Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Successful completion of Years 1 and 2 (PSP or Astrophysics) (PH24610, PH28310)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 16 hours
Other Research essay and Assignment Sheets
Workload Breakdown Every 10 credits carries a notional student workload of 100 hours: 16 hours Lectures, 20 hours Assignment Sheets, 24 hours Research Essay and preparation, 40 hours independent study


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   60%
Semester Assessment 2 x Assignment Sheets (2 x 10%)  20%
Semester Assessment Research Essay (6 journal pages inlcuidng diagrams)  20%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Describe the main galaxy types and their evolution
2. Describe the essential morphological, dynamical, and chemical properties of galaxies in the local Universe
3. Demonstrate a knowledge of the simple physics of galactic systems
4. Show knowledge of key ideas in the processes involved Active Galactic Nuclei
5. Explain importance of the new branches of astronomy that have developed over the past 50 years and how they added to the knowledge of galaxies
6. Explain the basic physical processes that generate signals over the whole spectrum

Brief description

The course provides an overview to galactic astrophysics, considering galactic formation, dynamics and evolution.


The physical properties, structure and morphology of the galaxies are studied. The subject of galactic dynamics is introduced.

The development of different branches of astronomy, such as radio, x-ray and y-ray astronomy, has greatly enlarged the radius of the observable Universe and uncovered many strange objects that have provided a major stimulus to the whole of physics.

The kinetics of galactic rotation indicates the controlling influence of hidden mass distributed throughout a volume of space much larger than the limits of the Galaxy previously imagined.

The presence of hidden mass is also indicated by the kinetics of clusters of galaxies. The accretion of mass under the pull of a strong central gravitational field, possibly centred on a black hole, is thought to provide the energy to fuel quasars and radio galaxies.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number All questions set in assignments and formal examinations will include numerical problems
Communication Written communication is developed via the research essay and lecture assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Formative assignments are used in order that students might reflect on their progress during the module.
Information Technology Students will be required to research topics within the module via the internet. Word processing (or equivalent) skills will be required for the essay.
Personal Development and Career planning The module will highlight the latest developments in this field and hence will assist with career development. Analytical skills have wide applicability.
Problem solving Problem solving is a key skill in physics and will be tested via the quality problem questions posed in the examination.
Research skills A research essay, for which students are required to independently research their selected project area ,forms 20% of the module assessment.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 6