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


In this unit students will begin to investigate a specific topic area in astronomy and astrophysics, developing specific knowledge in that area based on their broader knowledge of astronomy and astrophysics, and communicating this in a written literature review that forms part of a research proposal. In close conjunction with their supervisors, the students' will then identify a research problem or question aimed at extending knowledge in that area, design a research plan to solve the problem or answer the question, and learn to report on and defend that plan as both a written proposal and an oral defence.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) discuss their specific research topic with their supervisors at a level appropriate to a commencing Masters student in the field of Astronomy & Astrophysics.; (2) independently discover research papers relevant to the research topic, building a collection of papers that sufficiently summarises the state-of-the-art in the topic area to justify the research proposal.; (3) accurately summarise and critique the relevant research papers in a cohesive literature review, using correct terminology and reasoning, and their broader knowledge of astronomy and astrophysics,; (4) justify a research problem or question aimed at extending knowledge in the chosen topic area.; (5) design a research plan that uses the available time and resources realistically to attempt to solve/answer the research problem/question, and that includes contingency planning for any identified risks in the plan.; (6) write a cohesive research proposal that includes the literature review, using correct grammar, and a written style and referencing system appropriate to the topic area in astronomy and astrophysics.; and (7) report and defend the research proposal in an oral presentation before a panel of expert astronomers and astrophysicists..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research assessment; (2) oral presentation and defence; and (3) written research proposal. 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
CM015 Bachelor of Science [Frontier Physics] and Master of Physics
or the 53560 Master of Physics
and Enrolment (other than course) in the SP-ASTPH Astronomy and Astrophysics specialisation and completion of the core units in the Physics major or equivalent
  • 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.