Introduction to Astronomy and Light - PHYS3040

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) George Dobre checkmark-circle


This module provides an introduction to astronomy, beginning with our own solar system and extending to objects at the limits of the universe. Straightforward mathematics is used to develop a geometrical optics model for imaging with lenses and mirrors, and this is then used to explore the principles of astronomical telescopes.


Contact hours

Private Study: 120
Contact Hours: 30
Total: 150


Not available as an elective module choice.

Method of assessment

• Problem Set 1 (4 hours) – 10%
• Problem Set 2 (4 hours) – 10%
• Examination (2 hours) – 80%

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the laws of physics in the areas of optics and introductory astronomy.
2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical quantities, their units, and typical values, for optics and introductory astronomy.
3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical phenomena, the terminology used to describe them, and typical circumstances in which they are found to occur, for optics and introductory astronomy.
4. Formulate and solve problems in optics and introductory astronomy.
5. Quantitatively describe and predict optics and introductory astronomy phenomena using mathematics.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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