Galaxies and their Place in the Universe - 2017

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP3
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Assignment - Newsgroups (30%) , Essay (50%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 2,440.00
Domestic continuing 2,084.00
International 2,690.00
International continuing 2,334.00

Tuition fees are reduced for continuing registered SWI students.
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This unit aims to provide an introduction to galaxies and galaxy clustering, theories of dark matter, galaxy formation and evolution.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the 'big questions' in galactic and extragalactic astronomy, and the current state of our knowledge on these questions
  2. Understand the concepts of galaxy formation and evolution
  3. Understand the way galaxies are classified and the approaches used to discover their properties
  4. Communicate basic principles and concepts about our and other galaxies, their properties and their constituents in a non-technical way understandable to the wider public
  5. Research an astronomy topic in depth, using dependable sources of astronomical information on the internet and refereed journal articles.
  • Assignment — Newsgroups (30%)
  • Essay (50%)
  • Test (20%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • HET624 — Galaxies and their Place in the Universe

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1The Milky Way: structure, rotation curves and dark matter, spiral arms & density wave theory, galactic centre, modelling the origin of the Milky Way
2The structure and classification of normal galaxies: spiral, elliptical & irregular galaxies, Hubble's classification
3Estimating galactic distances: standard candles, sizes and masses, redshifts & Hubble's Law
4Galactic structures: the Local Group, dwarf galaxies, dark matter in clusters, superclusters & voids
5Star formation: measuring rates and evolution, techniques and relationships
6Quasars and active galaxies: host galaxies, radio and Seyfert galaxies, unified active galactic nuclei model, black holes, gravitational lensing
7Interacting galaxies, galactic cannibalism & mergers, starburst galaxies, modelling galaxy interactions
8Galaxy formation and evolution, fluctuations and galaxy seeds, Jeans mass, N-body simulations, Cold Dark Matter
9The first stars & galaxies: the dark ages, Population III stars, galaxies & quasars at high redshift, the evolution of clusters, faint blue galaxies
10Quasar absorbers, evolution of gas in the Universe, the intergalactic medium

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Universe 10e Reprint

    By:Freedman Roger A.

    ISBN: 9781319042387


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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