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Origin and Evolution of the Universe


Admission requirements

Bachelor courses Galaxies and Cosmology and Radiative Processes.


This course is an introduction to modern cosmology. It will cover the theory of relativistic cosmology (Friedman equations, 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 thourough 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.

Soft skills

In this course, students are not paticularly trained in behaviour-oriented skills.


See Schedules Astronomy master 2017-2018

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Written exam: 80%

  • Three homework assignments: 20% (if higher than result of written exam)


Blackboard is not used for this course.

Reading list

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

  • An Introduction to Modern Cosmology, Liddle (2nd edition), ISBN 9780470848357. This book provides a basic introduction to cosmology, but lacks some of the depth.

  • Introduction to Cosmology, Ryden, ISBN 9781292039718. Somewhat more substantial.

  • Cosmology: The Origin and Evolution of Cosmic Structure, Coles & Lucchin (2nd edition), ISBN 9780471489092. More advanced topics.


Register via uSis. More information about signing up for classes and exams can be found here. Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to register. For Interest only & Contractual enrolment, please see this website (in Dutch only).

Contact information

Lecturer: Dr. R.J. (Rychard) Bouwens
Assistant: Andrei Dvornik
Course website: Origin and Evolution of the Universe (will be online at the start of the course)