- Class Number 2388
- Term Code 2930
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Prof Paul Francis
- Prof Paul Francis
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 25/02/2019
- Class End Date 31/05/2019
- Census Date 31/03/2019
- Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
A research project in any area of astrophysics. This course can be taken in second year or later, and can be taken (for credit) many times if desired.
This is an Honours Pathway Course. Entry is by invitation only.
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. plan and engage in an independent and sustained critical investigation and evaluation of a chosen research topic in the context of astronomy and astrophysics
2. systematically identify relevant theory and concepts, relate these to appropriate methodologies and evidence, and draw appropriate conclusions
3. engage in systematic discovery and critical review of appropriate and relevant information sources
4. appropriately apply statistical or other evaluation processes to original data
5. communicate research concepts and contexts clearly and effectively both in writing and orally
In this course you will carry out a research project, under the supervision of an astrophysics academic
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- Your supervisor will give you feedback on your progress at each meeting.
- You will be given written feedback on your literature review, and you can modify it to take this feedback into account and resubmit it.
- Examiners comments on your final project report can be obtained on request from your supervisor.
ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
To enrol in the course, you need to find an academic astronomer who is prepared to supervise you, and you should agree on a project description with them. You and the supervisor should then e-mail the course convenor to let them know what you've agreed, and you will then be issued a permission code allowing you to enrol in the course.
We expect the students to put in around 120 hours of work on the project (10 hours per week for the whole of semester). A common problem is that students put off starting serious work on the project due to more urgent deadlines in their other courses. This is a very bad idea - you cannot expect to finish the project in a rush at the end and get a decent mark.
A rough time-line might be:
- Weeks 1-3: extensive reading in the literature, understand the physics and astrophysics of your project and how your research fits into the field.
- Weeks 4-9 (including mid-semester break): do the actual research.
- Weeks 10-12: write up what you've done as your final report.
We would normally expect you to meet with your supervisor at least weekly, and to be able to show significant progress at each meeting.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Research Project||Literature review, oral presentation and final report|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Project plan and literature review||5 %||05/04/2019||22/04/2019||1,2,3,5|
|Oral Presentation||5 %||10/06/2019||15/06/2019||1,2,3,4,5|
|Final Report||90 %||31/05/2019||15/06/2019||1,2,3,4,5|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.
Moderation of Assessment
Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
You are expected to put in around 10 hours work per week for the whole semester, and to meet with or talk with your supervisor roughly every week.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5
Project plan and literature review
This should be submitted via Turnitin/Wattle, by 5pm on the last working day before the mid-semester break. There is no mandated length, but around 5 pages might be typical. This will also form the first section of your final write-up.
The literature review and project proposal is marked on several scales. Each is marked on a 5 point scale.
1: Comprehensiveness of review.
Did the student read widely, or just look at papers supplied by the supervisor? A thorough read of 3-4 papers supplied by the supervisor would score a 3/5 - to go beyond this they need to have done extensive self-directed reading.
2: Critical understanding of literature.
Does the student understand what they have read? Are they just repeating facts, or do they understand them, and how they fit into the big picture?
3: Sensible project outline
Does the student have a realistic understanding of their project, and what is required to bring it to completion? Do they understand how the project fits into the bigger field of research?
Average these three marks to give a final overall mark out of five. Each write-up will be marked by the supervisor and by another examiner (usually the course convenor).
If students wish, they can resubmit and get a higher mark - but this needs to be done within a week of getting their grade and feedback.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
You will give a ten-minute talk describing your project. The talks will typically be held during the week after semester ends.
The talks are marked on presentation and science. Each is given equal weighting.
For presentation, you want a clear, comprehensible explanation, pitched at an appropriate level, keeping to time. For science, you need to show that you understand what you've done and how it fits into the big picture.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
There is no particular required length, but 20 pages is probably typical (if you have a lot of big figures, it may be larger). It should be submitted by Turnitin/Wattle by 5pm on the last day of semester.
The grading criteria are:
The student has demonstrated some knowledge of the relevant background literature, but with serious gaps, and limited understanding;
The student applied relevant techniques and carried out research work, but needed considerable assistance and showed limited understanding of the procedures employed;
The student presented their results, though in a somewhat muddled and/or incomplete way.
As for Honours III, but in addition:
The student has demonstrated a reasonable knowledge of the relevant background literature, with only a few gaps, albeit in a somewhat uncritical way;
The student demonstrated that they had learned many of the relevant skills (which might include laboratory techniques, computer programming and statistical analysis);
The student presented their results in an appropriate format, and communicated them effectively.
As for Honours IIB, but in addition:
The student has demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the relevant background literature, though still with limited critical appreciation;
The student demonstrated reasonable technical mastery of all the relevant skills;
The student presented their results and/or data clearly and succinctly
High Distinction 80-89%:
As for Honours IIA, but in addition:
The student has critically analysed the relevant background literature rather than merely summarising it;
The thesis demonstrates a clear appreciation of how their work fits in to the larger field of research;
The student demonstrated considerable technical mastery of all the relevant skills;
They showed some appreciation of the limitations of the experimental design or techniques used and have outlined future research directions that are feasible;
The student put forward their own useful and valid ideas relating to the project;
As above, but in addition:
The student obtained concepts and procedures independently from the literature and at least discussed a use for them in the study;
The student demonstrated impressive technical mastery of all the relevant skills;
They demonstrate a good understanding not only of the techniques they employed, but other alternative techniques and the reasons for choosing between them;
They have outlined possible future directions which are not merely feasible but which show considerable originality;
The student not only put forward useful and valid ideas relating to the project, but also demonstrated the ability to critically evaluate and act upon such ideas.
Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.
You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.
Reports should be submitted electronically.
Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item.
Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.
Extensions and Penalties
Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Distribution of grades policy
Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.
Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
Support for students
The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Quasars, Galaxy Formation, Novel interactive teaching techniques
Prof Paul Francis