View Full Version here: : Advice on studying astronomy - Masters?
15-11-2011, 03:16 PM
I have recently stumbled on a Masters of Science (Astronomy) run by Swinburne University (Melbourne).
Has anyone else heard of this? If so has it been a good or bad experience? Would it be advantageous in potentially one day moving into an Astronomy Career?
(As a background I am a B.Sc (Uni Melb), and would be looking to do the masters possibly part time.)
15-11-2011, 03:37 PM
I'm thinking of having a crack at the Swinburne short course (online) for a bit of fun. I thought about doing something a bit more formal, but have had a busy year and only just finished a Masters in Public Health. I'm also signed up to the New Astronomer's Group with the Astronomical Society of Victoria, which I believe is far less academic and much more practical. Also seems a good opportunity to get to know some of the Melbourne folks.
If you're thinking seriously of a masters, maybe have a chat to renormalised (Carl), who was very encouraging when I was thinking about heading back to study. He's recently finished his masters, and will be helpful with some of the more practical questions you might have. Though I have a good general science background (also a BSC(Hons)) and did more biostatistics than I care to remember when I did my masters, I was still nervous about whether my maths would be up to speed, but folks have been pretty reassuring.
Hope this helps!
15-11-2011, 04:31 PM
When are you looking at doing the course? I was also looking at the online course as it suits my working/family life (shift worker). Do you know of any more formal courses? I would be hoping to study online or part time if no online alternative presents itself.
The maths is what scared me off from first following astronomy (i did some first year subjects back when Pluto was still a planet.), instead i headed down the dark path of Molecular Biology.
Let me know how you go with Swinburne, I will endeavour to give them a call tomorrow on a bit of a fact finding mission. Enrolments seem to close on or about early feb so there is a bit of time on our side. I will also post any useful info i get from them here.
Thanks for the assist
15-11-2011, 05:10 PM
After so many years of study, I'm to the point where my HECS is a scary number to think about. I guess when it's slightly less alarming, I'll probably have another crack. Or find someone who wants to subsidise a PhD scholarship in whatever I'm interested in at the time!! My honours found me following that same dark molecular biology path (and indeed, there were tears at the fume hood on many a late failed PCR night!) My work is now completely unrelated, but ironically my boss has an honours degree in biochemistry.
I figured that the Swinburne short course was a great way to see if the modality would work for me before committing to something bigger (but to be fair, I did my masters and half a social work degree as an online/off campus student, and thought it was just fabulous). It also has the plus of being a less time and cost intensive option for those just starting out.
I think JCU also have an online course (help me out here, guys?), but I'm guessing lots of the bigger unis would probably still let you have a go online, as an off campus student. Worst case scenario then is that you'd have a couple of intensive on-campus days, which would hopefully still fit in with your work schedule. (see possibly helpful links below :))
The other thing I've found has been great for sating my appetite for learning, is to attend some lectures (it was a slippery slope from TED online...), and I've found I've really enjoyed some of the talks at the ASV general meetings (open to the public). On the strength of that, I've gone along to a members meeting and plan to head along to my first astrophysics/cosmology talk tomorrow night. Sorry to sound like such an ASV fangirl, but any opportunity to learn is a good opportunity, right??
15-11-2011, 05:14 PM
My wife is completing her last 2 units this semester of the SAO Masters degree at Swinburne.
Being an online Masters degree Swinburne University is extremely well organised and resourced.
It is a three year "Masters of Science (Astronomy)" degree, the workload is quite challanging and rewarding. My wife has thoroughly enjoyed the course and I have too learnt alot.
I strongly recommend the course Aidan and for a Masters degree the fees are quite reasonable too.
Regards Paul (apaulo).
15-11-2011, 07:43 PM
Thanks Mish I feel your pain on the HECS debt i just paid mine off. Now i look to refill the account.
Thanks for the heads up Paul. It is looking very promising. I will make further enquiries tomorrow with the Uni.
Thanks to all.
27-11-2011, 02:00 PM
I'm actually in the middle of the SAO course at the moment, just in the process of finishing my 6th subject. I come from an IT background and, whilst the maths causes me difficulty sometimes, I do really enjoy the course content.
I'm doing it from an interest perspective and would highly recommend it. It won't turn you into a research grade astronomer but you will still learn quite a bit.
01-08-2012, 09:57 AM
Few, I realise it has been nearly 12 months, but i am enrolled and starting the course on the 27th of August. It is one of the joys of a family/work/training life balance sometimes projects fall on the back burner.
At the moment reading through the text books (randomly) and already learning a lot.
Thanks for the info
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.