Cosmology (Astro3)

Course content

The course will give an introduction to cosmology; the formation, content and evolution of the universe. The course will give the students a sense of how astrophysics and cosmology build upon concepts from nearly all parts of modern physics. Therefore, throughout there will be a basic introduction to astronomy and the physics required. In addition to standard problem solving classes, the course will encourage critical thinking, introduce basic computing approaches, and expose the students to the original literature. There will also be several inspirational lectures by recognized scientists.


BSc Programme in Physics

Learning outcome


The aim of the course is that the student:

  • can account for the observational basis of cosmology
  • can write up and find simple solutions to the Friedmann equation, the fluid equation and the equation of state
  • can account for what is meant by dark matter and dark energy as well as account for the evidence for the existence of these components
  • can account for the equation of state for matter, radiation and dark energy
  • can account for how rotation curves of spiral galaxies and the properties of galactic clusters give evidence for the existence of dark matter
  • can account for and conduct simple calculations based on the basic physics behind recombination
  • can account for and conduct simple calculations based on the basic physics behind Big Bang nucleosynthesis
  • can read scientific papers and present them to others
  • can use computers to solve problems that cannot be solved analytically



The goal is that the student achieves a basic understanding of the Big Bang model, including why this is the prevalent theory, an insight into modern cosmological problems such as what is dark matter, what is dark energy, what is the cosmic microwave radiation and how the light elements (particularly hydrogen, deuterium, helium and lithium) were formed. The student will also obtain knowledge from the scientific literature and convey this to other students. The student will learn the basic computing skills to gain increased insight into universe physics.



The course gives the student competencesfor further studies within cosmology and astrophysics, e.g. through projects or advanced courses. The student will also gain experience in critical thinking about basic physics and gain widely applicable (but basic) computing skills.

Lectures, problem solving classes, computer exercises, inspirational lectures, presentations of literature studies, discussions.

See Absalon for course material. The following is an example of suggested course literature:

Barbara Ryden: Introduction to cosmology

It is recommended that the student has followed courses corresponding to the mandatory physics, mathematics and astrophysics of the first two years of the physics BSc with specialisation in astrophysics.

The course is identical to NFYB16008U Kosmologi.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Type of assessment details
The final grade will be based on completing 5 assignments during the course:
Two standard problem solving assignments (counting 10 % and 20 %), two computational projects (one counting 20 % and one 25 %), and one presentation project (counting 25 %).

Each of the five exams is assessed and weighted individually, and the final grade is determined based on this. All five exams must be passed to pass the overall exam.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
several internal examiners

Oral examination, about 25 minutes, no preparation time

Criteria for exam assessment

See Learning Outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 32
  • Preparation
  • 142
  • Theory exercises
  • 28
  • Exam
  • 4
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level

1 block

Block 1
no limit
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Physics, Chemistry and Nanoscience
Contracting department
  • The Niels Bohr Institute
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinators
  • Radoslaw Jan Wojtak   (12-756467686e317a726d77646e4371656c316e7831676e)
  • Jens Hjorth   (4-6c6770754270646b306d7730666d)
Saved on the 09-08-2023

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