Geena Glass: Astrophysics

Consider and be open to the freedom you could have at Melbourne with the Bachelor of Science, as you are able to select from so many different subject disciplines (in first year especially) that it's very easy to tailor a degree to you and what you like.

"Ever since I was a child I wanted to study the stars, and that inspired me to pursue astrophysics. That led to a general love of physics and mathematics, which is why I chose to major in Physics at university. I like understanding why things happen at a fundamental level and physics lets me do this."

There are opportunities to improve your knowledge of astrophysics throughout your Science degree. There are two first year subjects related to Astronomy. There are subjects examining the prospects for detecting life around other stars by studying questions in biology about how life began and the requirements for life, what makes a planet habitable and how the Earth has evolved, and in how the Universe began, how planets and stars form, how we are discovered exoplanets, and how we might detect evidence of life on planets around other stars. You can also study the fundamentals of modern astrophysics, and ask questions such as: “How did the Universe begin?”, “What is Dark Energy?”, “How do galaxies form?”, and “How do planets like our Solar System form?”

Students also have the opportunity to do a 6-week intensive project in astrophysics instead of some of the normal labs during their third year.

"The highlights of my studies thus far have been having the opportunity to get involved with so many extracurricular activities, and getting to know my department really well. The Physics department has a great relationship with students and makes you feel very welcome."

Geena's advice to students is to "Do your research and make sure you're aware of any prerequisite subjects you should be taking in year 12 to ensure you can continue with certain topics (such as maths) straight away, as some individual university subjects will have different prerequisites to the actual 'Bachelor of Science' course. Also, consider and be open to the freedom you could have at Melbourne with the Bachelor of Science, as you are able to select from so many different subject disciplines (in first year especially) that it's very easy to tailor a degree to you and what you like."

This story originally appeared on students and alumni of the Faculty of Science.

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