Warning! This degree has changed. Read the transition arrangements.

Warning! This is a restricted degree. Subject enrolment is only available to students admitted into this degree.

Degree structure

Degree details

At the successful completion of this degree, students will be able to:

  • identify, interpret and analyse credible resources to present information, knowledge and critique on astronomy topics
  • apply problem solving methodologies to synthesise solutions that demonstrate information and technical skills in astronomy
  • apply communication skills to demonstrate an understanding of recent developments in astronomy
  • demonstrate skills and knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to astronomy
  • manage own time and work independently to investigate and communicate research in astronomy
  • demonstrate communication and technical skills, either individually or working as an effective member in a team to interpret complex ideas in astronomy to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

The Graduate Certificate of Science (Astronomy) qualifies individuals who apply a body of knowledge in a range of contexts related to contemporary astronomy. The degree provides individuals with the requisite academic knowledge and science communication skills across a range of astronomy and astronomy-related fields for professional or highly skilled work, 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.

Higher education

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 3-4 years.

English Proficiency Requirements

English language requirements: (International students only)

IELTS (Academic Module): Overall 6.0 with no individual band below 5.5; or Swinburne English Language Centre: EAP 4 Upper Intermediate level with overall 70% and all skills 65% or above; or TOEFL iBT: minimum score 75 (No individual band less than 17); or equivalent measures available at http://www.swinburne.edu.au/study/international/apply/entry-requirements/ 

Swinburne University RPL Higher Education policy applies and will be granted subject to approval of the degree coordinator.

For information on how to apply for credit please refer to Swinburne’s website at http://www.swinburne.edu.au/open-universities-australia/advanced-standing-rpl.html

These postgraduate degrees in Science (Astronomy) cover the fundamental concepts and ‘big questions’ of modern astronomy. It equips students with an overall understanding of modern astronomy, rather than training as a professional astronomer.

The introductory level subjects require no background mathematical knowledge and instead focus on a conceptual approach to astronomy. However, some of the more advanced-level subjects have prerequisites and assume knowledge of introductory tertiary level mathematics and physics.

Recommended Study Pattern

There is no specific recommended study sequence however, some subjects have prerequisites that need to be met. Students may choose to work their way through the nested program or enrol directly into the master's.

Several elective subjects in the Graduate Diploma and Master of Science have prerequisites of university level 1 mathematics and physics. Students without university level mathematics and physics may apply for the Graduate Certificate in Science, as subjects in this award do not have any prerequisites.

Students without university level mathematics and physics who wish to complete the advanced subjects must complete subjects MAS120 Applied Mathematics and SCI16 Introduction to Physics (or their equivalents) as non-award subjects before beginning the graduate diploma and master's subjects.

Please note: You cannot re-enrol into Swinburne subjects that you have already passed.

Taking time off from study (Absent Without Leave and Leave of Absence):

How to apply for an approved leave of absence and minimise the risk of having to reapply for degree admission: https://www.swinburne.edu.au/current-students/manage-course/enrolment-timetable/time-off/

Award Requirements

To qualify for a Graduate Certificate of Science (Astronomy), a student must complete 4 subjects (50 credit points) as follows:

  • 3 astronomy core subjects (37.5 credit points)
  • 1 elective subject from a list of 2 (12.5 credit points)

Please note: You cannot re-enrol into Swinburne subjects that you have already passed.

If you were admitted before 2017 into the Master, Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate of Science (Astronomy) you can find out which subjects you need to complete by downloading the transition plan applicable your course and admission year from Swinburne’s OUA course transition webpage.