The BSc Honours in Physics is a 1 year full-time or 2 year part-time degree at Wits' School of Physics - the largest single campus in the country which hosts three DST-NRF Chairs (SKA Chair in radio astronomy, SARChI Chair in fundamental physics and string theory, SARChI Chair in theoretical particl


Why study Physics?

To align with this exceptionally high quality and internationally renowned research environment which includes theoretical and experimental high energy physics, materials physics, condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, astronomy and astrophysics, high-throughput electronics, photonics, space propulsion, and physics education, the School of Physics is continually striving to offer a quality Honours Programme to ensure that it is globally competitive.  A quality honours degree is a pathway to further study and higher degree research.

Why study Physics at Wits?

The Wits School of Physics is the largest single campus in the country which hosts three DST-NRF Chairs (SKA Chair in radio astronomy, SARChI Chair in fundamental physics and string theory, SARChI Chair in theoretical particle cosmology), is home to the Materials Physics Research Institute, The Mandelstam Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Institute for Collider Physics. The School of Physics hosts the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials and the Gauteng node of the National Institute for Theoretical Physics. The School has significant experimental infrastructure in Condensed Matter Physics and Photonics and have strong links with CSIR, iThemba LABS and NECSA. At Wits, our Physics researchers are working with the best in the world to change our society for the better from searching for the Higgs boson at CERN and researching the open skies with SKA.

Career Opportunities

Physics Research, Nuclear Industry, Materials Science Industry, Science Teacher, Environmental Science, Communications, Education, Law, Project Managers, Software Engineers, Consultants and Administrators.


Description of the number of courses taken:

The course consists of 5 compulsory courses, a project and a selection of elective courses. Candidates are required to select at least two elective topics. 

Compulsory core courses (13 pts per course):

PHYS4011A        Quantum Mechanics      
PHYS4012A        Statistical Physics           
PHYS4014A        Nuclear Physics I            
PHYS4015A        Electrodynamics             
PHYS4016A        Solid State Physics I        

PHYS4018A: Project and Presentation (30 pts)  

Every student needs to complete an experimental or theoretical project. The results of the project are presented in a project report which is marked by the supervisor of the project. The supervisor submits a mark, based on the project report which counts for a total of 24 points. Part of the requirements for the project is an oral presentation. This oral presentation takes place at the end of the year. Students are expected to present and defend their result to the school. A mark is assigned by each member of staff attending the oral presentation.  The average of this mark is counted for a total of 6 points. The project is not meant to take up more than 300 hours of your time. You choose the project and supervisor. There will be talks by various researchers in the school during the first half of the year. These talks are aimed at giving you an idea of what projects are on offer. The first half of the year is usually rather busy, with the core courses taking up all available time. Typically, work on the project is performed during the mid -year vacation and the second half of the year. Thus, you are encouraged to attend all of the project talks before deciding on a specific project.

You may choose a supervisor from outside the school, subject to the approval of the head of school. 

Elective courses (13 pts per course):

The topics offered permit you to structure your honours course towards either experimental, computational or theoretical physics.

PHYS4020A       Astrophysical Fluid Mechanics                                   
PHYS4021A       General Relativity                                                      
PHYS4024A       Introduction to Computational Materials Science         
PHYS4023A       Introduction to Cosmology                                            
PHYS4028A       Introduction to Quantum Field Theory                          
PHYS4025A       Introduction to the Standard Model                               
PHYS4026A       Nuclear Physics II                                                          
PHYS4019A       Mathematical Methods for Physics                                
PHYS4013A       The Physics of Nanosystems                                         
PHYS4022A       Experimental Physics Techniques                                 
PHYS4027A       Physical cosmology                                                        
PHYS4017A       Solid State Physics II                                                        
PHYS4029A       Introduction to Experimental Particle Physics      

All electives are not offered every year. Options depend on the availability of lecturers and the interest of the class thus your final choice of two electives are subject to approval by the Head of the School of Physics.

With prior permission of the course coordinator, a candidate may substitute not more than one of the elective courses with a course or courses from another discipline provided that the course or courses have a minimum of 12 points.

Entry Requirements


  • A Bachelor of Science degree or equivalent
  • A pass in the relevant major course at this University or any other university whose programme has been approved by Senate.
  • At least 60% average in the final undergraduate course.

Please note that this is a highly competitive programme and a 60% average does not guarantee admission. 

University Application Process

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.