AST2000 – Introduction to Astrophysics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 we plan for teaching and examinations to be conducted as described in the course description and on semester pages. However, changes may occur due to the corona situation. You will receive notifications about any changes at the semester page and/or in Canvas.

Spring 2020: Teaching and examinations was digitilized. See changes and common guidelines for exams at the MN faculty spring 2020.

Course content

This course provides an introduction to different astrophysical subjects with focus on the underlying physical processes, solving problems numerically and data analysis. Some examples include orbital calculations, search for planets around distant stars, stellar evolution from birth to supernova explosions, compact stars, galactic dynamics, dark matter, the theory of relativity and black holes.

Learning outcome

After completing this course:

  • you will obtain knowledge about basic astrophysical problems.
  • you will be able to explain the physical processes behind astrophysical phenomena.
  • you will get practice in solving astrophysical problems by the combination of analytical calculations and programming numerical algorithms.
  • you will obtain basic knowledge about statistical methods for analysing data.
  • you will get practice in analysing data from astronomical observations and connect these observations with theoretical models for the underlying physical processes.
  • you will get practice in formal written communication of physics through written reports in the form of scientific papers or popular science communication through the writing of a blogs.
  • you will get practice in critical thinking and the scientific method through written evaluation of the results of your own work.

Admission to the course

Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Special admission requirements

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

Two semesters of the Fysikk og astronomi (bachelor) or comparable. It will require considerable extra effort to complete the course without the necessary prerequisites in mathematics, physics and programming.

Overlapping courses


It is compulsory to be present at the first lecture. Please contact the course coordinator or the study administration before teaching starts if you are unable to attend the first lecture. Failure to inform of your absence at the first lecture will result in you losing your place in the course.

Teaching extends over one semester. There are four hours of interactive lectures per week and the opportunity to attend up to six hours of group sessions/tutorial exercises/project work each week (3 group sessions, each 2 hours per week).


Students can choose between two assessment alternatives:

Alternative 1: For this assessment, the final grade is based on a combination of a home exam consisting of a set of exercises to be handed in (comprising approximately 40% in the grade assessment), as well as a final 4 hour written examination (comprising approximately 60% in the grade assessment). In this case, the final grade is determined by an overall assessment of the results of the two exams.

Alternative 2: For this assessment, the student will prepare a major project, combined with a written report and possibly followed by an oral presentation. The topics covered and tested in the project will be equivalent to topics tested in alternative 1. The final grade is determined by an assessment of the project.

Examination support material

  • Angel/Øgrim og Lian: Fysiske størrelser og enheter
  • Rottman: Mathematical formula collection
  • Calculator (approved type)

Language of examination

The examination text is given in Norwegian. You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or 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.

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination 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, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) July 5, 2020 3:30:02 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language