The ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) offers a specialist Astronomy and Astrophysics Honours year. The one-year program is designed as a preparation for PhD research in astrophysics and provides the opportunity to develop your research skills, in addition to focussed coursework that provides a solid foundation for further study. Any student completing the course will be in an excellent position to continue to astrophysical research at any Australian university or overseas. An Honours degree is also recognised by employers in industry as an indication of your ability to solve problems, work independently, and to conduct research.
Why study astronomy and astrophysics at ANU?
- Study with internationally-renowned astronomers: ANU astronomers are outstanding achievers: we are proud to have the only Nobel-prize winning Australian astronomer, three researchers that have been awarded the governments prestigious Federation Fellowships, and six of the most highly-cited Australian scientists.
- Study with one of our academic astronomers making discoveries in many fields: We have nearly 50 academic staff who can offer a wide range of exciting honours projects and courses, from studies of planets to galaxy to cosmology, both for the theoretically- and observationally-inclined students.
- Study in a working observatory: the RSAA operates a working observatory, with our own telescope facilities. This provides unrivalled observing opportunities and experience for our students.
- Be part of the wider astronomy community: RSAA has a lively atmosphere, with many astronomers and technical staff, and a large number of national and international visitors pass through each year.
- Pursue exciting job opportunities: all of our honours students who wished to continue in astronomy have been successful in finding PhD places. Over 80% of our PhD graduates who wish to continue in astronomy over the last ten years have found astronomy research jobs.
The RSAA Honours program
The pathway to the Astronomy and Astrophysics Honours program depends on your current Bachelor degree. For information on how to join our Honours program, please see the ANU College of Science Honours page (please scroll down to the "Pathways into Hounours" section).
Honours Year Timeline
The Honours year commences at the end of January for a Semester 1 start, in July for a Semester 2 start. For students commencing the program in Semester 1, thesis submission is required at the end of October, students commencing the program in Semester 2 need to submit the thesis in May of the following year. Please find more information for important Honours year dates and Honours year timeline (1st and 2nd semester) on the ANU College of Science website.
The honours program in astronomy and astrophysics includes a research project that accounts for 50% of the Honours year. Students work with a supervisor from among the research staff at RSAA on a topic from any area of astronomy.
You can browse the research interests of our astronomers and view the list of current and recent projects for more information about the type of research that our staff and students are doing. A list of potential research projects can be found on the RSAA project database or under the respective research theme. Note that these lists are not exhaustive and an individual project can be discusses with your preferred supervisor.
The RSAA Honours/Masters research project course convenor, Associate Professor Christian Wolf, is also able to assist with project selection and connecting students with potential supervisors. Please contact Christian Wolf to discuss your project choice *before* committing to a project with a specific supervisor.
Please click the "Courses" button above under "More information" to see a list of courses offered by RSAA for Honours students.
Honours Year scholarships
Honours applicants can apply for the Bok Honours Year Scholarship in Astrophysics. Conditions of Award and application details can be found on the ANU Scholarships database. Students are also encouraged to apply for an ANU Honours Scholarship.
For overall information about the Honours in Astronomy and Astrophysics program, please contact our RSAA Honours Convenor, Associate Professor Michael Ireland.