• Total units 24 Units
  • Areas of interest Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Specialisation code ASAP-SPEC
  • Academic career Undergraduate
Astronomy and Astrophysics Specialisation

Corequisite majors: Physics, Theoretical Physics, Mathematics or Mathematical Modelling


Astronomy and astrophysics is the study of everything beyond the Earth. It includes space exploration, planets, stars, galaxies, black holes, dark matter, quasars, cosmology and the Big Bang. Astronomers work in universities, at observatories, for various space agencies such as NASA and ESA, and at planetariums and science centres. Many ANU astronomy and astrophysics graduates can be found in these occupations.

Training in astronomy and astrophysics leaves you highly employable in many other fields. Astronomy graduates have mastered a wide range of mathematical, scientific, engineering and computational skills; this combination is very unusual and is much sought after by employers in diverse fields.

Learning Goals:

Students who complete the Astronomy and Astrophysics specialisation will be able to:

  1. Use their knowledge and understanding of the key principles of all major areas of contemporary astronomy and astrophysics to critically analyse papers in the research literature, and to provide a foundation for original, advanced research.
  2. Apply physical, mathematical and computational techniques to the solution of complex astrophysical problems.
  3. Use statistical and computational techniques to analyse and interpret astronomical data and simulation results, with a realistic understanding of inherent limitations.
  4. Work effectively as an individual and as part of a team, both in disciplinary and other contexts.
  5. Communicate and present their knowledge of astronomy and astrophysics clearly to diverse audiences.

Other Information

Advice to Students

For students contemplating an Honours degree and/or graduate work in astronomy and astrophysics the fundamental requirement is a strong undergraduate program in physics and mathematics. The purpose of this specialisation minor is to provide you with sufficient background in astronomy and astrophysics so that you can confidently undertake significant research in this exciting discipline. Statistical analysis and computing are also important in astrophysical research and we strongly recommend that, if possible, you include at least some of STAT1003, STAT3008, COMP1730 and MATH3511 in your program of study.

Students should seek further course advice from the academic convener of the Astronomy and Astrophysics specialisation.

A specialisation in Astronomy and Astrophysics must be taken in conjunction with a Physics, Theoretical Physics, Mathematics or Mathematical Modelling major.

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Specialisation Requirements
This specialisation requires the completion of 24 units, which must include:

12 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
ASTR3002 Black Holes and Cosmology 6
ASTR3007 From Stars to Galaxies 6

12 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
ASTR3005 Astrophysics Research Topic 6
EMSC3022 Planetary Science 6
MATH3511 Scientific Computing 6
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