• Offered by Physics Education Centre and the Department of Mathematics and the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Astronomy and Astrophysics

This course is designed for students who wish to study modern astrophysics at a level beyond most popular books. It covers the formation and evolution of the solar system, extra-solar planets, the formation, evolution and death of stars, white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, galaxies, cosmology, expanding space and the Big Bang. A feature of this course is guest lectures on cutting edge astrophysics by world famous researchers. Students wishing to specialise in astrophysics should take this course.

The topics covered in the course include: the formation of the solar system, planets beyond Pluto, planets around other stars, stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis, star death: black holes, neutron stars and supernovae, galaxies: their puzzling properties, the expanding universe, introductory general relativity, the Big Bang, the early universe, microwave background and galaxy formation.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. describe and use the main time, length and mass scales in astronomy, and will be familiar with the main outstanding research problems in contemporary astrophysics
2. use Newton's laws to analyse motions in space, both analytically (for straight-line and circular motion) and numerically (for more complicated cases). These skills will be demonstrated in complex context rich scenarios
3. plot data (including error bars), interpret data presented in the form of such graphs, and fit models to noisy data using Chi-squared
4. write, from scratch, programs that solve simple numerical puzzles, and programs that read in data and fit models to that data
5. synthesize information related to astrophysics from a variety of sources and write it up as a properly planned, constructed and structured body of text, with correct grammar

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:

  • Written assignments (50%; LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, with particular emphasis on 1, 2, 5)
  • Lab project work (50%; LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 on 2, 3, 4)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Requisite and Incompatibility

Prereq MATH1013 or MATH1115 and Corequisite MATH1014 or MATH1116


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3096
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4953 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 Online N/A

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
10122 24 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 31 Aug 2017 27 Oct 2017 Online N/A

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