The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook

Description

Astrobiology is the branch of science that explores these three big questions: How did life begin and evolve? Does life exist elsewhere in the Universe? and What is the future of life on Earth and beyond? Through a multidisciplinary approach, you will be introduced to a range of ideas and concepts that explore these questions, including the co-evolution of life and our planet, sociological perspectives on the Origin of Life, The Big Bang theory, searching for life in the universe, the drake equation, extremophiles on earth, and life on Mars. You will explore the content of this course through a range of online activities including videos, online lectures, a virtual excursion and remote access lab.


Availability2019 Course Timetables

Online

  • Semester 2 - 2019

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Recognise and describe a range of perspectives and processes regarding the origins of life.

2. Identify biosignatures and methods of testing for life beyond Earth.

3. Explain the conditions required for life to exist.


Content

  • How did life begin and evolve? Sociological perspectives on the origins of life, Cosmology, planetary and galactic habitable zones, comets.
  • Does life exist elsewhere in the universe? Biosignatures, Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and space exploration looking for evidence of life.
  • What is the future of life on Earth and beyond? Resiliency of life on Earth and factors for habitability.

Requisites

To enrol in this course students must have successfully completed 40 units of study at the undergraduate level.

Students must have successfully completed at least 40 units in order to enrol in this course.


Assumed knowledge

Understanding of university level report writing and reference styles.


Assessment items

Quiz: Weekly Quizzes

Written Assignment: Remote Laboratory Activity

Project: Design your own habitable planet


Contact hours

Online

Online Activity

Online 120 hour(s) per Term Full Term starting in week 1

a minimum 10 hours per week is expected