Astrochemistry and Planetary Atmospheres (F1400)

15 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

Gain an overview of the chemistry that governs the observation, formation and transformation of molecules in various astronomical environments. This includes stars, comets and planetary atmospheres.

You will explore:

  • how spectroscopy can be used to identify molecules in astronomical environments
  • the chemistry that governs the formation and destruction of these molecules, in the gas and solid phase in astronomical environments
  • the chemistry in a broad range of physical conditions that governs the behaviour of different planets’ atmospheres
  • laboratory techniques that can be used to investigate astrochemical and atmospheric processes.


69%: Lecture
31%: Practical (Workshop)


30%: Coursework (Essay)
70%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 32 hours of contact time and about 118 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: