Why Study Astronomy Online with Swinburne University of Technology (SUT)?

Top researchers and excellence in teaching

Swinburne Astronomy Online (SAO) is a program run by the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing within the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Swinburne University of Technology. The Centre is one of Australia's largest astronomy teaching and research groups. Our instructors are research-active astronomers and sometimes include HiCi researchers (HiCi = High Citation) who have recently co-authored papers ranked in the top 1% by citations for their field and year, as well as astronomers listed in the top 2% of scientists globally. The Centre has routinely received a rating of 5 out of 5 ('well above world standard') for our research in Astronomical and Space Science in the Federal Government's `Excellence in Research Australia' exercise.

We are as excited and passionate about teaching as we are about research. SAO and SUT has received local and global recognition, including...

  • SAO contributed to Swinburne's #1 ranking in Australia for Overall Education Experience in a Postgraduate Science and Maths Course and
  • Second in Australia for Teaching Quality in a Postgraduate Science and Maths Course (Source: Good Universities Guide 2024).
  • Swinburne is among the top 200 Universities in the world for Physical Sciences (2024 Times Higher Education World University Rankings)
  • Top 200 in the world for Physics (2023 ARWU Global Ranking of Academic Subjects)
  • The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2024 placed Swinburne among the top 250 Universities in the world, and among the top-50 Young University Rankings.
  • In 2023, Physics at Swinburne received a world-ranking of 50, according to Research.com.
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  • In 2020, according to the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Swinburne became one of the world's top 201-300 Universities, from which they improved further in 2023 (see above)
  • In 2020, according to QS Top Universities, Swinburne was ranked in the top 151-200 for Physics & Astronomy, a result also seen in the Shanghai ARWU rankings.
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  • a 2014 Open Universities Australia NOVA Award for online learning excellence for our unit Galaxies and their Place in the Universe
  • a 2012 Office of Learning and Teaching Citation, awarded by the Commonwealth Government, for outstanding contributions to student learning
  • the 2012 Swinburne University Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award in recognition of our highly successful astronomy online program

To help put some of this in context, there are over 25,000 universities in the world.

Wide-ranging expertise and excellent research facilities

With expertise in optical, infrared and radio astronomy, as well as computational and theoretical astrophysics, we observe and simulate the most exciting astrophysical phenomena. Our research strengths cover all major areas of astronomy, from cosmology and the large-scale structure of the Universe to quasars and the most distant known galaxies, to clusters and groups of galaxies, down to our own Milky Way, its structure and fascinating contents including stars, planets, pulsars, neutron stars and globular clusters. For the last decade, our astronomers have enjoyed direct access to the twin Keck 10-metre telescopes in Hawaii, among the world's largest optical telescopes. Swinburne is also home to two of Australia's most powerful supercomputers. These are excellent research tools in key areas of astronomy, ranging from simulations of large-scale structure formation to the processing of enormous data volumes collected from radio telescopes. Our Instructors

We pride ourselves on the expertise of our SAO instructors - click here to read what inspired some of them to pursue a career in astronomy

Our Students

You can read testimonials from some of our students.
Some of our students have also told us about their journey through SAO.
You can also see where some of our dedicated graduates went at this link.

Swinburne astronomy news

News from the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, click here (and then scroll down).
For example, SAO Student Slawomir (aka Suavi) Lipinski had one of his astronomy images projected onto Brisbane's William Jolly Bridge as a part of "Stargazing Live, 2018". Or, your SAO Instructor Alister Graham reported here on his work with Hubble and Chandra space telescope data, revealing a cosmic romance discussed further by the USA SyFy Channel's SyFy WIRE.

SAO home base. The Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre (AMDC), Swinburne's Hawthorn campus, Melbourne.

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