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Observational Cosmology


Admission requirements

None. This course is designed to complement the Astronomy master´s course Origin and Evolution of the Universe.


The purpose of this course is to provide a general overview of the observational basis for our modern view of cosmology. Topics that will be covered include:

  • Major tests used to establish the age of the universe

  • Hubble constant

  • Dark matter

  • Dark energy

  • Baryonic content of the universe

  • Matter power spectrum

  • The ‘w’ parameter

Course objectives

The primary objectives of this course are for students to learn the general observational techniques and physical principles for making a wide variety of inferences about the current state, evolution, and origin/age of the universe.


See Astronomy master schedules

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Written exam


Brightspace will be used to communicate with students and to share lecture slides, homework assignments, and any extra materials. To have access, you need a student ULCN account.

Reading list

Observational Cosmology, 2010, Stephen Serjeant (Cambridge University Press)


Via uSis
More information about signing up for your classes at the Faculty of Science can be found here
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Lecturer: Dr. R.J. (Rychard) Bouwens
Assistant: Sander Schouws