Astronomy: The Modern Universe

Ref: C3744212

We will look at the evolution of stars and the theories of the history and possible future of the universe. We will also examine the information coming back from space probes studying the planets.

Course aim

The aim of the course is to give the students a general introduction to astronomy, including such areas as what can be seen in the sky.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in learning about Astronomy: no previous knowledge of the subject is required or assumed. The course will include three optional visits to lectures at the Museum of London.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recognise some of the major constellations and find their way around the stars.
  • Describe the life cycle of a typical star and recognise the objects which result from star death.
  • Relate the history of the solar system and its implications for life on Earth.
  • Understand the basis of modern theories for the origin and development of the universe.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • There will be frequent discussions about the topics covered and there will be a light-hearted quiz at the end.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • No preparation is essential, but reading astronomy books and magazines, watching astronomy programmes and accessing astronomy websites will be of benefit.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Students may, if they wish, join a local or national astronomical society. Various meetings of an astronomical nature will be brought to the students' notice.

Download full course information sheet

Astronomy: The Modern Universe


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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