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The University of Southampton

PHYS2030 European Dimension in Space

Module Overview

This module will provide students with an insight into the advantages of collaboration within Europe for the promotion of Space Science. The mechanism for the selection of missions and their subsequent development will be illustrated using a number of topical examples. Students will participate in two group-based mission design studies which will simulate the European mission selection process in the context of high energy astronomy.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Spacecraft design and the planning and implementation of space missions
  • Science aims and techniques for soft X-ray astronomy
  • Science aims and techniques for gamma-ray astronomy
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Develop skills in scientific essay-writing
  • Work in a team-based environment
  • Design of a system against multiple constraints - trade-offs and compromises.
  • Make a presentation as a team
Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Gain an understanding of how the European Space Science Programme is organised and funded.
  • In high energy astronomy, appreciate the rationale for the inclusion of the particular suite of instruments and be able to justify the choice of the orbit.


- European space missions within the ESA framework - Historical high-energy astronomy - X-ray and gamma-ray telescope design - Constraints on operations of space telescopes

Learning and Teaching

Completion of assessment task83
Wider reading or practice55
Total study time212


Assessment Strategy

Students must obtain a pass mark in each module. Module one (only) may be referred. If a student fails to satisfy the examiners in this module, including because of special considerations, no referral or deferral opportunity can be offered in the current academic year. Students will normally be required to select an alternative optional module and this may mean the student is unable to progress normally at the end of the year. Elective referrals are not possible for this module. Due to the nature of the module, there is no opportunity to repeat this module. Students who do not achieve a pass mark will be required to select a different optional module in a repeat year. The one-week field trip component takes place within the Easter break, at the premises of the University of La Laguna, Tenerife.


MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

The one-week field trip component takes place within the Easter break, at the premises of the University of La Laguna, Tenerife. While the field trip is heavily subsidised by the faculty, a student contribution to the costs is required. Flight costs, all local travel costs in Spain, and all hotel accommodation costs are included. The only unavoidable costs students will incur in Spain are food costs during the day. Any student who genuinely cannot afford to pay the student contribution for some reason should contact the course co-ordinator to discuss this privately. For students taking this module in AY 2017/18, the cost will be £275.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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