• Class Number 8558
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Christian Wolf
    • Dr Christian Wolf
    • Prof Kenneth Freeman
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

The goal of this course is to provide students with an overview of extragalactic astronomy and the astrophysics that describes galaxies and the universe. We will study the properties of galaxies and galactic nuclei, stellar and gas dynamics, clusters of galaxies, the large scale distribution of galaxies and galaxy clusters and their use as cosmological tools. The students will further get an overview of cosmology with emphasis on the cosmic microwave background, galaxies and related phenomena at high redshift, and cosmic structure formation. Additional topics include nucleosynthesis, quasar absorption lines, and gammaray bursts.
This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course students will have the skills and knowledge to:
  1. Apply physical principles to the analysis of observations of galaxies and of the Universe as a whole;
  2. Use a range of mathematical and computational techniques in this analysis, including order of magnitude estimation and numerical modeling;
  3. Communicate the results of this analysis;
  4. Work effectively as part of a group;
  5. Read, interpret, and critically analyse professional research literature in the areas of galaxies and cosmology;
  6. Identify unsolved problems in galaxies and cosmology, and propose research approaches that could be used to address them.

Examination Material or equipment

Information will be posted on the Wattle site for the course

Barbara Ryden: Introduction to Cosmology

James Binney & Scott Tremaine: Galactic Dynamics

Sparke & Gallagher: Galaxies in the Universe

Further recommendations will be posted on the Wattle site for the course

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 week 1: Introduction into cosmology and galaxies
2 week 2-6: Observational cosmology, includes distance measurements in the universe, Hubble's constant, astro-statistics and error propagation, geometry and expansion history of the Universe, Friedman equations, dark energy and supernovae, gamma-ray bursts and the high-redshift universe, cosmic microwave background, big bang nucleosynthesis, dark matter detection and weak gravitational lensing, spectroscopic and photometric surveys, large-scale structure, gravitational waves and black hole formation, black holes in galaxies, active galactic nuclei, jets and radio AGN, black hole masses and black hole growth, the long-term fate of the Universe four written assignments oral presentations and written report by half of the students
3 week 7-12: Galaxies past and present, includes stellar and gas dynamics, dynamic models of galaxies, dark matter and baryonic matter, gravitational micro-lensing, primordial black holes, formation of first galaxies, merging and interacting galaxies, star-formation history of the Universe four written assignments, oral presentations and written report by half of the students final exam

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Assignment 1 7 % 06/08/2019 14/08/2019 1,2,3,4
Assignment 2 7 % 13/08/2019 21/08/2019 1,2,3,4
Assignment 3 7 % 24/08/2019 31/08/2019 1,2,3,4
Assignment 4 7 % 31/08/2019 07/09/2019 1,2,3,4
Assignment 5 7 % 28/09/2019 05/10/2019 1,2,3,4
Assignment 6 7 % 05/10/2019 12/10/2019 1,2,3,4
Assignment 7 7 % 19/10/2019 26/10/2019 1,2,3,4
Assignment 8 7 % 26/10/2019 05/11/2019 1,2,3,4
Final exam 20 % 31/10/2019 28/11/2019 1,2,3
Critical reflection on research literature, delivered in written and oral form 20 % 31/10/2019 28/11/2019 5,6

* 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:

Assessment Requirements

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. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


Final written exam in person during examination period.

Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and results returned to the student (official end of Semester results released on ISIS). Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 7 %
Due Date: 06/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 14/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Assignment 1

Written homework assignment

Value: 7.5%

Assessment Task 2

Value: 7 %
Due Date: 13/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Assignment 2

Written homework assignment

Value: 7.5%

Assessment Task 3

Value: 7 %
Due Date: 24/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Assignment 3

Written homework assignment

Value: 7.5%

Assessment Task 4

Value: 7 %
Due Date: 31/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 07/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Assignment 4

Written homework assignment

Value: 7.5%

Assessment Task 5

Value: 7 %
Due Date: 28/09/2019
Return of Assessment: 05/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Assignment 5

Written homework assignment

Value: 7.5%

Assessment Task 6

Value: 7 %
Due Date: 05/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 12/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Assignment 6

Written homework assignment

Value: 7.5%

Assessment Task 7

Value: 7 %
Due Date: 19/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 26/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Assignment 7

Written homework assignment

Value: 7.5%

Assessment Task 8

Value: 7 %
Due Date: 26/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 05/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Assignment 8

Written homework assignment

Value: 7.5%

Assessment Task 9

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 31/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Final exam

Written final exam during examination period.

The date range in the Assessment Summary indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location exam.

Assessment Task 10

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 31/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 5,6

Critical reflection on research literature, delivered in written and oral form

Students choose from a range of topics, half of which require working on during the first half of term, while the other half is worked on in the second half of term. They start with some literature guidance by the lecturer, find more relevant literature, write a critical review-style summary report of 2,500 words max. and deliver an oral presentation on their findings.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

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) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. 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. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

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.

Returning Assignments

Tutors will mark the assignments and offer feedback on Wattle. Tutors will also cover questions and feedback during the tutorials, and are available for discussion of the submitted work.

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.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission of assignments is not possible, unless circumstances are exceptional.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

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).

Dr Christian Wolf
6125 6373

Research Interests

high-redshift QSOs, galaxies, clusters, star formation quenching, GW events and kilonovae, surveys, photo-zs, processing pipelines

Dr Christian Wolf

Tuesday 14:00 15:00
Wednesday 14:00 15:00
Friday 14:00 15:00
Dr Christian Wolf

Research Interests

Dr Christian Wolf

Tuesday 14:00 15:00
Wednesday 14:00 15:00
Friday 14:00 15:00
Prof Kenneth Freeman

Research Interests

Prof Kenneth Freeman

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions