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Saturday, 21 July 2012

Still no idea what uni course I'll be doing in 2013

Since the shock announcement that JCU was closing down its Centre for Astronomy (probably at the end of this year, although there's been hardly any official information from the uni administration), I've been looking at my options for continuing my astronomy post-grad studies 2013. I've started investigation prospective supervisors for a higher degree by research at the three local unis that have strong astronomy research departments, but in case I'm not accepted into a higher research degree (MRes, MPhil or PhD) at any of them, I've also contracted Swinburne University to check what unit credits I might get towards their MSc(Astronomy) course.

If I can get credit for 6 units at Swinburne (based on similar subjects I completed for the JCU MOA), that would leave another 6 units to complete for their MSc. These units would include four 'research project' units in various astronomy topics. Completing more 'research' courses might help with any future applications I make for PhD candidature (and will be a lot of fun). Unfortunately each Swinburne unit will cost me 50% more than a JCU subject did (despite being only half the credit point value), so even if I'm granted credit for half the Swinburne MSc units the MSc degree would end up costing me 50% more than the JCU MOA did.

There's also a possibility that the entire 'Centre for Astronomy' staff and courses will move to another uni in 2013. The prospective uni does cater for part-time, distance education HDR students, so there may be an opportunity for me to do my PhD there (if the move goes ahead). In the meantime I'll just have to keep all my options open.

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Janet Z. said...

I happened upon your blog while doing research on online graduate programs for astronomy/astrophysics. It's very disappointing to hear this one is shutting down, and I was wondering if you could tell me what university is being considered to host the PhD now? I'm also looking at Swinburne, but of course that ends with the MSc. I have a MSc. in IT, and am currently working on a PhD part-time, but am questioning the path I am on and whether or not I should take the risk inherent in pursuing this course of study.

I also see nothing on the JCU site about the program's closure, although I'd noticed the link for international applicants was broken. said...

Swinburne does have a PhD, but its only available on campus (PT or FT) and not via distance education.

As the negotiations to move the JCU course to a new uni might be sensitive (and confidential) at this stage, I won't say which uni it is. But if any definite info comes out I'll post about it. said...

It now looks like the move of the JCU astronomy department to USQ is just-about 'official'. The University of Southern Queensland already has an astronomy program, which includes the possibility of doing a PhD part-time.