Bachelor of Science (Space Sc & Astrophysics)

The final frontier

Want to delve into the depths of our solar system? Explore the universe’s most distant galaxies?

This is the number one degree in South Australia for Astronomical and Space Sciences research.* You will have access to world-leading researchers, including Nobel Prize winners and the recipient of the 2020 Prime Minister's Award for Science.

What will you do?

Our Bachelor of Science (Space Science and Astrophysics) places a strong emphasis on maths and physics. You will:

  • work with, and learn from international researchers whose ground-breaking and award-winning discoveries are changing the way we understand our universe
  • develop problem-solving skills critical to modern careers in physics, high-tech and space industries, and big data science
  • have the opportunity to take part in project work with established scientists
  • discover the fundamental processes which define our universe and our planet
  • unravel the mysteries of space through core training in astronomy and space science
  • supplement learning with other science, geoscience, and maths programs.

You’ll also have opportunities to take part in project work with established scientists.

Where could it take you?

You might research star formation with a national space agency or be a planetarium director. You could forecast geomagnetic storms at the Bureau of Meteorology. Perhaps you’ll work in an observatory, publish a book or host the next award-winning space documentary.

*2018 Excellence in Research for Australia


  • #1 in Australia for Physics**
  • Australian Space Agency to generate 20,000 jobs by 2030^
  • Accredited by the Australian Institute of Physics

**Best Global Universities Rankings (Physics), US News Education, 2021
^Australian Space Agency, 2021

Entry Requirements

For our students who are studying offshore in 2021 and 2022, the University will continue to offer high-quality access to the learning resources remotely for most programs. This includes all lectures, tutorials and other support material. Students will be advised in advance if there are course components that cannot be provided in remote mode and, wherever possible, offered alternative courses. Please refer to the COVID-19 FAQ page for a list of programs where in-person attendance is required.

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
I am a:

Domestic applicants

Admissions information

SATAC Code 324101
2021 CSP ATAR 77.05
2021 CSP IB 27
Guaranteed Entry Score - ATAR 75
Guaranteed Entry Score - IB 26
Deferment Yes - 2 year
Intake February and July
Enquiries Future Students team

2021 Admissions Data for school leavers
ATAR
(raw ATAR, excluding any applicable adjustment factors)
Lowest ATAR to receive an offer 67.65
Median ATAR to receive an offer 85.93
Highest ATAR to receive an offer 99.15
Selection Rank
(ATAR plus any adjustment factors)
Lowest Selection Rank to receive an offer 77.05
Median Selection Rank to receive an offer 92.08
Highest Selection Rank to receive an offer 99.95
Minimum eligibility score 65
Additional criteria considered Selection rank only
Selection Criteria
Recent Secondary Education Applicants with recent secondary education are those whose admission is primarily based on the completion of Year 12 within the last two years, however if you completed your secondary education more than two years ago, you may still be able to be considered on the basis of your secondary schooling. You must not have completed more than 2 years full time equivalent university study (48 units). You compete for a place with your Selection Rank (ATAR plus any applicable adjustment factors). Indigenous applicants may be eligible for entry through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Pathway. See Wirltu Yarlu for further information.
Prerequisites SACE Stage 2: Physics, Mathematical Methods (if studied year 12 prior to 2017, the equivalent subject was called Mathematical Studies) and Specialist Mathematics. IB: Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches (HL) and Physics (SL grade 4/HL grade 3). MathTrackX is an online bridging program available as a recognised alternative to Mathematical Methods.
Higher Education Study You must have completed at least six months full time equivalent higher education study (the number of courses and units will vary depending on your prior institution however at the University of Adelaide, this equates to 4 courses / 12 units). Applicants who have studied Physics 1 and/or Mathematics 1 at the University of Adelaide (or equivalent) must have achieved at least a credit grade average for these courses. A Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated for each separate program you have undertaken (apart from some double degree programs where the GPA is combined). You are ranked on the basis of your best GPA.
Work and life experience To be eligible to sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) as as pathway for entry, you must be 18 years or over before 1 February 2022. If you have studied at higher education level in the last two years (for 2022 entry this means you were enrolled in either 2021 or 2020), you must not have accumulated more than a TOTAL of 2 years full-time (or part-time equivalent) higher education study (ie. including any study prior to 2020). If you meet this criteria, you will be ranked according to your result in the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT). Your STAT result is not weighted between verbal and quantitative components. Indigenous applicants may be eligible for entry through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Pathway. See Wirltu Yarlu for further information.
Other Entry Pathways
How to Apply
SATAC Code: 324101

Student Profile
Applicant background Semester one/Full year intake 2021
Number of students Percentage of all students
(A) Higher Education study
(includes a bridging or enabling course)
N/A N/A
(B) Vocational education and training (VET) study n/a N/A
(C) Work and life experience
(admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three categories)
N/A N/A
(D) Recent secondary education:
  • Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR
    (regardless of whether this includes the consideration of adjustment factors)
27 87.1%
  • Admitted where both ATAR and additional criteria were considered
    (e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)
N/A N/A
  • Admitted on the basis of other criteria only and ATAR was not a factor
    (e.g. special consideration, audition alone, schools recommendation scheme with no minimum ATAR requirement)
<5 N/A
International students <5 N/A
All students 31 100.0%

Fees and Scholarships

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant fees and scholarships information for this program.
I am a:

Domestic applicants

Indicative annual tuition fees
Commonwealth-supported place

More information on Student Contribution Amounts.

Scholarships

These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

Find a Scholarship.

Careers

Career Readiness


You’ll be set to gain employment in space and astrophysical research, physics, and high-tech research and development in:

  • defence agencies
  • government (Bureau of Meteorology)
  • national space agencies
  • research institutes
  • universities.

The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

Graduate Attributes

The objective of this program is to produce graduates with specific attributes as outlined in University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes.
  1. Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
  2. Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
  3. Teamwork and communication skills
  4. Professionalism and leadership readiness
  5. Intercultural and ethical competency
  6. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency
  7. Digital capabilities
  8. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

Industry Placement

Throughout your degree, you can also apply for summer scholarships at the University and other institutions around Australia, where you can undertake a 6-week research project alongside professional astronomers and astrophysicists.

The practical component of the second year subject Space Science and Astrophysics II is all project work. You’ll work in small groups to explore a particular aspect of astrophysics research. Typically that can involve making optical observations with telescopes at the University observatory, or using data from satellite and ground-based observatories to understand the environments around extreme astronomical objects like pulsars and supernovae.

Potential careers

Atmospheric Chemist, Astronomer, Physicist, Aerospace Scientist, Defense Industry Scientist, Remote Sensing and GIS, Research Associates, Research Scientist, Environmental Scientist, Science Communicators, Science Educators, Scientific Data Analyst, Scientific Officer, Geophysics, Satellite Project Scientist, Space and Astrophysical Research, Space Scientist, Astrophysicist

Degree Structure

The program consists of core training in the disciplines of astronomy and space science, with a strong emphasis on physics.

Students are given the flexibility to supplement this core with their choice of other science, geoscience, and mathematically based work. They will have direct exposure to professionals in the fields of space science and astrophysics, which enables them to form professional mentoring relationships.

There are also opportunities to take part in project work with established scientists in the field and a six-week summer scholarship at the University or other institutions around Australia.

Academic Program Rules

The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.

Example Study Plan

Indicative study plan
Year1 S1 MATHS 1011: Mathematics IA PHYSICS 1100ND: Physics IA Approved Level I Elective 1 x 3 units COMP SCI 1101 Introduction to Programming*
OR
ENG 1002 Programming (Matlab and C)*
S2 MATHS 1012: Mathematics IB PHYSICS 1200ND: Physics IB PHYSICS 1007: Space Science and Astrophysics I COMP SCI 1101 Introduction to Programming*
OR
ENG 1002 Programming (Matlab and C)*
OR
Year2 S1 MATHS 2101: Multivariable and Complex Calculus MATHS 2102: Differential Equations PHYSICS 2510: Physics IIA Approved Level II Elective 1 x 3 units
S2 PHYSICS 2520: Physics IIB PHYSICS 2534: Electromagnetism II PHYSICS 2536: Space Science and Astrophysics II Approved Level II Elective 1 x 3 units
Year 3 S1 PHYSICS 3532: Atmospheric and Astrophysics III


PHYSICS 3542: Physics III Approved Level III Elective 1 x 3 units
S2 PHYSICS 3002: Experimental Physics III Approved Level III Elective 2 x 3 units
OR 
Approved Level III Elective 1 x 6 units
Approved Level III Elective 1 x 3 units
*one of these courses must be completed

Assessment

Varies with individual courses and includes a combination of assignments, reports, tests, practical work, tutorial preparation and exams.

Testimonial

Astrophysics is awesome! I have wanted to do this since I was a kid, and the space science and astrophysics degree opened up many opportunities. I was able to work on IceCube for my PhD, make a trip to the South Pole , and now, get to continue this research at the University of California, Berkeley.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Wednesday, 22 Sep 2021