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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS3002 Advanced Techniques in Astrophysics

30 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Gavin Burnell

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is mutually exclusive with

PHYS3001Advanced Techniques in Experimental Physics
PHYS3003Advanced Techniques in Theoretical Physics
PHYS3004Advanced Techniques in Physics (Joint Honours)
PHYS3160Physics Project (Jh)

Module replaces

This would replace PHYS3777 on the above programmes.

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The ability to apply physical understanding and higher level problem solving skills to the processes in designing and carrying out experimental studies is essential for both higher level academic study in applied and experimental sciences and to many professional careers for astrophysicists. This module forms the bridge between the first and second year laboratory physics and astrophysics courses and the research focussed, open-ended projects of the 4th year Astrophysics programmes. In this module, students carry out extended, open-ended studies using techniques common place in the Astrophysics research group’s research programmes to hone skills in data handling and analysis. An optional opportunity for observational fieldwork will be provided where feasible.


This module will give the students and increased awareness of skills required in preparing, conducting, analysing and interpreting of a wide range of advanced astronomical observational techniques and data sets through the use of appropriate measurement, data analysis and statistical approaches and to communicate and defend their work in a variety of professional contexts.

Learning outcomes
1. Perform or evaluate advanced astrophysical experiments using high-tech experimental and analytical techniques.
2. Explain and apply a range of experimental, statistical and computational analytical techniques to data.
3. Develop problem solving skills and practical approaches to troubleshooting data analysis and management.
4. Present scientific findings and defend results and methodology in oral presentations to small groups and in extended written work, at an appropriate level and in a professional manner.
5. Communicating complex concepts succinctly and coherently in one-to-one situations.


Each student undertakes 3 "mini-projects" of 3 weeks from a list of appropriate techniques to astrophysics. When available, students may choose to substitute one mini-poroject studied during semester time with an approved fieldwork experiment normally taken prior to semester 1.
The list of potential projects reflects the research activity in the Astrophysics Research Group in the School of Physics and Astronomy, a typical list would include the following: Nebular Spectroscopy, Stellar Clusters, Radio Interferometry.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours148.00
Total Contact hours152.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Regular meetings with mini-project supervisors and demonstrators and discussion of interim results.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportFormal Report25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:31:38


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