2023-2024 / SPAT0033-1



35h Th, 10h Pr

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Aerospace Engineering5 crédits 
 Master in space sciences (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Michaël De Becker

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course is an opportunity to approach astrophysics in the broadest sense, following various guidelines and four main themes subdivided into chapters as summarised below:


First part: A multi-wavelength view of the Universe

This section gives an overview of the Universe as it appears at various wavelengths. It provides an opportunity to introduce a few physical concepts about the sources of radiation active in astrophysics. This section also presents some of the main principles of astronomical observation, with many examples to support the point. Finally, the methods of access to both terrestrial and space-based observatories are discussed.

Second part: A multi-scale view of the Universe

This section begins with an exploration of the solar system and its contents, establishing links between astrophysics and planetology. Next, the exploration of our galaxy provides an opportunity to discuss our direct environment, before delving further into the stellar populations that make up the Milky Way. Notions of stellar classification, stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis are introduced. Some remarkable structures in our galaxy are also discussed, along with the transition between the Milky Way and the intergalactic environment. Finally, the extragalactic scales are addressed, in particular by discussing emblematic astrophysical environments such as the active nuclei of galaxies or the great structures of the Universe.

Thirs part: A multi-messenger view of the Universe

Cette section entraîne les étudiants dans des discussions mettant en scène des sources complémentaires d'information de première importance en astrophysique moderne. Sans entrer dans les détails, l'importance des ondes gravitationnelles, de la physique des neutrinos et des rayons cosmiques est abordée.


Fourth part: A selection of questions of interest

This last section deals with scientific questions that are more cross-cutting than the three previous sections. The aim of these questions is to complete the students' scientific knowledge, by integrating various elements that are useful for current questions. In particular, these will be questions about our local environment, or on a larger scale.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Through this course, students are expected to be able to


  • show a general knowledge of astrophysics
  • build a knowledge base that will enable them to identify which aspects of astrophysics students might wish to develop
  • forge links between the various courses offered as part of the Master's degree in Space Science
  • master some general concepts relevant to modern astrophysics
  • use modern bibliographic tools
  • be open to complementary sources of scientific information, in addition to their Masters courses
  • understand how the astronomical data used by astrophysicists are obtained, and how to access observatories
  • understand the basic operation of some of the tools used for astronomical observation
  • understand how physics can explain the appearance of the Universe as we observe it
  • measure the importance of multi-wavelength approaches to studying the Universe
  • measure the importance of multi-messenger approaches to studying the Universe
  • discuss a wide range of scientific topics related to astrophysics
  • give an oral presentation on an astrophysical theme

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic knowledge of physics, at the level of bachelor in science.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Theoretical sessions are organised throughout the term, according to the schedule defined before the start of the course. These sessions are based on the content of the slideshows available on e-Campus.


One or two sessions will be devoted to preparing the oral presentation. These will consist of discussion sessions on how to prepare the oral presentation, as well as brainstorming sessions with the students to define the chosen theme. The teacher's presence at these sessions will enable students to benefit from advice and guidance.


All these sessions are face-to-face.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Theoretical lectures and student oral presentations are organized during the first semester.

Recommended or required readings

The content of the course if covered by the slideshows available on e-Campus.


The use of complementary resources is necessary for the personal work, depending on the topic selected by students.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire )

Other : Oral presentation on a topic selected by the student.

Additional information:

The assessment is split into two parts:

1. Oral presentation:

Students select a topic to present individually and orally, in front of students registered to the course. The presentation must be about 12 minutes, and it is followed by a few questions.

The presentations are ideally organized at the end of the teachning period of the first semester. If the schedule of some students makes it difficult to happen at that time, their presentation can be organized during the January exam session.

This oral proof is worth 50 points.


2. Written exam (MCQ):

 During the January exam session, a written multiple choice questionnaire will evaluate the general knowledge of students, on the basis of the cours content. Only one written exam will be organised, which means that all students enrolled on the course must sit it on the same date. In total, 55 questions will be asked. Students start with a mark of 0/50, and gain one point for every good answer. This systems allows thus student to benefit of a credit of 5 wrong/missing answers before losing points.


The total mark results from the additions of both individual marks (oral + written). It is then divided by 5 and rounded to obtain a mark out of 20.

Work placement(s)

Not applicable.

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Michaël De Becker

Phone: 04/3669717

E-mail: Michael.DeBecker@uliege.be

Office: Institut d'Astrophysique et Géophysique, Building. B5c, 1st floor, room 1/8

Association of one or more MOOCs