• Offered by Department of Mathematics
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Philosophy
  • Areas of interest Philosophy
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Dayal Wickramasinghe
    • Dr Jason Grossman
    • Dr Lilia Ferrario
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

This course aims at providing a conceptual understanding of some of the many faces of the Universe. General issues relating to the nature of mathematics and science, of space and time, and of the universe as a whole will be discussed. The course will be divided into the following sections: The Structure of the Universe, Shape and Measurement, The Geometry of Space-Time, Cosmology and the Arrow of Time, The Development of Life and the Anthropic Principle. The various sections will be introduced in a historical context emphasising the evolution of thought leading to current understanding. Topics to be covered include: the nature of numbers and of mathematical knowledge; geometry and the physical world, the nature of gravity and black holes, time travel and backward causation, determinism and free will, and mathematical models of the universe.

Learning Outcomes

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

An understanding in outline of the history of cosmology, and of contemporary cosmology.

A conceptual understanding of relativity theory and quantum mechanics.

An appreciation that many of the theories underlying modern cosmology are contentious.

An understanding of what would be involved in further study in philosophy of science, and in cosmology.

A habit of educated questioning of scientific orthodoxy.

Indicative Assessment

  • tutorial participation: 15%
  • two 600-word assignments: 15% each 
  • one take-home exam (3,000 words): 35%
  • multiple choice questions: 20% of the overall mark

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26 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials.  Course offered jountly by the Departments of Mathematics and Philosophy.  Offered also as a first-year course MATH1042 (see the entry of the Mathematics Department).

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed MATH1042.




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 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
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
1901 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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