• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Major code ASTR-MAJ

The Astronomy and Astrophysics major provides a broad overview of the application of physics to understanding the physical universe. It aims to provide a balance of knowledge and skills. Central areas of knowledge include: the physics of radiation; celestial mechanics and fluid dynamics; structure and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies, black holes, and the universe; design of and analysis of data from telescopes and similar instruments. Mathematical, computational and experimental skills include: problem solving, data gathering, data analysis, and instrument design. The major will prepare students for a variety of careers in areas in which the physical sciences are important, including: research, teaching, and industry.

Learning Outcomes

  1. describe and explain the basic properties of astrophysical objects, including planets, stars, galaxies, black holes, and the universe as a whole.
  2. apply the principles of physics to solve problems pertaining to the behaviour of these objects, and to make predictions about their evolution.
  3. describe and explain the operation of telescopes and related instruments for observing astronomical phenomena.
  4. use mathematical, computational and experimental skills to solve conceptual and quantitative problems in astrophysics.
  5. demonstrate skills including: equipment familiarity, data gathering, record keeping, data analysis, dealing with uncertainty, experiment design, and comparison with theory.
  6. analyse unfamiliar astrophysical systems and provide order-of-magnitude estimates of quantities. This includes a knowledge of basic physical constants and key equations.
  7. be both creative and rigorous in the design and construction of scientific investigations of astrophysical systems.
  8. effectively communicate astrophysical analyses to expert and non-expert audiences.
  9. constructively criticise evidence, arguments and conclusions wherever they are encountered.

Other Information

This major will require students to complete 24 units of MATH courses which can lead to a MATH minor or contribute towards a MATH major:

The following are pre / corequisites for the required courses listed above:


Recommended additional courses:

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The major in Astronomy and Astrophysics requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

36 units from completion of the following courses:

PHYS1101 - Physics 1 (6 units)

PHYS1201 - Physics 2 (6 units)           

PHYS2013 - Quantum Mechanics (6 units)             

PHYS2020 - Thermal and Statistical Physics (6 units)

ASTR2013 - Foundations of Astrophysics (6 units)

ASTR3013 - Astrophysical Processes (6 units)  


A minimum of 6 units from completion of one of the following courses:

ASTR3002 - Galaxies and Cosmology (6 units)        

ASTR3007 - Stars (6 units)   


A maximum of 6 units from completion of one of the following courses:

ASTR3005 - Astrophysics Research Topic (6 units)        

EMSC3022 - Planetary Science (6 units)

PHYS3057 - Optical Physics (6 units)

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