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Certificate in Astronomy and Planetary Science: Standard pathway

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This OU certificate is made up of 60 credits.

What you will study

Stage 1

You’ll study two 30-credit Level 2 modules. The first, Astronomy (S282)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.S10-1,module,S282,,1, introduces the structure, origin and evolution of stars, galaxies and the universe as a whole – asking questions such as: How are stars born, and what happens when they die? How do galaxies form, and how do we know that the universe began in a ‘big bang’? 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. You’ll make use of computer-based resources and have the opportunity to undertake some straightforward project work, based on your observations of the sky. 

Then Planetary science and the search for life (S283)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.S10-1,module,S283,,1 tackles fundamental questions about our Solar System. How did it form and how has it evolved? Why aren’t all the planets like Earth? How and why did life arise on Earth? Has life arisen elsewhere in the Solar System or beyond, and could it be intelligent? 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. You’ll use web-based resources and electronic conferencing extensively.

Modules quoted in qualification descriptions are those that are currently available for study. As the structure of our qualifications is reviewed on a regular basis, the University is unable to guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available in future years.

How long it takes

Typically it takes two years part-time study to complete this qualification, but you can take anything from one (full-time study equivalent) to four years.


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