Curtin University of Technology

Curtin University of Technology offers a 4-year undergraduate degree in astronomy and astrophysics. Students enrolled in the B.Sc (Astronomy) gain a strong foundation in physics, mathematics and computer science but are also shown how to apply this knowledge to astrophysical problems in a modern research environment. Students work with a large team of professional astronomers and are encouraged to participate in the research culture of the Curtin Institute for Radio Astronomy (CIRA) through activities such as project work and participation in the weekly journal club.

Uniquely within Australia, Curtin also offers engineering courses and double-degree programs that can include a significant radio astronomy engineering component. CIRA is a cross-disciplinary institution with expertise in hardware and software engineering as well as astronomy and astrophysics.

Curtin offers astronomy units at all year levels, beginning with our introductory 1st year units and moving on to more advanced topics. At 2nd year level, we offer a unit called the “Physics of Stars and Galaxies” that examines the application of physical theories to stellar evolution and the dynamics of galaxies. In conjunction with Perth Observatory, we also offer a unit called “Observational Techniques in Astronomy” in which students gain experience with CCD imaging techniques using the automated telescopes at the Observatory. At 3rd year level we offer two exciting new units, one that delves into Einstein’s theories of relativity (and their astrophysical applications) and another that explores the radio universe and the technology behind modern radio telescopes and interferometers. 4th year units cover the detailed physics of radiation emission and energy transport in astrophysical systems, along with other important topics.

We aim to provide an engaging and up-to-date learning experience that exposes students to modern technology and prepares them for further postgraduate research, but also to teach problem solving skills that are applicable to a wide range of careers.

The Curtin astronomy student community is a socially active group that runs an astronomy club with access to a 12″ telescope and CCD imaging systems. This club interacts with our 1st year students and other members of the local community by organising observing nights and other activities.

In addition to the resources that we can access through Perth Observatory, Curtin has two small 2-m radio telescopes for teaching and one 9-m radio telescope for research. Curtin students are presently helping to construct an automated optical observatory on campus for teaching and outreach.

Prospective students should contact Dr Robert Loss, the astronomy degree coordinator.

Additional information can be found on the following site: http://astronomy.curtin.edu.au

University of Western Australia

The School of Physics at the University of Western Australia , in conjunction with the Faculty of Life and Physical Sciences, offers a three year degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics, followed by an honours year in which multiple modules in Advanced Topics in Astrophysics can be studied. Years 1 and 2 of the degree contain core Physics and Maths courses with general astronomy. The first year astronomy course is also accessible to non-scientists. Year 3 contains core Astronomy and Astrophysics lectures series on Galaxies, Cosmology, Radiation Mechanisms, Plasmas, Planetary Systems, Nuclear Astrophysics and Astronomical Techniques, as well as useful Physics units. The School is in possession of optical and radio telescopes useful for teaching and research purposes. Joint degrees can be taken – e.g. Computer Science, Engineering etc.

Research projects on galaxies, simulations, cosmology, SKA, supernovae, pulsars, gravitational wave detection and data analysis, are offered at the Honours, Masters, and PhD levels. The School of Physics is partnered with the Headquarters of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at the nearby Fairway building and the Australian International Gravitational Research Centre at UWA and Gingin Observatory.

For more information, visit the Astronomy & Astrophysics website.