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The Broadening Horizons Astronomy summer course aims to introduce the students to a new fascinating topic, which is not usually taught at school. This course will take students from the history of astronomy as a discipline all the way to the latest discoveries in the field, such as exoplanets and supermassive black holes.
The course requires no previous knowledge of astronomy, only some background in Physics (classical mechanics) and basic Mathematics. It will give the students a taste of the whole field, from fundamentals to the frontiers of human knowledge covering major topics such as celestial mechanics, planets, neutron stars, black holes, galaxies and cosmology. It will focus on understanding both the theoretical and observational aspects.
Physics background required: displacement, velocity, acceleration, period, angular velocity, energy; Newton's Laws of Motion; The course will require some basic knowledge of concepts in classical mechanics and will expand on these in an astronomical context. Mathematical background required: basic algebraic manipulation; basic trigonometry;
The content of the course will probably be new to everyone. Unfamiliarity with the above topics should not discourage any student from taking this course. Roughly one third of the course is introducing new concepts and topics, a third is discussions and a third is problem solving. The tutor will determine the ratio of the three parts depending on whether the students are more mathematically inclined or not.
The course structure is based on discussion and problem solving. There will be two types of problems presented: some that require simple calculations or estimations and others, more involved, that require measurements, usually following a similar method that lead to a scientific breakthrough. This way, the students will get a feel of what it is like to be a researcher and make a genuine discovery. Problem solving in groups illustrates the teamwork required in science to achieve great scientific impact.
Furthermore, the course will involve many discussions, some philosophical and controversial such as the possibility of interplanetary travel or the existence of extraterrestrial life. There will be one homework sheet testing the student’s understanding and one student presentation.
By the end of this course, students will have:
This subject is part of the Broadening Horizons course at Oxford Royale Summer Schools’s Oxford summer school.
The Broadening Horizons course, for students aged 16 to 18, is suitable both for those who are trying to decide what to pursue in further education, and for those who simply want to learn about a variety of interesting subjects - 30+ study options are available!
Students choose two morning classes and one afternoon workshop to provide a diverse and stimulating curriculum that is tailored to their needs, allowing them to pursue areas of interest or try out something new. Students studying Broadening Horizons in Oxford get the chance to live and learn in a college of the University of Oxford or in our 17th-century manor house, Yarnton Manor.
Take this course if you would like to pursue astronomy/astrophysics at university, or if you are fascinated by physics, maths and the solar system.
The Broadening Horizons programme - our flagship Oxford summer course - allows you to combine different subject options to enable a flexible, tailored programme that best suits your academic needs
To view other options, select your choice of options and apply, please visit the main Broadening Horizons Programme page
With the Broadening Horizons Programme you also get:
What our students have to say
Read how Sara has returned year on year, experiencing different summer courses in Oxford and Cambridge.Read Sara's story
Read how Mifta's experience with us introduced her to lifelong friends from across the world.Read Mifta's story
An aspiring cinematographer, Rebecca joined us at the ISC for our Future Filmmakers Gap Year Programme.Read Rebecca's story
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Oxford Royale Academy is a part of Oxford Programs Limited, UK company number 6045196. The company contracts with institutions including Oxford University for the use of their facilities and also contracts with tutors from those institutions but does not operate under the aegis of Oxford University.