- ARCHIVE as at 1 September 2014

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Discovering Astronomy (PHYS08039)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionDiscovering Astronomy is an introductory astronomy course that should be accessible to any student. We assume a basic level of numeracy, but no mathematics more complicated than simple algebra and simple trigonometry is used. The course covers a wide range of topics including The Solar System, Star and Planet Formation, Extrasolar Planets, Stellar Evolution, The Milky Way Galaxy, Galaxy Formation, Cosmology, and the Big Bang. The course has a set textbook that we follow quite closely and is supported by online material accessed from the course homepage.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2014/15 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Class Delivery Information Students are expected to attend 5 one hour tutorial/practical sessions - one every 2 weeks as arranged.
Course Start Date 15/09/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Summative Assessment Hours 12, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 144 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 67 %, Coursework 33 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Discovering Astronomy2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)Discovering Astronomy2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course the student should:
1) have a thorough understanding, at the appropriate level, of the basic observational results of stellar astrophysics and of the theoretical tools used in their interpretation.
2) understand the physics of the internal structure of a main sequence star
3) understand the current knowledge of formation of stars and planets
4) know how stars evolve from the main sequence, how they transmute the elements in their cores and how this relates to the history of the Universe
5) understand the ways in which different stars die: white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes
6) understand the stellar context of the astronomy of the Universe
7) know the properties and history of our Milky Way Galaxy, and our place within it
8) Understand the origin and evolution of the major types of galaxies
9) Understand in outline the properties of massive black holes and the relativistic jets associated with them
10) Understand, at an appropriate level, current cosmology
Assessment Information
5 x Tutorial hand-ins (best 4 of 5 count 1/6 of final mark)
1 x Coursework (1/6 of final mark)
1 x Final exam (2/3 of final mark)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Philip Best
Course secretaryMiss Paula Wilkie
Tel: (0131) 668 8403
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