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Semester 1

Discovering Astronomy (PHYS08039)


Physics and Astronomy





Normal Year Taken


Delivery Session Year



It is recommended that students have Higher or GCSE maths, or equivalent.

Course Summary

Discovering Astronomy is an introductory astronomy course that should be accessible to any student. We assume a basic level of numeracy, but no mathematics more complicated than simple algebra and simple trigonometry is used. The course covers a wide range of topics, from understanding our Sun and Solar System through to Cosmology and the Big Bang. The course has a set textbook that we follow quite closely and is supported by online material accessed from the course homepage.

Course Description

Syllabus:- History of Astronomy- Gravity and planetary motions- Our Sun- The Solar System- Telescopes & observational astronomy- Extrasolar planets- The evolution of stars- White dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes- Our Milky Way galaxy- The formation and evolution of galaxies- Cosmology and the Big Bang

Assessment Information

Written Exam 67%, Coursework 33%, Practical Exam 0%

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