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PHY3042 : Cosmology

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Danielle Leonard
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


To enable students to gain an understanding of the standard cosmological model (describing the constituents, history, and large-scale physical laws of the Universe), as well as how astronomical observations inform our understanding of this model.

Outline Of Syllabus

Describing an expanding Universe:
The Friedmann, acceleration & fluid equations,
Spatial curvature,
Radiation and matter in the Universe,
The cosmological constant,
Distances in an expanding Universe.

The early Universe:
Cosmic microwave background radiation,
Big-bang nucleosynthesis,

Our standard cosmological model and modern observational cosmology:
The LCDM (Lambda – Cold Dark Matter) Model,
Cosmic microwave background anisotropies,
The matter power spectrum.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion21:002:00Completion of final examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion116:0016:00Completion of summative problems
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study401:0040:00Revision and consolidation of learning
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study102:0020:00Completion of practice problems
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching methods are appropriate to allow students to develop a wide range of skills, from understanding basic concepts and facts to higher-order thinking. Lectures are used for the delivery of theory and explanation of methods, illustrated with examples, and for giving general feedback on marked work. Lectures will include integrated interactive teaching methods and worked examples of problems such as would normally occur in a problems class.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises2M5Problem-solving exercises assessment
Prob solv exercises2M5Problem-solving exercises assessment
Prob solv exercises2M5Problem-solving exercises assessment
Prob solv exercises2M5Problem-solving exercises assessment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A substantial formal unseen and closed-book examination is appropriate for the assessment of the learning outcomes in this module. The format of the examination will enable students to reliably demonstrate their own knowledge, understanding and application of learning outcomes. The assurance of academic integrity forms a necessary part of programme accreditation.

Examination problems may require a synthesis of concepts and strategies from different sections, while they may have more than one ways for solution. The examination time allows the students to test different strategies, work out examples and gather evidence for deciding on an effective strategy, while carefully articulating their ideas and explicitly citing the theory they are using.

A coursework assessment is also included for the purpose of supporting learning, providing skills practice, and promoting assessment literacy. In keeping with the University Framework for Assessment Design, this coursework is a lower-stakes summative assessment rather than a formative assessment, in recognition that this is likely to be more beneficial than a formative assessment in encouraging broad student engagement.

Reading Lists