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PHY3042 : Cosmology

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Danielle Leonard
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


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
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion116:0016:00Completion of summative problems
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study102:0020:00Completion of practice problems
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study421:0042:00Revision and consolidation of learning
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

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 exercises2M20Problem-solving exercises
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A substantial formal unseen examination is appropriate for the assessment of the material in this module. 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