and education sector
  • Combines excellence in teaching and learning with a focus in competitive research (theoretical/computational and experimental)
  • Attract international researchers and postdoctoral students of high quality.
  • Develop projects that are industry related for job opportunities for students
  • Provides service to the public through community engagement.

Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

Physics, together with the subjects like Chemistry and Mathematics, form the basis of Science and Technology. Once you have a degree in physics you may pursue a career

  • Education (Educator)
  • Engineering
  • Mining
  • IT
  • Medical sector
  • Financial sectors
  • Postgraduate degree by working under the supervision of more senior scientists. These studies can lead to a career in full-time research career at a university or industry.
  • Practically any industry that requires good analytical and logical thinking skills.
Physicists can be employed in the following Institutions:
  • NECSA (Nuclear Energy Commission of South Africa) e.g. the manufacture of silicon discs by method of radiation with the Safari-1 reactor
  • ARC; Agricultural Research Council for general development of applicable technologies
  • HartRAO; Hartebeeshoek Radio Astronomic Observatory for research
  • IMT; Geo physicist, oceanic and space technology at the Institute of Maritime Technology
  • MRC; medical research (including hospitals) with focus on radiation technology (health physicist)
  • NVS; National Accelerator Centre for research and radiation technology
  • SAAO; Research in astronomy and astro physics
  • SABS; Development of technologies implemented by the South African Buro of Standards
  • SAWB; Development of weather and climate models
  • CSIR; Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in development of various technologies such as aerodynamics and laser technology
  • iThemba LABS national laboratory;  use of cyclotron and van de Graaff accelerator beams for nuclear and applied research.
  • Eskom; Nuclear reactor industry such as Koeberg and Palindaba
  • SADF (South African Defence Force) Technology development and lecturing at the Military Academy in Saldanha
  • De Beers Industrial Diamond Division (now Element Six)  Basic and applied research on diamonds
  • Telkom; Telecommunication, satellite technology, optic fibre, laser technology and nano technology