• 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 Phil Dowe
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2023
    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]

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.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2023 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $6180
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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
3109 20 Feb 2023 27 Feb 2023 31 Mar 2023 26 May 2023 In Person View

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