PHYS111-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020

Introductory Physics for Physical Sciences and Engineering

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 13 July 2020
End Date: Sunday, 8 November 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 24 July 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 25 September 2020


Classical dynamics, oscillations, temperature and heat, D.C. circuits, geometrical optics and interference, nuclear physics.

PHYS111 can be taken as a stand-alone course, or by students who need to strengthen their background in physics before taking one or more of the advancing 100-level physics papers required for further study in physical sciences or engineering. Many of the topics covered in the course form part of the present high school physics syllabus, but will be reinforced and extended here in a more quantitative manner.

Term 1 : Dynamics
Motion in one and two dimensions; Newton's laws; work and energy; systems of particles and centre of mass; momentum; collisions; rotations; oscillations and waves.
Term 2 : Waves, Optics, Heat, Electricity and Nuclear Physics
Electromagnetic waves; polarization; reflection and refraction; lenses; light as a wave; electrical circuits; heat; the nucleus; the big bang.

Learning Outcomes

To learn the basic laws of physics AND to see that physics can be interesting and relevant to your daily experiences! PHYS111 is a Semester 1 course designed for students who do not have a strong background in Physics. Success in PHYS111 will give you a good foundation for PHYS101 (offered in Semester 1 and Semester 2). PHYS111 is a ‘non-calculus’ course but does assume previous knowledge of Physics and Mathematics. If you have no background in Physics or Mathematics then you will have to work hard to keep up.


Students who have been credited with any of PHYS101, PHYS102, PHYS113 or PHYS114 cannot subsequently be credited with PHYS111.

Timetable Note

Satisfactory laboratory performance is a requirement for a pass in this course. Satisfactory performance is required in the production of laboratory reports and in tutorial preparation.  We also strongly recommend attendance at lectures and tutorials so that you are familiar with all the course content. All students must demonstrate that they can communicate clearly in written and verbal English. This can be demonstrated with a satisfactory performance in the University's Writing Assessment Programme test.

Course Coordinator

Mike Reid


Dylan Paterson


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Online problems 5%
Final Exam 55%
Laboratory Work 15%
Term Test 20% 1 hour
Tutorial Assessment 5% Marks for active participation.


The final examination will be a three-hour written exam: date time place to be announced.  This will count 55% toward your final mark in the course. It tests your grasp of the lectures, problems done on-line and in tutorials, and reading material. Bring your own calculator. Calculators must be approved – look out for announcements on how to get this done.

To pass the course you must have a satisfactory total mark in the Test plus Exam.  

Previous years exam papers are downloadable from the library website and available on Learn.

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Knight, Jones and Field; College Physics: A Strategic Approach ; Global Edition (3e); Pearson, 2014.

Additional Course Outline Information

Academic integrity

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $900.00

International fee $4,250.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Physical & Chemical Sciences .

All PHYS111 Occurrences