SAO Units

The following units are available for students enrolled in the Masters degree, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate and single-subject entry. Note that some units are prerequisites for others, and not all units are offered each semester. See below for unit scheduling details.

Each unit carries 12.5 credit points, and each semester is 12 weeks in length. Four units (50 credit points) per semester is equivalent full-time load. Degrees are awarded as follows:

Graduate Certificate of Science 50 credit points 4 units
Graduate Diploma of Science 100 credit points 8 units
Master of Science 150 credit points 12 units

Graduate Certificate students may choose any four units, subject to prerequisites. Graduate Diploma and Masters students must complete three core units, which are AST80005(formerly HET602), AST80004(formerly HET603) and AST80006 (formerly HET624). Masters students must also complete at least one Major Project unit.
(Note: the above units rules do not apply to students who commenced their program studies prior to 2010.)

Please note that from Semester 1, 2014 the Unit codes for SAO have changed.


AST80005 (formerly HET602) Exploring the Solar System Unit Outline
- an introductory-level astronomy unit on our solar neighbourhood, introducing the terrestrial and giant planets, minor bodies and the Sun. The emphasis is on conceptual astronomy rather than mathematical techniques and no background knowledge is assumed.

AST80004 (formerly HET603) Exploring Stars and the Milky Way Unit Outline
- an introductory-level astronomy unit on the birth, life and death of stars and the structure of our galaxy. The emphasis is on conceptual astronomy rather than mathematical techniques and no background knowledge is assumed.

AST80018 (formerly HET606) Tools of Modern Astronomy Unit Outline
- an introduction to electromagnetic radiation, from gamma-rays to radio waves, focusing on both its emission and subsequent detection. The emphasis will be on telescopes and their observations. This unit assumes familiarity with the content of Exploring Stars and the Milky Way.
Prerequisite: AST80004 (HET603) Exploring Stars and the Milky Way or equivalent.

AST80008 (formerly HET607) History of Astronomy Unit Outline
- investigating the development & impact of astronomy from ancient times to the present day, from the viewpoint of practicing astronomers. No background knowledge of astronomy or physics is assumed.

AST80002 (formerly HET609) Astrophotography and CCD Imaging Unit Outline
- the principles behind the imaging of astronomical objects with telescopes, conventional cameras and CCD cameras, plus the use of computer techniques for image processing. This unit will focus particularly on techniques and equipment within reach of the (existing or intending) serious amateur astronomer, and assumes familiarity with the content of Exploring Stars and the Milky Way.
Prerequisite: AST80004 (HET603) Exploring Stars and the Milky Way or equivalent.

AST80017 (formerly HET610) Studies in Space Exploration Unit Outline
- the basic principles, issues and science goals in space exploration, tracing its history and development with particular reference to manned versus unmanned space exploration, spacecraft design, launch and navigation, imaging and remote sensing. Public perception of space science and analysis of the costs, risks & benefits of space exploration will be discussed with special reference to ethical and legal implications of topics such as the use of radioisotope fuel sources, 'space junk' and mining rights in space. This unit assumes familiarity with the content of Exploring the Solar System.
Prerequisite: AST80005 (HET602) Exploring the Solar System or equivalent

AST80016 (formerly HET611) Stellar Astrophysics Unit Outline
- following on from AST80004 (formerly HET603), this unit aims to cover the the physical processes underlying stellar properties and the principles behind models of stellar evolution. This unit assumes knowledge of introductory, tertiary (post-secondary) level mathematics & physics, plus familiarity with the content of Exploring Stars and the Milky Way.
Prerequisite: AST80004 (HET603) Exploring Stars and the Milky Way or equivalent

AST80012 (formerly HET612) Major Project - History of Astronomy Unit Outline / Project List
- develops a detailed knowledge and understanding of a particular aspect or period of the history of astronomy. Students will develop their practical literature and Internet research skills, plus synthesis and communication skills. This unit assumes familiarity with the content of History of Astronomy.
Prerequisite:AST80008 (HET607) History of Astronomy or equivalent

AST80013 (formerly HET615) Major Project - Observational Astronomy Unit Outline / Project List
- develops a detailed knowledge and understanding of the principles involved in a particular aspect or application of astrophotography and/or CCD imaging, and provides practical experience in the techniques involved in astrophotography and/or CCD imaging. Students will develop their ability to keep a comprehensive record of experimental investigations, to write a detailed summary report of techniques used and investigations undertaken, and to communicate effectively about the outcomes of their work. This unit assumes familiarity with the content of Astrophotography and CCD Imaging.
Prerequisite: AST80002 (HET609) Astrophotography and CCD Imaging or equivalent

AST80011 (formerly HET617) Major Project - Computational Astrophysics Unit Outline / Project List
- develops a detailed understanding of specific astrophysical concepts with the aid of computer simulations, and provides practical experience in the use of numerical modelling and data analysis. Students will develop their ability to keep a comprehensive record of experimental investigations, to write a detailed summary report of techniques used and investigations undertaken, and to communicate effectively about the outcomes of their work. This unit assumes familiarity with Galaxies and their Place in the Universe, plus introductory tertiary (post-secondary) level mathematics and physics (or equivalent).
Prerequisite: AST80006 (HET624) Galaxies and their Place in the Universe (or HET604 Exploring Galaxies and the Cosmos) or equivalent (and note that some modules also have additional prerequisites of AST80005 (HET602) or AST80016 (HET611)).

AST80001 (formerly HET618) Astrobiology and the Origins of Life Unit Outline
- provides an overview of the multi-disciplinary nature of astrobiology - combining geology, chemistry, biology and astronomy. It will investigate the origins and evolution of life on Earth, the interaction between life and its environment, and the search for life elsewhere in the Solar System and beyond. This unit assumes familiarity with Exploring the Solar System and Exploring Stars and the Milky Way.
Prerequisite: AST80005 (HET602) Exploring the Solar System and AST80004 (HET603) Exploring Stars and the Milky Way or equivalent.

AST80014 (formerly HET619) Major Project - Astronomy & Astrophysics Unit Outline / Project Information
- develops a detailed knowledge and understanding of the principles involved in a particular aspect or application of astronomy and/or astrophysics, and provides practical experience in the techniques involved in astronomy and/or astrophysics. Students will develop their ability to keep a comprehensive record of experimental investigations, to write a detailed summary report of techniques used and investigations undertaken, and to communicate effectively about the outcomes of their work. This unit assumes familiarity with Exploring the Solar System , Exploring Stars and the Milky Way and Galaxies and their Place in the Universe. Enrolment is subject to approval by the Program Coordinator.
Prerequisite:AST80005 (HET602) Exploring the Solar System , AST80004 (HET603) Exploring Stars and the Milky Way and AST80006 (HET624) Galaxies and their Place in the Universe (or HET604 Exploring Galaxies and the Cosmos) or equivalent.

AST80015 (formerly HET620) Planetary Science Unit Outline
- provides a detailed understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of planetary science - combining astronomy, geology, chemistry, and atmospheric science. It will investigate the origins and evolution of our Solar System, the terrestrial and giant planets, planetary atmospheres and surface phenomena. This unit assumes familiarity with Exploring the Solar System .
Prerequisite: AST80005 (HET602) Exploring the Solar System or equivalent.

AST80006 (formerly HET624) Galaxies and their Place in the Universe Unit Outline
- an introductory-level astronomy unit on galaxies & galaxy clustering, theories of dark matter, and galaxy formation and evolution. The emphasis is on conceptual astronomy rather than mathematical techniques and no background knowledge is assumed.

AST80003 (formerly HET625) Cosmology and the Large-scale Structure of the Universe Unit Outline
- an introduction to cosmology, including the physics of the early Universe, dark matter and dark energy, and the evolution of the observed large-scale structure. This unit assumes knowledge of introductory, tertiary (post-secondary) level mathematics & physics, plus familiarity with the content of Galaxies and their Place in the Universe.
Prerequisite: AST80006 (HET624) Galaxies and their Place in the Universe (or HET604 Exploring Galaxies and the Cosmos) or equivalent.


Scheduling Details

(subject to change)

Notes:

    The Code column contains the old (pre-2014) unit code in brackets.
    * indicates units that do not have prerequisites.
    # indicates units not offered every year.
    n/o = not offered
    upcoming semester - title background is in red
Code Unit Credit Points
Sem 2
2014
Sem 1
2015
Sem 2
2015
Sem 1
2016
Sem 2
2016
AST80004(HET603) Exploring Stars & the Milky Way* 12.512.5 12.512.5 12.5
AST80005(HET602) Exploring the Solar System* 12.512.5 12.512.5 12.5
AST80006(HET624) Galaxies & their Place in the Universe* 12.512.5 12.512.5 12.5
AST80008(HET607) History of Astronomy* 12.5n/o 12.5n/o 12.5
AST80001(HET618) Astrobiology and the Origins of Life# 12.5n/o n/o12.5n/o
AST80002(HET609) Astrophotography & CCD Imaging n/o12.5 n/o12.5 n/o
AST80003(HET625) Cosmology and the Large-scale Structure of the Universe n/o12.5 n/o12.5 n/o
AST80015(HET620)Planetary Science n/o12.5 n/o12.5 n/o
AST80016(HET611) Stellar Astrophysics n/on/o 12.5n/o 12.5
AST80017(HET610) Studies in Space Exploration# 12.5n/o 12.5n/o n/o
AST80018(HET606) Tools of Modern Astronomy 12.5n/o 12.5n/o 12.5
AST80011(HET617) Major Project - Computational Astrophysics 12.5n/o 12.5n/o 12.5
AST80012(HET612) Major Project - History of Astronomy n/o12.5 n/o12.5 n/o
AST80013(HET615) Major Project - Observational Astronomy 12.5n/o 12.5n/o 12.5
AST80014(HET619) Major Project - Astronomy & Astrophysics 12.512.5 n/on/o 12.5

Note: AST80004,5,6,8 are introductory units without prerequisite units. All other units have prerequisites. Major Project units (AST80011,12,13,14), as their name suggests, contain a major research project assessment component.

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