Modules List

4

Level 4 Modules

Introduction to Astronomy

Introduction to Cosmology

IT for Astronomy

Energy, Matter and the Universe

Investigations in Astronomy

Sun, Earth and Climate

Introduction to Astrobiology

Great Astronomers in History

5

Level 5 Modules

The Milky Way

Galaxies Beyond the Milky Way

UV, Optical and IR Astronomy

Exploring the Solar System

Solar Astrophysics

Solar-Stellar Connection

6

Level 6 Modules

Astronomy Dissertation

Origins

Cosmology and Relativity

Extreme States of Matter

Collaborative Investigation

LEVEL 4 MODULES

Introduction to Astronomy

Module Code: AA1051

In this module you will study both observational and theoretical aspects of astronomy, including the night sky, telescopes, stars, stellar lifetimes and energy sources, galaxies and cosmology. You do not need to have your own telescope or binoculars to complete this module. Students are invited to an optional weekend course at the University's Alston Observatory.

Introduction to Cosmology

Module Code: AA1053

This module begins to explain how the Universe began and subsequently developed to its present observed form. You will learn how the Big Bang created all elementary particles, about processes that led to the formation of today's galaxies, galaxy clusters and larger-scale structures, and how we can probe the cosmological history of the Universe.

IT for Astronomy

Module Code: AA1055

Gain an introduction to the application of Information Technology in astronomy. After a brief review of office applications, the module provides notes and practical exercises in the astronomical application of IT. Self-study exercises are biased towards applications appropriate for astronomy and cosmology, using Internet resources.

Energy, Matter and the Universe

Module Code: AA1056

You will acquire a quantitative understanding of the physical and mathematical concepts underlying astrophysical processes and a foundation for study at Levels 5 and 6 in astronomy.

Investigations in Astronomy

Module Code: AA1057

As part of a larger award, you have an opportunity for a more detailed investigation into the topics of the other modules. You will normally cover three topics which might be: the astronomical distance ladder, exploration of the Cosmic Microwave background, the development of large ground-based telescopes, active galaxies, galactic structure and space technology.

Sun, Earth and Climate

Module Code: AA1058

Starting with an exploration of the Sun, Earth and Climate as complex systems, this module then looks at the interactions that cause them to be interlinked. You will study developments on astronomical, geological, historical and annual time scales and gain an understanding of the context of such matters as climate change and space weather. Practical exercises extend this understanding and develop appropriate scientific skills.

Introduction to Astrobiology

Module Code: AA1059

This introduction to astrobiology course provides you with a basic knowledge of chemistry and astronomy appropriate for the understanding of the biochemistry underpinning life in the Universe.

Great Astronomers in History

Module Code: AA1066

You will explore the discoveries of key European astronomers in the context of the times they worked in. Starting with the nature and history of science, you will work from the Ancient Greeks through Nicholas Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Jeremiah Horrocks, Isaac Newton and William Herschel to an understanding of the the progress of both scientific discovery and the changing view of science.

LEVEL 5 MODULES

The Milky Way

Module Code: AA2051

You will build upon what you learnt about stars and our Galaxy in AA1051 Introduction to Astronomy to develop a broad understanding of The Milky Way. You will learn about observations of the overall structure of the Galaxy in which we live, concluding with the black hole at its centre. You will also gain an overview of many of the processes that are responsible for shaping the content of the Galaxy and guiding its evolution over time. Assessments include a researched essay and question sheets involving problem-solving and explanations.

Galaxies Beyond the Milky Way

Module Code: AA2052

Using your knowledge of our own Galaxy, you will be introduced to Galaxies beyond the Milky Way. You will use multi-waveband observations coupled to basic physical principles to understand the phenomena of galaxies in the Universe.

UV, Optical and IR Astronomy

Module Code: AA2053

In this module you will develop your understanding of techniques and processess that underlie astronomical observations. You will learn about the effects of the Earth's atmosphere on observations, telescopes, the uses of photometry, and how detectors including CCD work.

Exploring the Solar System

Module Code: AA2054

Our understanding of the Solar System is constantly changing as new results from space research emerge. This module will bring your view of the Solar System up-to-date, using results from recent space missions.

Solar Astrophysics

Module Code: AA2055

Solar Astrophysics provides a broad introduction to the subject, involving a mixture of theoretical and observational approaches to demonstrate and explain various solar phenomena. You will learn about the overall structure of the sun, including the use of solar neutrinos and helioseismology to probe its interior, the importance of the magnetic field in determining its surface features and the problem of coronal heating.

Solar-Stellar Connection

Module Code: AA2056

You will build upon the stellar astronomy and astrophysics covered in AA1051 or equivalent and your level-5 study of the Sun (AA2055). You will study the links between solar astrophysics and a range of stellar phenomena and topics in stellar astrophysics. You will explore in detail the evolution of sun-like stars from their formation to their endpoints as white dwarfs.

LEVEL 6 MODULES

Astronomy Dissertation

Module Code: AA3050

The dissertation is an extended piece of work that you will undertake in your final year of study for the BSc. It requires research by way of a literature search and/or web search of up-to-date material. You choose your own dissertation topic, subject to availability of a member of staff with the necessary expertise for effective supervision in that topic, and the availability of appropriate learning resources.

Origins

Module Code: AA3051

In this module you will explore a selection of topics that are drawn from projects regarded as 'cutting edge research' in astronomy or astrophysics. Examples include the insights into galaxy formation in the early universe, drawing on recent results from space-based telescopes and state-of-the-art numerical simulations, and the discovery and characterisation of extrasolar planets.

Cosmology and Relativity

Module Code: AA3053

You will build upon the introduction to cosmology provided by AA1053, by adopting a more mathematical approach to cosmology and relativity. You will be presented with the essentials of the subject, emphasising the underlying physics and the observational consequences.

Extreme States of Matter

Module Code: AA3056

In this module you will cover in depth a limited number of physical concepts that describe the behaviour of matter in extreme conditions using astrophysical examples to illustrate the concepts.

Collaborative Investigation

Module Code: AA3057

You will collaborate in small groups with other students to research and study a current astronomical topic. Your research will draw on recent results and research-level articles. Finally your group will produce a report and electronic presentation of your work.