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This micro-credential is aimed at up-skilling secondary-school teachers who are presenting astronomy in the Western Australian State curriculum. However, it also provides a solid foundation of the key topics in astronomy for anyone who has a passion to understand the Universe!

The Features of the Universe for Teachers course covers topics from why seasons occur on Earth, all the way to how stars and galaxies form and how it all started with the Big Bang. It highlights science as a human endeavour, constantly evolving and developing, and also discusses common misconceptions and how to address them when teaching astronomy concepts. The culmination of this unit will be for teachers to learn how to use the SPIRIT robotic 1 metre optical telescope and go through all the steps of observational astronomy, from planning of observations to interpreting the data to better understand the Universe we live in.

Course Structure

This course teaches everything you need to know about the fundamentals of Astronomy, and also provides  an understanding of current techniques for both observing the Universe and analysing real astronomical data.

Key topics include:

  • Modelling the relative movements of the Earth, Sun and Moon and how natural phenomena such as seasons, solar and lunar eclipses and phases of the moon occur
  • Historical development of models of the Solar System
  • The structure of the Sun
  • The life cycles of stars
  • The evolution of galaxies
  • The theory of the Big Bang and the expansion of the Universe
  • Misconceptions in astronomy and how to address them
  • Basic concepts of optical astronomy and how to use a robotic telescope.

This course is delivered as a series of online lectures (1-2h), where 1-2 lectures will be provided to students each week, and live sessions on using the SPIRIT telescope. All resources, including lecture recordings, lecture slides, assignment details and additional material will be provided online such that students can return to these at any point.

Upon successful completion, you’ll receive:

  • Two (2) PD Points
  • A Certificate of Achievement
  • A UWA Plus Professional Development Transcript, listing all successfully completed micro-credentials

Delivery mode
Fully online, live and pre-recorded

Course dates
Semester 2 – 02 September 2024 – 01 November 2024 

Applications close
Semester 2 – 26 August 2024

9 weeks

Total effort
50 hours


Base level: $400. Discounts will apply based on school ICSEA (please contact us for further details)

Course lead
Dr Luke Davies

Associated Staff

Tim Young 

Leah Kalimeris 

Professor Luca Cortese 


Enrol here