Course Title: Astrophysics and Cosmology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Astrophysics and Cosmology

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2013

Course Coordinator: Professor Gary Bryant

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2139

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 14.7.6

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This is an elective course which introduces Astrophysics and Cosmology in a mathematical manner. It assumes students have at least first year level mathematics and physics. This course is not suitable for students without a Physics/Mathematics background.

Course Description

Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy and physics that deals with the physical properties and interactions of celestial bodies-the application of the principles of physics to celestial bodies and phenomena. Cosmology is the study of the origin, evolution, structure and composition of the Universe as a whole.

This subject is an introductory course in astrophysics and cosmology. The treatment is quantitative and mathematical, with a background in first year mathematics and physics assumed. It will concentrate on Stellar Astrophysics and the structure and evolution of the universe. Students will be asked to provide in depth analyses of certain aspects of the course.

The course has a theoretical lecture component and also involves worked exercises to illustrate the material which the student should work through in order to fully understand this theoretical material.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

After completing this course the student:

  • will be familiar with the basic ideas and Stellar formation and evolution, and be able to apply current basic models.
  • will have developed an understanding of current cosmological models of the universe.
  • will be able to apply basic cosmological models to predict the age and structure of the universe for various geometries.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning will occur through a series of lectures, plus a set of assignments designed to give experience in applications and to illustrate basic concepts.

Overview of Learning Resources

Lists of useful texts and other references, available through the RMIT Bookshop and Library, will be supplied, along with supplementary notes and resources.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment will be through assignments and tests, with details to be provided in the first week.