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Online Astronomy Courses

Swinburne University of Technology
John St
Hawthorn, VIC 3122
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Swinburne Astronomy Online (SAO) is a fully online postgraduate degree program in astronomy. It concentrates on the fundamental concepts of and key issues in contemporary astronomy. Designed for science educators and communicators, people working in astronomy related fields, amateur astronomers and anyone with a love of astronomy, SAO concentrates on building student's skills at communicating their science knowledge to others. Students join SAO in order to enhance their qualifications with a Master of Science in Astronomy, or to simply study one or more introductory-level astronomy units.
There are a number of entry points depending on previous academic studies and work experience. All SAO degrees are awarded and fully accredited by Swinburne University of Technology, which is a recognised university in Australia.

Degree programs offered:
Master of Science (Astronomy)
Graduate Diploma of Science (Astronomy)
Graduate Certificate of Science (Astronomy)
We also offer individual unit enrolments.

Why Study at Swinburne?
Top researchers and excellence in teaching
SAO is a program run by the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology.
The Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing is one of Australia's largest astronomy and astrophysics teaching and research groups. All of our staff are active research astronomers and our SAO teaching staff include two HiCi researchers* as well as recipients of various prestigious Australian Research Council grants.
We have received a rating of 5 ('well above world standard') for our research in Astronomical and Space Science in the 2010 and 2012 Excellence in Research Australia ranking system. Internationally, the Academic Raking of World Universities has ranked Swinburne as one of the top 75 universities in the world for its research in the field of Physics.
We are as excited and passionate about teaching as we are about research. SAO has won a number of prestigious local and national awards, including:

• 2014 Open Universities Australia NOVA Award for online learning excellence, for our unit Galaxies and their Place in the Universe
• 2012 Office of Learning and Teaching Citation, awarded by the Commonwealth Government, for outstanding contributions to student learning
• 2012 Swinburne University Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award in recognition of our highly successful astronomy online program

Since 2012, Swinburne University has been in the world's top 400 universities as listed in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, having been in the top 500 since 2009. Swinburne continues to be recognized nationally as a leader teaching quality in the Victorian tertiary sector. The 2013 Good Universities Guide reflects Swinburne's strengths in science and research.

Wide-ranging expertise and excellent research facilities
With expertise in optical, infrared and radio astronomy, as well as computational and theoretical astrophysics, we observe and simulate the most exciting astrophysical phenomena. Our research strengths cover all major areas of astronomy, from cosmology and the large-scale structure of the Universe, to quasars and the most distant known galaxies, to clusters and groups of galaxies, down to our own Milky Way, its structure and fascinating contents including stars, planets, pulsars, neutron stars and globular clusters. Our astronomers have direct access to the twin Keck 10-metre telescopes, the world's largest optical telescopes in Hawaii. Swinburne is also home to 'swinSTAR' and the GPU-based 'gSTAR', two of Australia's most powerful supercomputers. These are excellent research tools in key areas of astronomy ranging from simulations of large-scale structure formation to the processing of enormous data volumes collected from radio telescopes.
*HiCi = high citation researcher, an honour awarded to researchers whose citations rank them in the top 0.5 per cent of researchers in their field globally.

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