Astronomy and Planetary Science (OU Certificate)

Open University in Scotland


This certificate covers fundamental astronomy and planetary science. You’ll study the Solar System, stars, galaxies, exoplanets and the search for life in the Universe. Learn how astronomers ‘measure’ the Universe – considering spectroscopy imaging and time-variability as observational tools. You’ll study stars’ and galaxies’ birth, evolution, and rebirth through energetic processes and learn about their constituents. Learn about the formation and development of the Solar System and other planetary systems. Consider how life arose on Earth and whether life has arisen beyond Earth. You’ll look at planetary processes such as volcanism and impacts in the Solar System; the structure of planets and their atmospheres; and asteroids, comets and meteorites.

Entry Requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification. However, this module starts at OU level 2 – it’s essential you have adequate study skills, such as gained from OU level 1 study or equivalent, before you start. Having studied physics and maths to A-level standard and/or Physics and space (SM123) would significantly improve your readiness to start this certificate.

Progression Routes

On successful completion of the required courses you will be awarded a Certificate in Astronomy and Planetary Science, which is endorsed by the Royal Astronomical Society.

Start Date




Study Method

Distance and Flexible learning

Course Length






SCQF Level