This course provides a broad overview of astronomy to give you an understanding of the evolution of the universe and its constituents. You will learn about the constituents of the observed universe; appreciate (and be able to explain) the important part played by the laws of physics in designing experiments and making observations – and interpret and understand them. You will learn about important data science techniques and explore their applications to astronomy.
You will discover the home of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) during your visit to the historic Royal Observatory in Greenwich (founded in the 1670s by King Charles II), and you will be able to stand astride the Prime Meridian, where zero degrees longitude is marked. You will also be able to carry out real astronomical observations using the optical telescopes in-house at the Queen Mary observatory.
Course content is subject to change.
This course aims:
to acquaint you with a wide-ranging view of the universe from the solar system to stars, the Galaxy, its constituents and to the universe beyond our Galaxy
to inform you of the role played by the known laws of physics in our understanding of the observed universe
to train you to use astronomical information sources, especially those on the web providing services to both the astronomer and the layman
to provide the opportunity for you to gain experience of writing and talking about astronomy at a level either appropriate to a scientist or a layman.
Teaching and learning
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, workshops, and laboratory work.
You will learn/develop:
an understanding of standard Newtonian physics relevant for astronomy
an understanding of simple aspects of quantum mechanics and special relativity relevant for astronomy
how to connect ideas from ‘standard physics’ with astronomy, from the familiar physics to the novel setting of astronomy
an understanding of the scientific method, how observations and experiments inform and shape our theories of the universe.
You will develop/be able to:
understand which concepts from standard physics are relevant for astronomy
apply standard physics to the universe and its constituents (planets, stars, and galaxies)
understand what observational data is available in modern astronomy
understand how observations are made in modern astronomy
acquire and apply knowledge in astronomy and astrophysics
develop effective communication skills to discuss and communicate research outcomes
develop your curiosity and openness for new research areas in astronomy.
The Queen Mary Summer School costs: £1,650 per session, which includes tution and social programme.
We offer a 10% discount to:
Students and staff from partner institutions
Current Queen Mary students
The cost of accommodation is approximately £500 per session. For further information, please visit our page.
Additional costs and course excursions
There may be additional costs for field trips, such as entry to exhibitions, which will be in the region of £10-20. All reading material will be provided online, so it is not necessary to purchase any books.
Please note there is no deposit payment required for the Queen Mary Summer School.
To join our Summer School, you should have completed a minimum of two semesters’ study at your home institution.
We welcome Summer School students from around the world. We accept a range of qualifications:
if your home institution uses the four-point Grade Point Average (GPA) scale, we usually require a 3.0 GPA
if your home institution uses the letter scale, you will need to have a B+
We welcome international qualifications and we consider every application individually on its academic merit.
English language requirements
All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English isn’t your first language, you must meet one of the following English Language requirements in order to join the Queen Mary Summer School:
If you hold a degree from a majority English speaking country plus Canada you may use this degree to satisfy the English language requirements for entry, provided the degree was completed no more than 5 years before the start date of the course to which you are applying.
IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all sub scores
TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 92 (L21; S23; R22; W24)
China UEE (University Entrance Exam) - 110
CET 4 - 550 or CET 6 - 490
PTE Academic 62
Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English 176 60- grade C (old marking system)