nl en

Origin and Evolution of the Universe


Admission requirements

BSc courses Galaxies and Cosmology (Sterrenstelsels en Kosmologie) and Radiative Processes (Stralingsprocessen). General Relativity is not a prerequisite for this course.


This course is an introduction to modern cosmology. It will cover the theory of relativistic cosmology (Friedman eqns, hot big bang, nucleosynthesis, cosmic background radiation, dark matter and dark energy). Only the basics of structure formation will be covered, these will be treated in detail in the course on Large Scale Structure & Galaxy Formation. Throughout, both the theory and observational tests will be covered.

Course objectives

The student will gain a thorough understanding of the main concepts of cosmology that have been developed over the past century and which open questions remain, which will allow them to understand the scientific literature on this topic.


See MSc schedules

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Written exam

  • Homework assignments

There are three homework assignments to aid in the preparation for the exam. These account for 20% of the final grade, if it is higher than the results from the written exam.



Reading list

Optional, not required because the lecture notes will be made available as well:

  • “An Introduction to Modern Cosmology” by Andrew Liddle (2nd edition). This book provides a basic introduction to cosmology, but lacks some of the depth.

  • Somewhat more substantial is “Introduction to Cosmology” by Barbara Ryden.

  • Finally the more advanced topics are discussed in “Cosmology: The Origin and Evolution of Cosmic Structure” by Peter Coles and Francesco Lucchin (2nd edition).


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. H. (Henk) Hoekstra
Assistant: Allison Hill
See for more information the Course website.