• Offered by Mathematical Sciences Institute
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Mathematics
  • Areas of interest Philosophy, Mathematics, Science
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Course convener
    • Prof Dayal Wickramasinghe
    • Prof Philip Dowe
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course PHIL2042
  • Offered in First Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

A course for science or non-science students jointly offered by the Departments of 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 mathematics and science, space and time, and the universe as a whole. The main topics of the course are: the overall structure of the observable universe; space and time; relativity; black holes; phenomena and reality; anthropic principles; and extraterrestrial life. Each topic will be introduced in a historical context emphasising how it has evolved over time and is still evolving.

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

On satisfying the requirements of this course, the students will have:

1. An understanding in outline of the history of cosmology, and of contemporary cosmology.
2. A conceptual understanding of relativity theory and quantum mechanics
3. An appreciation that many of the theories underlying modern cosmology are contentious.
4. An understanding of what would be involved in further study in the philosophy of science, and in cosmology.
5. A habit of educated questioning of scientific orthodoxy.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:

  • Workshop participation: 15% 
  • two 600-word assignments: 15% each  
  • one take-home exam (1,500 words for MATH1042 and 3,000 words for PHIL2042): 35%
  • multiple choice questions: 20% of the overall mark

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Three lectures per week and regular workshops.




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:
Band 2
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
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
2526 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 In Person

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