If you're studying this unit in Melbourne, it's delivered in our First Year Model from semester 1, 2018. Instead of juggling four units at once, you'll focus on this one unit across a four-week period. 

This unit of study aims to provide a basic understanding of numbers and measurements, motion, vectors, Newton's laws, energy, power and wave behaviour. The unit begins with a general introduction to measurements and their uncertainties. The equations for one-dimensional motion are then developed and extended to two-dimensional motion. The concept of a force is introduced leading to Newton's laws including frictional forces. Energy and momentum are then introduced leading to the laws of conservation of energy and momentum. The study of motion extends to simple harmonic motion and waves a study of the wave properties of sound and light.

Students work in groups where they can apply their knowledge of the basic principles to the solution of physics and basic engineering problems. The unit is run in PBL mode using the VU blended learning model. Principles underlying each of the nine main topics are presented via pre-class instructional videos that include on-line questions to determine students' understanding. This is followed by a face-to-face session where areas that students have found difficult are addressed by the instructor. The students are then presented with a group-based problem to solve based on the topic of the day. The students access library and laboratory facilities, as well as access to the instructor for further guidance if necessary in order to solve the problem. The students then present their solution to the problem to the class and instructor which is assessed.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Apply a structured approach to solving problems in: (i) the use of kinematics to calculate motion; and (ii) the use Newton's laws to calculate forces and acceleration;  
  2. Apply the rules of conservation of energy and momentum to engineering-related problems;  
  3. Apply the principles of SHM and waves to engineering-related problems;  
  4. Apply the wave nature of sound and light in engineering-related problems;  
  5. Effectively collaborate in teams/groups where students demonstrate responsibility for their own contributions and accountability in achieving the group's outcomes.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Portfolio PBL Work 20%
Presentation Oral Presentation 30%
Test Online Tests 50%

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

You can choose to study this unit as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to structure your course to include this unit.

Study a single unit

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