Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit is taken over three or four semesters and parts 1 to 8 must be completed to fulfil the requirements of the unit. Students can commence the unit in either semester one or semester two.

The 48-point unit consists of a research project and dissertation which comprises 50 per cent of the Master of Physics (Astronomy and Astrophysics). The dissertation is based on an individual research project undertaken within one of the research groups in the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. It is expected that the project normally involves original research leading to the establishment of new knowledge in the field. Students develop analytical and research skills that have application not only to their specific field of research but also to a wide range of employment opportunities in government and industry.

6 points

In preparation for the research proposal, students are required to assess current knowledge in the field of their research project. They also acquire knowledge of document preparation using Latex, referencing conventions appropriate to astronomy and astrophysics, and research ethics. They develop written and oral communication skills through preparation of a research proposal and oral defense of the proposal. Students acquire research skills during their research project under the supervision and mentorship of a member of staff from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. They also learn from interaction with other staff and postgraduate students in the research group. In the process of writing the dissertation, they develop skills in written communication of outcomes of research. In preparing for the 30-minute seminar on their research project in collaboration with their research supervisor, they develop oral communication skills.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research proposal and oral defense; (2) research work assessed by all supervisors; (3) dissertation graded and ranked by a panel of report readers; and (4) research seminar judged on content and presentation by a panel of markers. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Mr Matthew Young
Unit rules
enrolment in
the Master of Physics (53560)
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.