Certificate in Astronomy and Planetary Science
On this page
If you’re fascinated by astronomy and planetary science, this certificate course provides a good basic introduction and equips you with the skills for further study. In the first module you’ll investigate the stars and their life cycles; galaxies and quasars; and the origin and evolution of the universe – and how it might continue to evolve in the future. In the second and final module, you’ll look at the exploration of the solar system by spacecraft; planetary processes such as volcanism and impacts; the structure of planets and their atmospheres; and asteroids, comets and meteorites. The Certificate in Astronomy and Planetary Science is endorsed by the Royal Astronomical Society.
Fees and facts
Where will you be resident whilst you study?
If your country isn’t listed here, visit our
Choose country above to see fee and ways to pay.
Flexible, part-time study through
OU Certificates are specially designed Open University qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession, or academic study. For example The Open University's Certificate in Supporting Learning in Primary Schools is designed for teaching assistants and other kinds of classroom support staff, including volunteers. Not all OU Certificates are entry level qualifications.
You can use an OU Certificate to:
enhance or progress your current career, gain a greater knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification. However, this is a Level 2 certificate. You should ensure that you have adequate study skills, such as gained from Level 1 study or its equivalent, before you begin.
Choose a pathway and register
Pathways allow you to specialise or choose particular topics that interest you. You will need to choose a pathway before registering.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
You cannot count credit for study you have already completed elsewhere towards this qualification.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Practical and professional skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Certificate in Astronomy and Planetary Science, which is endorsed by the Royal Astronomical Society.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our
Essential Documents website.
If you have a disability
Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:
the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
any work-based competency requirements.
Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007),
Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you
will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you
register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities
we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move.
As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed
feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online
tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read
Distance learning explained.