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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


The deadline for booking a place on this course has passed. Please use the 'Ask a Question' button to register your interest in future or similar courses.

The Magnetic Field along the Galactic Plane © ESA/Planck Collaboration

The Diploma in Astronomy is a one-year part-time course, which is designed for students who have studied the Certificate in Astronomy, or who have a similar level of knowledge and experience. The course will allow you to develop a broader perspective on astronomical phenomena and practical methods to investigate them, as well as a deeper understanding of some topics of active research. You will build up a substantial body of astronomical knowledge across all physical scales from planets to the Universe as a whole, including exploring how some astronomical systems change with time. You will also gain practical skills in using and interpreting astronomical data, and in scientific writing.



What is the status of this qualification?

The course is taught and awarded at second year undergraduate level (FHEQ 5) and offers 60 credits within the Higher Education Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS). This is equivalent to half of the second year of full-time undergraduate study.

How will I be taught and assessed?

The course is taught through a mixture of informal lectures, seminars, practical sessions and discussion. You will learn how to present and support evidence both through speaking and writing.

You will have access to online support through our virtual learning environment, which will accelerate your learning and enhance your experience of the course. 

All students are expected to take an active part in the course and submit work showing evidence of learning. In particular, you will be expected in each term to:

  1. attend classes, fieldtrips and day-schools;
  2. participate actively in class work;
  3. undertake reading and assignments set by the tutors;
  4. access resources and submit assignments through, the Institute’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

It is essential that students have an email account and regular access to an internet-connected computer. The course is supported by a web-based virtual learning environment and course communications will be sent via email. Students are expected to submit their assignments online and feedback on assignments is delivered online.

Students will retain access to the course VLE space and any learning resources for two academic years after completing course.

Certificate or Diploma level?

The Certificate and Diploma courses have been designed to provide a progression path for your studies. The Diploma is suitable for those who have successfully completed the Certificate course or who have comparable knowledge and experience at FHEQ level 4 or equivalent.

If you are still unsure please refer to our Decision Tree document (below) for more information.

Unless otherwise stated, teaching and assessment for ICE courses are in English. If your first language is not English, please refer to our Information for Applicants pages for further guidance.

Course dates

06 Oct 2016 to 31 Jul 2017

Course duration

1 year(s)

Apply by

05 Sep 2016

Course fee

Home: £1,900
Overseas: £1,900

Course director

Academic Directors, Course Directors and Tutors are subject to change, when necessary.


Institute of Continuing Education
University of Cambridge
CB23 8AQ

Qualifications / Credits

60 credits at Level 5

Course code