• Offered by Mathematical Sciences Institute
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Mathematics
  • Areas of interest Philosophy
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Jason Grossman
    • Prof Dayal Wickramasinghe
    • Prof Lilia Ferrario
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

A course for science or non-science students jointly offered by the Departments of Mathematics and Philosophy that aims to provide a conceptual understanding of some of the many faces of the large-scale universe.

We will discuss general issues relating to the nature of mathematics and science, space and time, and the universe as a whole. The main topics of the course are: the overall structure of the observable universe; space and time; relativity; black holes; phenomena and reality; anthropic principles; and extraterrestrial life. Each topic will be introduced in a historical context emphasising how it has evolved over time and is still evolving.

Note: This is an HPO. Students who take this option will complete extra work of a more theoretical nature. Some of the assignment and exam questions will be replaced by questions requiring deeper conceptual understanding.

Learning Outcomes

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

On satisfying the requirements of this course, the students will have:

1. An understanding in outline of the history of cosmology, and of contemporary cosmology.
2. A conceptual understanding of relativity theory and quantum mechanics
3. An appreciation that many of the theories underlying modern cosmology are contentious.
4. An understanding of what would be involved in further study in the philosophy of science, and in cosmology.
5. A habit of educated questioning of scientific orthodoxy.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:

  • tutorial participation: 15% 
  • two 600-word assignments: 15% each  
  • one take-home exam (1,500 words for MATH1042 and 3,000 words for PHIL2042): 35%
  • multiple choice questions: 20% of the overall mark

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.


Three lectures per week and regular tutorials.




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
2017 $3444
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4590
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
2663 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

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