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PX437 - Exo-Planets

  • Module code: PX437
  • Module name: Exo-Planets
  • Department: Physics
  • Credit: 7.5

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This module builds on basic astrophysical processes and techniques covered in earlier astrophysics courses, particularly PX268 Stars and the accretion content of PX387 Astrophysics. Extra-solar planets is a young and vibrant research area, and this module will illustrate how familiar processes and techniques are being applied at the research level. The aim is to explore the impact of the recent discovery of extra-solar planets on our understanding of planetary formation and evolution. In so doing the module will also illustrate how established physical theories can be challenged through careful and targeted experimentation.

Principal learning outcomes

At the end of this module you should: be familiar with models of planet formation that pre-date the discovery of the first extra-solar planet in 1995; understand the various methods employed to discover and study extra-solar planets; be able to explain how ideas of planet formation are evolving in the light of these discoveries; be aware of open questions that remain in this field; be able to evaluate critically the prospects for the discovery of extra-terrestrial life.

Timetabled teaching activities

15 Lectures

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
7.5 CATS (Module code: PX437-7.5)
B (Examination only) Examination - Main Summer Exam Period (weeks 4-9) 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys) (F304) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys) (FG33) - Year 4