Courses & Units

Galactic and Extragalactic Astrophysics KYA306


This unit is taught only in odd-numbered years. It alternates with KYA305 Stellar and Planetary Physics.


Astrophysics is the investigation of the Universe. It enables us to study the behaviour of matter in extreme environments that cannot be replicated on Earth. In this unit you will study the solar system, stars, stellar evolution, collapsed objects such as white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, galactic structure, galaxies, active galactic nuclei, galaxy clusters, and the cosmic background radiation.

This unit builds upon topics covered in the core second year physics units. KYA306 is an advanced unit within the physics major. It is a strong foundation for doing an honours project, masters, or PhD in astrophysics. This unit is taught only in odd-numbered years. It alternates with KYA3xx, Stellar and Planetary Physics, so that all physics majors have the option to study one or the other of these advanced units that cover macroscopic applications of gravitation, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and fluid dynamics. Honours students have the opportunity to take either or both of these units as desired, by planning appropriately.


Unit name Galactic and Extragalactic Astrophysics
Unit code KYA306
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Physics
Coordinator Professor Andrew Cole
Available as an elective? No
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Advanced


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Units are offered in attending mode unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered by distance, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered to both attending students and by distance from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.

Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain how the theories of gravity, electromagnetism, and atomic & nuclear physics relate to the study of galactic and extragalactic astronomy and inform society's concepts of our place in the cosmos.
  • Apply knowledge of galactic and extragalactic systems to modern astrophysical scientific questions.
  • Analyse galactic and extragalactic astrophysical objects using appropriate scientific methodology.
  • Present scientific results to peers and demonstrate understanding of astrophysics using oral and written means with appropriate data visualization techniques.
  • Use ethical approaches to problem solving, self-directed learning, and group learning relevant to astrophysical investigations, to develop collaborative and professional ways of working.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
010300 $1,037.00 $1,037.00 not applicable $2,836.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.



KYA211 - Waves and Kinetic Theory AND KYA212 - Electromagnetism and Thermodynamics AND KMA252 - Calculus and Applications 2


Teaching Pattern

3 x 50 minute lectures weekly, 1 x 50 minute tutorial weekly

AssessmentMidterm Test #1 - Interstellar Medium and Star Formation (25%)|Midterm Test #2 - Orbits and Gravitation (25%)|Problem Set Assignments (25%)|Literature review paper (25%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

The University reserves the right to amend or remove courses and unit availabilities, as appropriate.