Currently, there are four bachelor degree courses offered in our department. These are:
- BSc. in Physics
- BSc. in Control and Instrumentation
- BSc. in Geophysics
- BSc. in Renewable Energy and Environmental Physics
They are all fulltime four-year courses and are in line with JKUAT’s mission statement of providing accessible quality university education, training, research and innovation in order to produce leaders in the fields of agriculture, engineering, technology, enterprise development, health and other applied sciences to suit the needs of a dynamic world. All these undergraduate courses incorporate classical and modern Physics units (Mechanics, Classical and Statistical Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Optics, Thermodynamics, Quantum mechanics, etc.) in their syllabus. Additionally, these students are taught entrepreneurship skills so that they can use the knowledge and skills gained to engage in business. Our students are able to implement their learning through mandatory industrial attachment of a minimum period of 8 weeks and through final year research projects in the last two semesters (about 14 weeks each) of their final year of study. For industry experiences, our students are normally attached to various institutions and industries including Del Monte Kenya, KPLC, EABL, KenGen, KEBs, etc. For the research projects, students are encouraged to identify a research problem, propose a method to tackle it, and implement the proposal. This activity is normally student-centred with minimal supervision and guidance from the lecturers. Immediately after graduating, our department also recommends the graduated students for internship in industry and institutions.
Students joining for our undergraduate courses are free to join through KUCCPS or as self-sponsored students. We also accept transfers from other departments or universities. The requirement is a minimum aggregate of C+ in KCSE (or equivalent qualifications) with a minimum grade of C+ in Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry and a C in English/Kiswahili. Geography (C+) is also considered for BSc. in Geophysics.
We also accept diploma holders as long as the diploma is recognized by the JKUAT senate and it is in relevant subjects particularly in applied sciences. Eligibility is as follows: Pass – enter year I, Credit and above – enter year II. Higher National Diploma (HND) holders in relevant subjects are eligible to enter in year III.
A brief description of each of the undergraduate courses is given below:
BSc. in Physics
Students in this course start majoring in Physics after the second year of study. They normally start as physical science students during the first and second year of study under the School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences (SMPS) where they take course units in Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry. Those that excel in Physics and Mathematics course units are then given a chance to major in physics (while others major in Mathematics-related courses and Chemistry). Course units under this programme are the usual classical and modern Physics units and course units in areas of diverse specializations including Electronics, Geophysics, Renewable Energy, Optics and Lasers and Material Science.
BSc. in Control and Instrumentation
This course entails the study of fundamental laws and principles of Physics and their utilization in process measurement and control. Students undertaking this course study physical parameters (such as pressure, temperature, humidity, speed, position, density, weight, light, etc.), how they are measured, the measuring instruments including sensors, transducer circuits, signal conditioning, display/recording, and data acquisition systems. The course includes the following course units among others: Classical and modern physics course units. Control – plant process systems, industrial controllers, etc. Computer systems and programming. Electronics: Analog and digital. Telecommunication systems. Microprocessor-based Systems and Embedded Systems. Nanotechnology. Industrial Control Systems – PLCs & their application in industry.
BSc in Geophysics
Geophysics as a discipline entails application of physics principles to the study of the Earth. This course, therefore, provides students with updated skills required in exploration of natural resources. Although geophysics has been applied globally, mainly as a tool in exploration of natural resources, its methodologies have also been used to understand the earth’s inner structure, in engineering and archaeological site investigation. In Kenya, most natural resources have remained unexploited despite the continuous need for resources such as oil, geothermal energy, minerals and water. There is therefore need to develop trained work force in the area of applied geophysics to deal with issues of resource exploration for future development. The degree course is detailed in content and it is designed to provide students with specialized training in all aspects of applied geophysics, from basic physical principles, through practical applications to state of art technical geophysical innovations. The course is therefore relevant to the national vision of industrialization in regards to exploration of natural resources.
BSc in Renewable Energy and Environmental Physics
This course entails the study of two major aspects:
- Renewable energy i.e. energy from natural forces (heat, radiation, motion) and chemical energy (biomass) that can be used without its availability in future.
- Environmental Physics i.e. the study of the various aspects of Physics that pervade environmental processes.
With the world turning its attention to renewable energy, this course is designed to provide students with knowledge, technological skills and values in the field of Renewable Energy and Environmental Physics. It is intended that the graduates of this course will make a solid contribution not only in solving global energy and environmental challenges but also in the wider field of science and technology. The course also provides a foundation for further education and research in pure and applied physics.
Master of Science
Currently, there are three MSc. courses in our department. These are:
- MSc. in Physics.
- MSc. in Applied Geophysics
- MSc. in Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology
Like the undergraduate courses, these are also fulltime courses with a minimum period of completion being two years from the date of registration: one year of course work followed by a minimum one-year research and thesis. A brief description of each of these specializations is given below:
MSc. in Physics
It consists of a one-year course work of five course units in advanced classical and modern physics, one unit in research methods, and four units in a preferred area of specialization including Electronics & Instrumentation, Renewable Energy, Geophysics, Optics & Lasers, and Materials. The second year is devoted to research and thesis where each students works on a research topic relevant to their area of specialization.
Anyone who wishes to join in MSc. in Physics should possess a BSc. degree with Second Class Honors (Upper Division) in which Physics was taken either as a major subject or as a regular subject with Mathematics, or any other equivalent qualification from a recognized university. Under some special circumstances, a holder of a BSc. degree with Second Class Honors (Lower Division) having studied Physics as a major subject may also be considered as long as one can produce evidence of proven postgraduate research ability, and knowledge of Mathematics at degree level from a university recognized by the senate.
MSc. in Applied Geophysics
This course is designed to equip graduates and working professionals with broad theoretical and practical skills in geophysical techniques. It enables graduates apply learnt techniques in preferred area such as oil exploration, hydrological, mineral, geothermal exploration or archaeological site studies. The broad based approach allows graduates to pursue their career options including consulting, teaching and research as well as a preparation for further studies at higher levels.
It consists of a one-year course work of units that mostly dwell on Geophysical technics (gravity and magnetic methods), Seismic Methods used in Geophysics, Geology, Geophysical Instrumentation, etc. The second year is devoted to research and thesis.
The following are eligible to join for MSc. in Applied Geophysics:
- A holder of at least Second Class honors (Upper division), BSc. degree in Physics and Mathematics of JKUAT.
- A holder of at least Second Class honors (Upper division), BSc. degree in Physics and Mathematics or Geology, from any other institution, which is recognized by the JKUAT Senate.
- A holder of Second Class honors (Upper division), BSc. degree in Earth Science, Environmental Science or Environmental Engineering from an institution, which is recognized by the JKUAT Senate and an adequate prerequisite for the Master of Science degree in Applied Geophysics.
- A holder of at least Second Class honors (Upper division) in a field which is recognized by the JKUAT Senate and an adequate prerequisite for the Master of Science degree in Applied Geophysics.
- A holder of Second Class honors (Lower division), BSc. in Physics and Mathematics or BSc. in Geology from JKUAT or any other institution, which is recognized by the JKUAT senate with relevant research experience for at least 2 years.
MSc. in Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology
Doctor of Philosophy
Our PhD programmes do not consist of course work. Not unless a research supervisor finds need for a PhD student to further knowledge in a certain area, in which case it is not examined, or recommends attachment in an industry/institution before commencing research, our PhD programmes are mostly based on research and thesis. One may pursue a PhD programmes in either of the following disciplines Physics, Applied Geophysics, Renewable Energy, Materials Science, and Optics & Lasers. These also depends on the availability of research supervisors. They don’t necessarily have to be coming from our department, but the first one (main) should be.