logoLooking through some old Astronomy Now magazines I saw a distance learning course for Astronomy and Cosmology. Subjects I have always found of great interest and so I decided to learn a bit more about the opportunites for an amateur 'would be' astronomer

The courses are all home based (ideal for me), with internet back up and tutorial support, There are written exam question papers and practical work/ observations. Application was straight forward and now I am an enrolled student again !

The course I am following is the first year of a degree course which could lead to a final Certificate of Higher Education in Astronomy. It would take six years for the whole course, but you can study individual subjects each year.

University Certificate in Astronomy Passed June 2001

University Certificate in Cosmology Passed June 2002.

University Certificate in IT for Astronomy Passed June 2003.

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The recommended texts are good books that can be read independently from the course.

mapAstronomy Sections
1 The Celestial Sphere
2 Stellar Magnitude Scale
3 Radiation from Stars
4 The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
5 Stellar Spectroscopy
6 Telescopes
7 Binary Star Orbits
8 Stellar Structure
9 Stellar Lifetimes and Energy Sources
10 Stellar Evolution
11 Galaxies - Cities of Stars
12 Relativity and Cosmology

Recommended Text:

Universe 5th Edition with CD Rom, (1999)
Kaufmann, W. J. and Freedman R.A., ISBN 0-7167-3495-8

Cosmology Sections
1 Cosmology: Introduction
2 The Distance Scale
3 The Expansion of the Universe
4 Particle and the Forces Between Them
5 Observational Evidence for the Big Bang
6 The Hot Big Bang
7 Dark Matter
8 Inflation
9 Cosmological Constants
10 The Large Scale Structure of the Universe
11 Galaxy Formation
12 Great Observations

Recommended Text:

Foundations of Modern Cosmology, (1998)
John F. Hawley & Katherine A. Holcomb, OUP ISBN 0-19-510497-8

University of Central Lancashire
Department of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics
Preston, PR1 2HE

United Kingdom

Phone 01772 893572
Fax 01772 892996
E-mail ucastro@uclan.ac.uk
Website http://www.uclan.ac.uk/information/courses/index.php