AST9240 – Cosmological component separation

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course provides an overview of radio and microwave astronomy and observations in modern cosmology. It provides thorough training in Bayesian component separation with cosmological applications, emphasizing observations of the cosmic background radiation.

Learning outcome

After completing the course you should have the following skills:

  • Basic knowledge of the physical processes of radio and microwave radiation from the Milky Way and other galaxies
  • Knowledge of modern methods for component separation, including Bayesian parameter estimation
  • Overview of relevant data sets for the analysis of cosmic background radiation and other cosmological signals, including COMAP, PASIPHAE, Planck, SPIDER, WMAP etc.
  • Use the Commander software package to analyse observations of the cosmic background radiation


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been granted admissions to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student by 30th of April. It will not be possible to enrol in the course once teaching has started. For further information, please follow this link.

A maximum of 15 students per year. Applicants from INTPART institutions in the Global Component Separation Network, including UiO, will be prioritised.


Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor’s Degree from the Physics and Astronomy Program, AST3220 Cosmology I and AST5220 Cosmology II

Overlapping courses

5 credits overlap with AST5240 – Cosmological component separation


This is an intensive course with lectures and student-active group exercises. The course will last for two weeks with 20 hours of lectures and the rest of the time will consist of project work. Teaching will take place during the two last weeks of August in the autumn semester. It will not be possible to sign up for classes once teaching has started. Students are expected to give an oral presentation of the project work at the end of the second week of the course. Students are also to submit a written report two weeks after completion of the course.

Compulsory attendance.


Individual project assignment with oral presentation and written submission.

The student should first reproduce a known component separation case and then expand this with a data set of their choice.

Examination support material

Project assignment with all aids allowed.

Language of examination

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

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language