Astrophysical Concepts ASTRM402

This micro-credential will provide students with a broad foundation in the key concepts of astronomy and astrophysics. It will cover a range of topics from the solar-system and gravitational orbits, extra solar planets and life on other worlds, measuring cosmological distances, the life-cycle of stars, galaxies and how they evolve with time, special and general relativity, dark matter and dark energy, and the origin and fate of the Universe. It also will provide a solid foundation in the history of humanity's exploration of the cosmos, explore the contemporary state of astronomy research, and discuss open questions and unsolved mysteries in our current understanding of the Universe. In addition, this course will also explore the practical aspects of observing the cosmos at different wavelengths, and include hands on analysis of real astronomical data; allowing students to derive key results in modern research and provide practical experience in working with the various data types used in astronomy. In combination, this will provide students with a both a general interest understanding of astronomy, and the solid foundation for further study in astronomy and physics.

Upon successful completion of this micro-credential, you'll receive:

  • Two PD Points
  • A Certificate of Achievement
  • A UWA Professional Development Transcript, listing all successfully completed micro-credentials

Delivery mode

Fully online
Course dates
7 October - 12 December 2024 
Applications close
6 September 2024
10 weeks
Total effort
55 hours
Academic lead:  Dr Luke Davies


UWA Starter fees for 2024 –

$247.50 (inc GST) per micro-credential for students from participating partner schools

$55 (inc GST) per micro-credential for students from participating UWA Broadway Schools

$495 (inc GST) per micro-credential for students from non-partner schools

Critical information summary
ASTRM402 Astrophysical Concepts (PDF 245KB)
Picture of the Universe 

What you'll learn

By completing the course, participants will:

Explain the formation and movement of solar system objects, and how this leads to observables from Earth

Describe how we detect and study exoplanets, and how we might detect life on them

Explain the structure of stars, the stellar lifecycle and stellar deaths including: planetary nebulae, supernovae, neutron stars and black holes

Explain the structure of galaxies, how they formed and how they change with time

Explain key topics in our understanding of the Universe like relativity, dark matter, dark energy, the Big Bang

Describe observational techniques, data types and analyses used in astronomy research, and demonstrate a basic understanding of how to implement them

two girls reading a document
Why study this course?

This micro-credential will appeal to Year 11-12 students looking to expand their understanding of astronomy and astrophysics. It will provide a broad understanding of the key topics in astronomy, and lay the solid foundations for further university-level study in physics and astronomy.

How does it work?

This micro credential will involve:

  • Fully online learning
  • 55 hours of learning over 10 weeks
  • including a combination of on-line recorded lectures, drop-in question sessions, assessments and assessment preparation

What's next after this course?

Future study
Students who successfully complete this micro-credential will: 
  • Receive a UWA Professional Development Transcript at the end of your studies, listing all completed UWA micro-credentials – great for uni entry and your resume!
  • Earn 2  stackable  PD Points -  complete two more UWA Starter micro-credentials to earn 6 PD Points and gain credit for one unit towards selected UWA bachelor degrees.
  • Gain points that can contribute towards admission to UWA via Experience-based entry.


Study: Undergraduate degree in Physics and/or Astronomy

Study: Masters degree in Astronomy

Study: PhD in Astronomy

Career: Astronomy Researcher (or career in STEM)



Contact your secondary school for more information or to register for UWA+ Starter micro-credentials.