• Class Number 3638
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 3 to 24 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Christian Wolf
    • AsPr Christian Wolf
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 05/06/2020
  • Census Date 08/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
SELT Survey Results

A selection of research projects from within the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) will be on offer. Students will undertake an individual project within one of the many cutting edge research groups in the Research School. Project areas range from planetary science to cosmology, instrumentation to theory. More detail is available from http://www.mso.anu.edu.au/education/honours/projects.php

Learning Outcomes

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

Research-Led Teaching

In this course you will carry out a research project, under the supervision of an astrophysics academic

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.

Other Information

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 130 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.

Adjustments to delivery in 2020

Course delivery and assessment in 2020 was adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any information below that replaces what was published in the Class Summary for Semester 1, 2020 was approved by the Associate Dean Education (as is required after 10% commencement of a course). Where an activity or assessment is not referenced below, it remains unchanged.

Teaching Activities

  • Meetings with supervisors were done remotely.


Adjustments were made to assignment due dates; for details see the course Wattle site.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Overview: This course can be taken as variable unit course and the project is usually completed in the same semester of enrolment. For every 6 units of enrolment, the expectation is that the student would work a minimum of 10 hours/week over the course of the semester. The course structure, assessment and deadlines must be defined and communicated to students within the first two weeks of the first enrolment period. This should include the learning outcomes for the course, a copy of the assessment criteria that will be used by the examiners, information on academic and research integrity and a copy of the CHM/CoS statement for students on mark moderation. The supervisor should: Assist in selecting and defining the scope of a suitable topic or problem; and in devising a schedule of work; Ensure the student is appropriately trained to undertake the research, including any safety and ethics requirements; Guide the student in the selection and application of appropriate data collection and analysis procedures and advise on a solution if difficulties arise; Advise on matters of research report content, organisation and writing, including the timely provision of feedback; Meet frequently with the student to discuss and evaluate each stage of the project; Ensure appropriate ethics clearance is gained before the student commences the research work. Assessment is to be negotiated with the supervisor and/or course convener within the first 2 weeks of the first enrolment. The date ranges provided are a general indication only for a student commencing and submitting their research project in the same semester/session. Where a student is enrolling in this course over two (or more) consecutive semesters, the final project due dates can be confirmed with the Research School .

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Project plan and literature review 0 % 03/04/2020 20/04/2020 1,2,3,5
Final Report 100 % 29/05/2020 20/06/2020 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:

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 Academic Integrity . 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.


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

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 03/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 20/04/2020
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 may also form the first section of your final write-up.

The literature review and project proposal is unmarked, but students are expected to consider the following aspects:

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 is good, but they are expected to go beyond and do 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?

Assessment Task 2

Value: 100 %
Due Date: 29/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 20/06/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Final Report

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:

Pass 50-59%:

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.

Credit 60-69%:

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.

Distinction 70-79%:

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;

Amazing >90:

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

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

Reports should be submitted electronically.

Late Submission

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.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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.

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).

AsPr Christian Wolf
6125 6373

Research Interests

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

AsPr Christian Wolf

Tuesday 11:00 12:00
Wednesday 11:00 12:00
Friday 11:00 12:00
AsPr Christian Wolf
6125 6373

Research Interests

AsPr Christian Wolf

Tuesday 11:00 12:00
Wednesday 11:00 12:00
Friday 11:00 12:00

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