Syllabus for Cosmology


A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1FA209
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1N

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle
    G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

    Second cycle
    A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2007-03-15
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2019
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits including 30 credits in mathematics and 60 credits in physics.
  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • account for and perform calculations concerning the observational methods that are used to determine the properties of the universe.
  • account for the theoretical background to modern cosmology and the most common misconceptions about the Big Bang model.
  • perform calculations concerning cosmological distances, cosmic dynamics, the energy content of the universe, cosmic background radiation, nucleosynthesis and thermodynamics in the early universe, cosmic inflation and the formation of large-scale structure.
  • identify, summarise and present the content of research papers relevant for some subfield of cosmology.
  • analyse observational data relevant for modern cosmology and formulate conclusions based on these.
  • propose strategies for observations and theoretical models that may lead to new insight about unsolved problems in cosmology.


The expansion of the universe and Hubble's law. The cosmological principle. Restrictions of Newtonian mechanics and the theory of special relativity. General relativity and the equivalence principle. The metrics of curved space/space-time. Black holes. Homogeneous and isotropic universes. The Robertson-Walker metric. Cosmological redshift. The Friedmann models. Big Bang. Thermodynamics of the early universe. The theory of inflation. Early fluctuations and their growth. The cosmic microwave background. Early nucleosynthesis and cosmochronology. The matter content of the universe. Dark matter. Dark energy. The determination of the cosmological parameters. Alternative cosmologies.


Lectures, exercises and seminars .


Seminars (3 credits), exercises (3 credits), written and oral presentation of a literature assignment (4 credits).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2019

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Ryden, Barbara Sue Introduction to cosmology

    San Francisco: Addison-Wesley, c2003

    Find in the library