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ASP1022: Life in the universe - astrobiology

Faculty of Science

Life in the universe - astrobiology

Check the Handbook for the latest unit information.


This unit focuses on understanding astronomical, geological, chemical, biological and technological conditions necessary for primitive and intelligent life. The topics covered include: stellar and planetary formation, dynamics of planetary orbits, detection and properties of extrasolar planets, habitability, chemical and biological characteristics of life, how life first appeared on the Earth and how life depends on energy from the stars, probabilities of life forming on other planets, artificial life and artificial intelligence, interstellar travel and colonisation, the fate of the Universe and the implications for any life present.


1 - In-semester activities - 60% 2 - Examination (2 hours and 10 minutes) - 40%


The workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours spread across the semester (roughly 12 hours per week) - approximately an even mixture of online participation in scheduled activities (including seminars, laboratories and optional applied "drop-in" sessions) and self-scheduled study time (supported by readings, videos and Moodle quizzes).