Taught course


University of York · Centre for Lifelong Learning

Entry requirements

Normally students will be expected to hold a Bachelor’s Degree in a related subject area.

Months of entry


Course content

This programme will offer home astronomers, who may have graduated in subjects other than physics, the opportunity to gain a formal postgraduate qualification in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and is designed to give students a robust and up-to-date background in these areas. Over the course of two years, we will explore the solar system, stellar physics, infra-red, radio and high energy astronomy, as well as discussing the foundations of cosmology.

By its very nature, astronomy is a mathematical subject - students will therefore need a background in this area, although fully-supported maths master classes will be a permanent feature on the programme for those who need to refresh their skills in this area.

This is a part-time, postgraduate-level programme delivered wholly online in a fully-supported learning environment. Students can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate after successful completion of the first year if their circumstances change.

Through this programme, students will:

  • Gain a comprehensive knowledge of the development of astronomy, astronomy in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum, the solar system and stellar physics.
  • Learn that physics is a quantitative subject and appreciate the use and power of mathematics for modelling the physical world and solving problems.
  • Develop skills in research and planning and their ability to assess critically the link between theoretical results and experimental observation.
  • Develop the ability to solve advanced problems in physics using appropriate mathematical tools.
  • Be able to identify the relevant physical principles, to translate problems into mathematical statements and apply their knowledge to obtain order-of-magnitude or more precise solutions as appropriate.
  • Develop the ability to plan and execute under supervision an experiment or investigation, analyse critically the results and draw valid conclusions.
  • Be able to evaluate the level of uncertainty in their results, understand the significance of error analysis and be able to compare these results with expected outcomes, theoretical predictions or with published data.
  • Possess a more complete working knowledge of a variety of experimental, mathematical and computational techniques applicable to current research within physics.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGDip
    part time
    24 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Administrator
+44 (0) 1904 328482