Extragalactic Astronomy (F3209)

15 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

This module covers:

  • Overview of observational cosmology – content of the Universe, incl. current evidence for Dark Matter and Dark Energy; evolution and eventual fate of the Universe; cosmic microwave background radiation; nucleosynthesis
  • Galaxy formation – linear perturbation theory; growth and collapse of spherical perturbations; hierarchical galaxy formation models
  • Galaxy structure and global properties – morphology; stellar populations; spectral energy distributions; galaxy scaling laws
  • Global properties of the interstellar medium
  • Statistical properties of the galaxy population – luminosity function; mass function; star-formation history of the Universe
  • How to detect astrophysical processes in distant galaxies using modern telescopes
  • Black holes and active galactic nuclei
  • Galaxy clusters and the intracluster medium; galaxy groups


67%: Lecture
33%: Practical (Workshop)


40%: Coursework (Problem Set, Report)
60%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 36 hours of contact time and 114 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.