Master’s studies

Syllabus for Cosmology



  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1FA209
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), 3, 4, 5.
  • Established: 2007-03-15
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Revised: 2015-04-20
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2015
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits including 30 credits in mathematics and 60 credits in physics.
  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

After completing 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).

Reading list

Applies from: week 11, 2015

  • Ryden, Barbara Sue Introduction to cosmology

    San Francisco: Addison-Wesley, c2003

    Find in the library