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AST4320 - Cosmology and extragalactic astronomy

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The first part of the course treats galaxies, active galactic nuclei, and galaxy clusters. In the second part theories for the formation of structures in the Universe and methods for observing them are discussed.

Learning outcome

After completing this course you should be able to:

  • Describe the different types of galaxies and their physical properties. You should know how the rotation curve of the Milky Way is measured, and treat models for galactic stellar populations and dark matter distributions quantitatively.
  • Treat models for clusters of galaxies and methods for determining their masses and dark matter distributions.
  • Apply Newtonian perturbation theory and understand the evolution of structures in the linear regime, and the statistical methods for describing them.
  • Understand the spherical collapse model for structure formation, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
  • Describe how gravitational lenses can be used as a tool to study structures in the Universe, and apply them quantitatively in idealized situations.


Students at UiO must apply for courses in StudentWeb.

International applicants, if you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants.

The examination in this course is not available for external candidates. Only students admitted to the course may sit for the examination.


Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor degree of the Fysikk, astronomi og meteorologi (bachelor's) programme or comparable.


4 hours of lectures and 2 hours of tutorials each week.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


A final written examination will constitute 70% of the final grade. A mid-term test (home or in classroom) will constitute 30% of the final grade. A number of compulsory home exercises without grading may also be given.

Examination support material

All non-communicative resources.

Language of examination

If the course is taught in english, written exams will be given in english.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination may resit an exam at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Special examination arrangements

If you have a disability or a health problem that entails significant inconvenience in an examination situation, you may be considered for special examination arrangements. Mothers who are breastfeeding may apply for extra time to complete the exam.


Feedback from our students is essential to us in our efforts to ensure and further improve the high quality of our programmes and courses. All courses are subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students on a particular course to participate in a more comprehensive, periodic evaluation of this course.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on demand)