VCE Physics Units 3 and 4


In Physics Unit 3 you explore the interactions, effects and applications of gravitational, electric and magnetic fields. You use Newton’s laws to investigate motion and are introduced to Einstein’s theories to explain the motion of very fast objects. In Unit 4, you will explore the use of wave and particle theories to model the properties of light and matter.

Who is it for?

The Physics Units 3 and 4 course is intended for students interested in pursuing courses such as engineering, science, information technology and architecture at university. It is also an important prerequisite for a number of vocational courses that are offered at TAFE and for students interested in pursuing piloting as a career.

What do you do?

Weekly work consists of completing past examination questions and practical activities. School-assessed Coursework tasks consist of data analysis, tests and practical investigations.

What skills do you need?

There is no prerequisite for this course but we strongly recommend that students attempting Physics Units 3 and 4 have successfully completed Physics Units 1 and 2 before undertaking Units 3 and 4.

Students without this background should contact the Year 12 Physics teacher before enrolling.

What skills do you develop?

You will develop skills including:

  • analytical and problem solving skills
  • data analysis skills
  • experimental techniques.




The practical investigations carried out in this course are compulsory. Access to a laboratory is essential. If you are unable to use a laboratory at your school or workplace, you will need to attend the VSV laboratory in Thornbury on designated days during Semester 1 and Semester 2.

You must have access to the internet in order to access this course. Weekly assignments have to be submitted online for assessment.

The purchase of the following textbooks and a calculator will also be required:

1. Jacaranda Physics 2 VCE Units 3 & 4 Print/LearnON/StudyON (4th ed.), John Wiley, 2019


Digital Jacaranda VCE Physics 3 & 4 ebook + LearnON/StudyON Access code (4th ed.) – Digital access only

2. Cambridge Checkpoints 2020 VCE Physics Units 3 & 4 – Cambridge University Press, 2020

3. Scientific calculator (CAS calculators are not allowed)
It is expected that Physics students should be able to solve algebraic equations and rearrange formulas without the help of a calculator. (The scientific calculators with algebraic options are not allowed.)

Things to think about

Go to the VCAA website for more information on the VCE Physics Units 3 and 4 Study Design.

Things you can do now

You can revise the motion and electricity topics of the Physics Unit 1 and 2 course.

You can also revise the following mathematical skills:

  • solving algebraic equations
  • rearranging formulas
  • indices laws and scientific notation
  • conversion of units.

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.




Things to have a look at

Misconceptions about falling

For the love of Physics