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Degree structure

Degree details

At the successful completion of this degree, 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.

The Master of Science (Astronomy) qualifies individuals who apply an advanced body of knowledge in a range of contexts related to contemporary astronomy. The degree 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. It should be noted that postgraduate degreework degrees in astronomy are not professional qualifications.

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) covers 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

Master of Science (Astronomy) students must complete 9 core subjects, 1 Major Project subject, and 2 prescribed electives.

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 degree or enrol directly into the Masters.

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 MAS120 Applied Mathematics and SCI16 Introduction to Physics (or their equivalent) as non-award subjects before beginning the Graduate Diploma and Masters subjects.

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

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: http://www.swinburne.edu.au/open-universities-australia/current/AWOL-and-LOA.html

Award Requirements

To qualify for a Master of Science (Astronomy), a student must complete 9 core units (112.5 credit points), 1 or 2 Astronomy Major Project options (either 12.5 or 25 credit points) and 1 or 2 prescribed electives (either 12.5 or 25 credit points).

The degree is nested, incorporating a Graduate Certificate of Science (Astronomy) of 4 subjects and a Graduate Diploma of Science (Astronomy) of 8 subjects.

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

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