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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Physics

PHYS51545: Astrophysics

Type Tied Level 5 Credits 45 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to G5K609 Scientific Computing and Data Analysis [Final intake in October 2022]



Excluded Combination of Modules


  • Introduction to the basic research skills needed by postgraduate research students; develop general background.


  • This module teaches you state-of-the-art research and science across a broad range of astrophysics, from stellar populations to galaxy formation and high-energy astrophysics.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Basic computing, accessing databases, scripts, presentation skills, specific research background.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Basic computing
Key Skills:
  • Presentation skills

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Stellar structure and evolution 4 1 per week 60 minutes 4
Stellar Populations 4 1 per week 60 minutes 4
AGN and black holes 8 2 per week 60 minutes 8
Cosmology 8 2 per week 60 minutes 8
Galaxy Formation 8 2 per week 60 minutes 8
The Intergalactic Medium and the Interstellar Medium 8 2 per week 60 minutes 8
The Milky Way 4 1 per week 60 minutes 4
Large-scale structure 6 2 per week 60 minutes 8
Clusters and Groups of Galaxies 8 2 per week 60 minutes 8
Gravitational lensing 4 1 per week 60 minutes 4
The high-z universe 4 1 per week 60 minutes 4
Instrumentation in astronomy 8 2 per week 60 minutes 8
Stellar dynamics 8 2 per week 60 minutes 8
Cosmological simulations 12 3 per week 60 minutes 12
Self-study and reading 354

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Coursework 1 25%
Coursework 2 25%
Coursework 3 25%
Coursework 4 25%

Formative Assessment:

Through unmarked homework and feedback on the coursework

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University