AST4320 – Cosmology and Extragalactic Astronomy

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course provides an overview of extragalactic astronomy with an emphasis on the development of large-scale structures and galaxy formation. The first part of the course deals with the development of large structures from small perturbations and links the statistical properties of the cosmic density perturbations to the observed statistical properties of galaxies. The second part of this course focuses on the formation and evolution of galaxies as well as the link between the evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes. This section addresses many topics that are currently being actively researched, such as the small-scale problems of the model of cold dark matter, star formation throughout the history of the universe, the formation of supermassive black holes, supernovae, and active galaxy nuclei. 

Learning outcome

After completing this course: 

  • you will be able to apply Newtonian perturbation theory and understand linear structure formation as well as the statistical methods used to describe it.
  • you will understand the spherical collapse model in structure formation, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
  • you will understand the distribution and clustering of galaxies and how they depend on the cosmic density field.
  • you will have a good understanding of the role of the baryons in galaxy formation.
  • you will have knowledge of the research front in galaxy formation and extragalactic astronomy needed to carry out research projects in these areas.

Admission to the course

Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

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

Bachelor’s Degree from the programme Fysikk og astronomi (bachelor) or comparable.


Teaching extends over one semester. There are 4 hours of lectures and 2 hours of group sessions/tutorial exercises each week.


  • Midterm home exams in the form of four, written assignments, which count 10 % each towards the final grade (40 % in total). 
  • Oral presentation (20-25 minutes) towards the end of the semester, on a chosen topic related to the course content (a list of topics will be handed out). The presentation counts 20 % towards the final grade.
  • Final oral exam, which counts for 40 % towards the final grade.

The final grade is determined after an overall assessment of all the parts. 

Examination support material

You can use resources including lecture notes, textbooks, papers in the literature, and online resources for the assignments (home exam). Communication between classmates is also allowed. However, you must finish the work by yourself, and copying of others' work or previous years' assignments and solutions will be considered plagiarism. 

No examination support material is allowed on the final oral exam. The questions will not involve complex mathematical calculations.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response 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 .

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) June 30, 2022 4:10:10 PM

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