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Astrobiology is the study of the search for life elsewhere in the universe, the origin of life on Earth, and the future of life on Earth. This course has emerged from UNSW's Australian Centre for Astrobiology, which is deeply embedded in the search for life on Mars and the origin of life on Earth. This course is fully online and there is no final exam.

Students will get an overview of the interdisciplinary nature of astrobiology. The science ranges from our origin in the Big Bang at the beginning of the universe to the study of microbes that live in extreme environments on Earth, how life and our planet evolved together and the search for life elsewhere in our solar system and beyond. Astrobiology seeks to answer our most profound question: Are we alone in the universe?

This course addresses astrobiology at an intermediate level from the microbiological, geological and palaeobiological perspectives to the development of life on Earth and the search for life elsewhere in the universe. It is strongly interdisciplinary allow all science majors to view the relevance of other areas of science to their discipline. It also offers a possible pathway for a student to consider pursing their major within the astrobiology context.

Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 2



Indicative contact hours



Additional Information

This course is offered as General Education.

Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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