Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitSchool of Mathematical Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway


The characteristics of life, how life first appeared on the earth, whether these conditions can be expected to occur on other planets, the formation of stars and planets, the dynamics of planetary orbits and the habitable zones around stars, different kinds of stars and the light they emit, whether consciousness arises from elementary interactions between atoms and molecules, whether computers can be said to be conscious, the final state of the universe and the implications for any life present.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Appreciate how the development of life is dependent on the conditions in the physical universe;

  1. Understand the necessary conditions for life and how species evolve;

  1. Appreciate how life depends on energy from the stars;

  1. Recognise the significance of solar system dynamics in providing the thermal requirements for life;

  1. Discuss modern theories of star and planet formation and evolution, and recognise the types of stars in galaxies;

  1. Theorise on the possibilities of other life forms;

  1. Discuss the development of consciousness;

  1. Understand how the universe will evolve, and what this means for the future of life in the universe.


Examination (3 hours): 50%
Support class work: 30%
Project work: 10%
Assignments: 10%
Student must pass the final examination to be granted a pass grade

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour laboratory class per week


Secondary science to Year 11 and mathematics to Year 12 (recommended)