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Master of Science (Astronomy)

Postgraduate course

  • This information is for local students.
  • View course information for international students.
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The Master of Science (Astronomy) is an online course and is part of a nested suite of programs, which includes the Graduate Certificate of Science (Astronomy) (GC-SASTRO) and a Graduate Diploma of Science (Astronomy) (GD-SASTRO), with different entry and exit points depending upon previous academic studies. It comprises 12 units of study completed fully online, including opportunities for major project work.
Note that online courses are only available to international students who are studying in a country other than Australia.
Duration1.5 years full-time or 3 years part-time
Study modeOnline
Swinburne course codeMA-SASTRO (formerly S068)
Fees
The total tuition fee is dependent upon the combination of units of study selected by the student. Fees are reviewed each year.
For information about Swinburne's fees visit the Fees website.

Career opportunities

Many graduates use this qualification to begin or enhance opportunities in teaching, working in observatories, science centres and museums, and science/astronomy education, public outreach and communication positions.

On this page: course description, course structure and units of study.

Course description

The Master of Science (Astronomy) is an online course and is part of a nested suite of programs, which includes the Graduate Certificate of Science (Astronomy) and a Graduate Diploma of Science (Astronomy), with different entry and exit points depending upon previous academic studies. It comprises 12 units of study completed fully online, including opportunities for major project work.
The Master of Science (Astronomy) qualifies individuals who apply an advanced body of knowledge in a range of contexts related to contemporary astronomy. The course provides individuals with the requisite academic knowledge, science communication and independent research project skills across an extensive range of astronomy and astronomy-related fields for professional practice or scholarship, and as a pathway for further learning.
Many graduates use this qualification to begin or enhance opportunities in teaching, working in observatories, science centres and museums, and science/astronomy education, public outreach and communication positions.
Note that online courses are only available to international students who are studying in a country other than Australia.
Please note that many course codes have changed from 2014.

Course structure

To qualify for the award of Master of Science (Astronomy), students must complete 12 units of study (150 credit points) as follows:
  • 9 x Astronomy core units (112.5 credit points)
  • 1 x Astronomy Major project option (12.5 credit points)
  • 2 x Elective units (25 credit points) from the list provided

Units of study

Please note that unit codes have changed from 2014. Please ensure that you check the unit entry for the correct 2014 unit code.
Elective units
Complete two units (25 credit points)
HET607 History of Astronomy
HET610 Studies in Space Exploration
Note:  
*All Major Project units have prerequisites.
** Major Project: Astronomy and Astrophysics is available only for approved project proposals, where approval is decided on a case-by-case basis by the program coordinator.
Not all of the above units of study will be conducted every semester and some are offered in alternate years. For further information refer to Swinburne Astronomy Online. Electives will usually be offered subject to satisfactory enrolment numbers.

On this page: aims and objectives and career opportunities.

Aims and objectives

At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Interpret, analyse and evaluate credible resources to argue information, knowledge and critique on astronomy topics.
2. Judge and apply problem solving methodologies to synthesise solutions that assess information and technical skills in astronomy.
3. Apply and appraise communication skills to demonstrate an understanding of recent developments in astronomy.
4. Demonstrate and appraise skills and knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to astronomy.
5. Manage own time and work independently to design and construct a substantial research project work in astronomy.
6. Demonstrate communication and technical skills, either individually or working as an effective member in a team to interpret and discriminate complex ideas in astronomy to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Career opportunities

Many graduates use this qualification to begin or enhance opportunities in teaching, working in observatories, science centres and museums, and science/astronomy education, public outreach and communication positions.
Alexander Cherney

Student testimonial - Alexander Cherney

Master of Science (Astronomy)

I wanted to learn more about what I was observing through telescopes as amateur astronomer. Doing an online study and working encourages me to manage my time better and be more productive. It should hopefully open more opportunities to connect my Information Technology and Astronomy career paths in the future.

Postgraduate astronomy study is a lot of fun and I wish my previous degree was as entertaining and stimulating.

STUDENT NAME HERE

Student testimonial - Allan Anforth

Master of Science (Astronomy)

I am studying astronomy with Swinburne Online. Many years ago I completed a bachelors degree in science and thoroughly enjoyed it. Unfortunately, for financilal reasons I had to pursue a life career in law whilst maintaining an interest in astronomy and physics generally. At a mature age, I decided to return to my interest.

I like the content and the emphasis on researching academic papers. I like the flexibility of studying at my convenience including at night and weekends. I like the idea that I can choose to engage with the material at such level of mathenatical complexity as I wish. If I had to nominate one highlight it would be the paper I research and wrote on the Fermi Paradox.

On this page: entry requirements, credit transfer and recognition of prior learning

Entry requirements

This program is available to students who have a recognised tertiary qualification* in a cognate discipline aligned to astronomy and/or astronomy-related fields (including natural and physical sciences, information technology, engineering and related technologies, related scientific fields in health – e.g. optical science or radiography) (or approved equivalent).
 
* Bachelors degree, Level 7 in Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) or equivalent.
 
The AQF specification for the volume of learning of a Bachelor degree is typically three to four years.

Credit transfer

Applicants with prior tertiary studies that satisfy part of the academic requirements of this program may be granted ‘credit’ and/or entry into the program with ‘advanced standing’. University policies apply and applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis. For further information refer to the Credit Transfer website.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process where a student may be granted credit or partial credit towards a qualification in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training. For further details for students considering Higher Education courses visit the RPL website.

On this page: how to apply, course fees, scholarships and find out more.

How to apply

Application information is available on the Swinburne Astronomy Online website.
 
** Please note closing dates apply.

Course fees

The total tuition fee is dependent upon the combination of units of study selected by the student. Fees are reviewed each year.
For information about Swinburne's fees visit the Fees website.

Scholarships

For information about scholarships, visit the Scholarships website.

Find out more