Syllabus for The Physics of Galaxies

Galaxernas fysik

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1FA260
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2015-03-12
  • 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, including Astrophysics I.
  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

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

  • Account for the formation, evolution and spatial distribution of galaxies
  • Account for the stellar, gas, dust and dark matter content of galaxies
  • Account for the physics of active galactic nuclei and supermassive black holes
  • Account for observational methods relevant for the study of galaxies at different epochs in the history of the Universe
  • Perform calculations in the field of extragalactic astronomy
  • Identify, summarise and present the content of research papers relevant for some subfield of extragalactic astronomy
  • Analyse observational extragalactic data and formulate conclusions based on these
  • Propose strategies for observations and theoretical models that may lead to new insight about unsolved problems in extragalactic astronomy


The Milky Way system and the Local Group. Galaxy clusters and large-scale structure. Stars, gas and dust in galaxies of different types. Galaxy dynamics. Dark matter in galaxies. Supermassive black holes and active galactic nuclei. The intergalactic medium and the reionisation of the Universe. Gravitational lensing. The formation of stars and galaxies at high redshifts.


Lectures, exercise sessions, seminars and a laboratory exercise.


Seminars (2.5 credits), hand-in exercises (2.5 credits), laboratory exercise (2.5 credits) and written and oral presentation of a literature assignment (2.5 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.

Syllabus Revisions

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2019

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Schneider. Peter, Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology : an introduction

    2. ed.: Berlin: Springer, 2015

    Find in the library