Astronomy Project for 4M Students ASTRO4020P

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

To provide students with an opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of the key principles and applications of astronomy laboratory and research skills, and their relevance to current developments in astronomy.


Tuesdays 11am - 5pm

Requirements of Entry

This course is normally only open to students who meet the requirements for entry, or progression, for a degree programme which includes Astronomy Skills 2 as an elective or compulsory course.


Astronomy Project for 4M students is a compulsory course for the following degree programmes:


MSci (Honours) Combined Astronomy


Astronomy Project for 4M students is a prohibited course for the following degree programmes:


BSc (Honours) Physics, BSc (Honours) Combined Physics, BSc (Honours) Combined Astronomy, BSc (Honours) Chemical Physics, BSc (Honours) Physics with Astrophysics, BSc (Designated) Physics, BSc (Designated) Combined Physics, BSc (Designated) Physics with Astrophysics, MSci Physics, MSci Theoretical Physics, MSci Combined Physics, MSci Physics with Astrophysics, MSci Chemical Physics, MSci Chemical Physics with Work Placement


Excluded Courses

  Astronomy Laboratory 2, Astronomy Skills 2


Laboratory 12.5%

Written report 62.5%

Oral Presentation 25%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

To present an integrated course of study providing students with knowledge and understanding of the astrophysical universe, and of the methods and principles of astrophysical enquiry. To provide training and experience in the principles and practice of astronomical observation and measurement and in the reduction and analysis of observational data. To develop the students' ability to work effectively, singly and in small groups, to reinforce their individual responsibility for their own learning and understanding and to develop their written and oral communication skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students will be able to: programme straightforward procedures in a high level computer language, or use professional-level astronomical software, to solve astrophysical problems and analyse data from astronomical sources; plan and execute experimental investigations of physical processes using bench and/or astronomical equipment; evaluate uncertainties inherent in experimental measurements and errors introduced by numerical computations; make a critical analysis and draw valid conclusions from the results of experimental investigations; write clear and concise reports, and give oral presentations, in a scientific style, containing a full description of the research background and context, aims, methods, errors and uncertainties, outcomes and conclusions of a piece of laboratory work.

Students should be able to: prepare a written presentation on their project, including setting it in a broader research context; prepare and deliver an oral presentation on their project; apply logical analysis to problem solving; interact positively with colleagues in a small group context; appreciate the nature of open problems.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Not applicable.