Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

PHAS5130M Cosmology

15 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Stuart Lumsden

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

An understanding of Physics and Mathematics at first year University level or equivalent in basic calculus, quantum mechanics and thermodynamics is essential.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module introduces students to modern Cosmology. You will see how the geometry of the Universe affects its evolution, and how the contents of the Universe shape its geometry. You will study how we make measurements of distant stars and galaxies to study the properties of the expansion of the Universe, as well as studying the physics of the early Universe, when the seeds of the objects that turned into the Galaxies around us were first created. The course will cover from the first 10^-43 seconds through to the present day.Module is jointly taught with PHYS3011 (additional assessment component suitable for level M)


This module provides the fundamental knowledge for understanding the basis for both observational and theoretical cosmology.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes
Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application of:
1. identify the observational evidence for a Big Bang;
2. derive and utilize the equations that describe the evolution of the universe;
3. explain methods used to measure fundamental cosmological parameters;
4. discuss possible problems of the Big Bang Theory;
5. derive how structure forms in the Universe.

Skills Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills:
Problem solving and modelling


I) Observational Clues for Big Bang Cosmology
II) Cosmological Model Building: Friedmann Equations
III) Deriving the dependence of the fundamental parameters on the contents and geometry of the Universe;
IV) ”Freeze-out” in cosmology: nucleosynthesis: the formation of the elements;
V) Problems with the canonical Big Bang and (the need for) Inflation: Horizon, Flatness, Vacuum energy, GUTs;
VI) Structure Formation: Jeans Mass, CMBR anisotropies;
VII) The Very Early Universe: Planck scales.

Methods of Assessment

We are currently refreshing our modules to make sure students have the best possible experience. Full assessment details for this module are not available before the start of the academic year, at which time details of the assessment(s) will be provided.

Assessment for this module will consist of:

1 x Coursework
1 x Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours123.00
Total Contact hours27.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Workshops, and follow-ups.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2024


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019