View Full Version here: : Formal studies in Astronomy
08-02-2012, 03:02 PM
I know there are a few others here who are studying or have studied astronomy in a more formal setting. It thought it would be great to bring together a thread of thoughts, ideas and reviews of what's available out there. Not only useful for those currently studying, but perhaps for those thinking of undertaking something in the future.
Institutions providing formal studies/degrees (online or otherwise)
Swinburne Astronomy Online (http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/sao/)
James Cook University (http://www.jcu.edu.au/eps/disciplines/astronomy/)
University of Central Lancanshire - Distance Learning (http://www.studyastronomy.com/)
University of Southern Queensland (http://www.usq.edu.au/sciences/studyareas/astronomy)
Advice on studying astronomy - Masters (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=83054)
JCU Graduate Certificate in Astronomy? (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=79416)
Swinburne Astronomy Online (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=76154)
Swinburne free public lectures (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=65152)
Personally, I've just been accepted into the Post Graduate Certificate of Science (Astronomy) at Swinburne. :D I'm planning on going through to my Masters but needed to start small given I don't have an undergrad.
P.S. Please move this thread if it doesn't really belong here.
08-02-2012, 07:33 PM
Hi Carl, While I was studying last year I found out that some Universities may offer Astronomy courses to the general public as well.
I also think the places may be limited a lot though.
My Astronomy 101 course at Curtin Last year is where I heard it from. Best contact various Uni's around the country to confirm it as things change every year.
09-02-2012, 12:16 PM
Im starting a BSc externally through USQ - i will be adding Astronomy topics as electives - but will focus on Physics, Maths and Computer Programming.
You can add this to your list of resources.
09-02-2012, 09:54 PM
Thanks Petra. When do you start your studies? I start mine at the end of February this year although I'm wishing it started sooner!
10-02-2012, 01:09 AM
Hi Carl, I agree with you, I too start at the end of Feb and prefer to start at the same time as my kids. Uni though is run in line with federal government policies including holidays so I don't think there will be any compromise.
10-02-2012, 04:12 AM
I did an external PhD with JCU and recommend them.
10-02-2012, 08:50 AM
Yes, I start at the end of Feb too. I had planned to start 2011 - on campus at ANU, however family issues brought me back to Albury. So studying externally is the next best option.
Good luck with your studies Carl
Cheers Petra d.
20-02-2012, 01:34 PM
Quite some time ago as part of a B.Sc I studied what would have effectively been Astronomy 101 at the University of New England. Enjoyed it immensley.
08-03-2012, 11:31 PM
Well I have commenced my studied with Swinburne SAO and I can tell you that it's a lot of work but thoroughly enjoying.
I'm taking two subjects at the moment and would probably have been better if I had only taken on one (I'm working full time as well). However, so far, so good.
The course material is quite well presented although you are expected to do a lot of your own research. I have been surprised at how useful the newsgroups/forums have been for learning. It's very much not one of those things which are just tacked onto "online learning" courses.
I'm going to go get some sleep now. :)
08-03-2012, 11:51 PM
Looking forward to hearing all about this course. Good luck with your studies.
I started a BSc two weeks ago (USQ) - taking two subjects (Physics and Maths) (plus full time work).
Its going to be a busy few years.
Cheers Petra d.
09-03-2012, 01:06 AM
Started my Double degree 2 weeks ago and it is full on. Engineering first years do not have an option on timetable either, have to wait for next year.
15-03-2012, 10:21 AM
Hi Carl, good luck with your Grad Cert. I think you will find many quite different opinions regarding the astro offerings by the various Australian Universities. My experience with Swinburne when doing my Grad Cert was an extremely positive one. All of my unit instructors & project supervisors were very switched on and incredibly supportive.
Swinburne is the only Australian University with a time allocation on the Keck I & Keck II telescopes in Hawaii. A couple of years after I finished my degree I was most fortunate to go to Hawaii with a research team from Swinburne headed up by Professor Duncan Forbes, we had 2 nights on Keck II, an experience I will take to the grave with me.
From my experience at Swinburne, if you are prepared to really put in, then you will get a great deal out of it.
28-03-2012, 02:11 AM
Good luck with your studies. I'd certainly like to get another degree, myself. First time around, it was computer science.
I only took one astronomy class and that was my first semester. It was Tuesday night sandwiched between Monday and Wednesday calculus classes. I'm pretty good at math, but calculus "philosophy" and memorizing oblique proofs had me beating my head against the wall. I spent my entire astronomy class doing calculus homework. But every time the professor asked me a question (at first annoyed because I was doing something else in his class), I was able to answer every one of his questions without blinking.
I had been studying astronomy for 30 years, so that beginning class was easy (and fun). Later, the professor and I became friends. Then he found out that I was also a space artist and his jaw dropped. He and his significant other had one of my paintings, purchased two decades earlier.
22-04-2012, 07:14 PM
What a great story Carl. Thanks for sharing it.
Well, much as I expected, I haven't had time to frequent these forums and provide an update. I'll write more hopefully in a few weeks time.
Suffice to say, I'm loving the experience so far. The course material is pretty good but the instructors are truly exceptional. What has surprised me most so far was the interaction with the other students and teachers. Being an online degree I thought this would be lacking, but it really isn't.
Part way through two subjects so far and my results have been great. More than I expected so I'm pretty chuffed. Have two quite interesting projects to work on now and I get to work with people who've actually written real published papers on these subjects. It's a little scary but also inspiring.
I promise to write more of a detailed assessment of things as soon as I get a chance.
23-04-2012, 09:42 AM
I am finding calulus challengine mostly integration and the shear number of rules to remember. One of my subject takes up so much time that I have to cram in calculus examples so much it is doing my head in as well. I am trying to locate places to get 100's of questions to get the old brain box going.
26-04-2012, 10:14 PM
What a wonderful experience Trevor. Dr. Forbes is my project supervisor for one of my subjects this semester. The quality of instructors is pretty damned good I must say. Not only impressive intellects but also people who are very active in the field.
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