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Undergraduate subject


Mātai Kōkōrangi

23 October 2023

Astronomy in recent years has been one of the most rapidly expanding of all physical sciences and many exciting and unexpected discoveries continue to be made.





Astronomy is the study of matter and radiation throughout all time and space.

Astronomers use the latest technological advancements to do this, making this field one of the most rapidly expanding of all physical sciences.


What will my study involve?

  • Some of the topics you will study include planets, the evolution of stars, black holes, the structure and evolution of galaxies, and dark matter and dark energy.
  • You will get the opportunity to observe at Ōtehīwai — University of Canterbury Mount John Observatory — the best optical astronomical research centre in Aotearoa.
  • We are the only university in Aotearoa to teach Astronomy at all levels of study.



Astronomy major

For the major in the Bachelor of Science, complete the following courses:


COSC131 Introduction to Programming for Engineers is also recommended.


MATH202 Differential Equations and MATH203 Linear Algebra are also recommended.


If you intend to go onto postgraduate study, you will need to take another two ASTR or PHYS courses at 300-level, and another two MATH or STAT courses at 300-level.

It is recommended that you include PHYS326 Classical Mechanics and Symmetry Principles, or you can take PHYS456 in the first your of your postgraduate degree.

Astronomy minor

For the minor in the Bachelor of Arts, Commerce, Digital Screen, Health Sciences, Product Design, Science, Social and Environmental Sustainability, Sport, or Youth and Community Leadership, complete the following courses:



Career opportunities

If you are considering studying Astronomy and Astrophysics, you probably have a natural curiosity about how things work. An Astronomy degree could lead you towards being a part of the many exciting and unexpected discoveries we have yet to make about our universe.

Through your studies, you will learn skills like computer modelling, data analysis, problem-solving, computer programming, and communication, which also opens up pathways beyond astronomy.

Career pathways could include:

  • astronomer and other scientific fields (physicist, meteorologist, geophysicist)
  • technical writer
  • data analysis and information technology
  • science communication, teaching, and media.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Astronomy.

Related brochures

Undergraduate Prospectus

Whakatairanga Ākonga

Download (application/pdf, 7 MB)

International Prospectus 2024/2025

Download (application/pdf, 6 MB)
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