15 Credits SPRING

Pre-requisites: PHY104

Aims/Description: This module will cover one of the most exciting and fast moving topics in current astrophysics research, the formation and evolution of galaxies, from an observational perspective. Starting with a brief historical introduction, the module will then summarise what we can learn about galaxy evolution from studies of galaxies in the local Universe, before discussing the results obtained from recent deep field observations of the high redshift Universe. The last part of the module will concern the important role that active galactic nuclei play in galaxy evolution.Through a series of 18 lectures students will learn the main types of galaxies together with how we currently understand them to have formed and evolved. A key aspect of the module is how astronomers construct theories of galaxy evolution through observations and computer models, with a particular focus on how astronomers convert measured flux into physical properties such as mass and rates of star formation. The latter third of the module focuses on the growth of supermassive black holes and the role we believe that this has had on the formation and evolution of galaxies.

Teaching Methods: Lectures, Independent Study
Assessment: Formal Exam, Course work, Practical skills assessment

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Physics and Astronomy):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK