Introduction in Astrophysics

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


The course gives a broad overview of fundamental astrophysics. The course imparts how the basic laws of physics can be utilized to understand and explain observations of processes and phenomena in stars, planets, galaxies and interstellar matter.


The course gives a broad introduction to classical astrophysics with a special emphasis on the physical processes involved. Topics covered in the course include astrophysical observations, the structure and radiation of the sun, the planets and their atmosphere and energy budget, moons, the life cycle of a star from protostar to supernova, the Milky Way, interstellar matter, galaxies, and cosmology.




Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:



The student

  • has a broad overview of the basic concepts of astrophysics
  • has basic knowledge on selected observational techniques in astrophysics
  • can describe some basic processes in stars, other objects and matter in space



The student

  • can apply knowledge in physics and mathematics to solve simple problems in astrophysics and to reason with scientific arguments
  • can explain relevant scientific methods and expressions, and discuss important theories, problems and solutions with fellow students
  • can find, evaluate and point to scientific information, carry out a literature study and write a report of a selected topic


General competence

The student

  • has general knowledge of the scientific connection between basic physics and key elements in astrophysics
  • can explain selected problems for discussion in astrophysics
  • can put into practice norms for academic writing
Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.


Due to the measures taken to avoid the spread of Covid-19, UiB is closed for on-campus assessment. As a consequence, the following changes is made to assessment autumn semester 2020:

  • Grading scale ¿Pass/Fail¿ instead of ¿A-F¿