• Offered by Mathematical Sciences Institute
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Mathematics
  • Areas of interest Philosophy, Mathematics, Physics, Science, Science Communication
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Philip Dowe
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

A course for science or non-science students jointly offered by 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 philosophy and science, space and time, and the universe as a whole.

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:

  1. demonstrate an understanding in outline of the history of cosmology, and of contemporary cosmology;
  2. demonstrate a conceptual understanding of relativity theory;
  3. appreciate that many of the theories underlying modern cosmology are contentious;
  4. understand what would be involved in further study in philosophy of science, and in cosmology; and
  5. make a habit of an educated questioning of scientific orthodoxy.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Tutorial participation (10) [LO 4,5]
  2. Essay, 600 words (15) [LO 1]
  3. Essay, 1,000 words (25) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Exam, 2 hours, during the examination period (50) [LO 1,2,3]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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.


Two lectures per week and regular workshops.

Inherent Requirements


Requisite and Incompatibility

This course is incompatible with PHIL2042.

Prescribed Texts



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
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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
3803 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

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