Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Key information

Subject area:

Stackable Microcredentials

Course type:

Assessed Module

Credit level:


Credit value:



11 weeks

Available course dates:

From: 23 September 2024 To: 06 December 2024
Application deadline: 12 August 2024

Course overview

This module provides an up-to-date course on dark matter and dark energy, explaining what we do and do not know about these two very different phenomena. You will look at how observations force us to propose the existence of these two components of the Universe and tell us something about their properties. It will introduce the different theories which physicists think might be responsible for the phenomena.

The module will concentrate on the particle nature of different dark matter candidates and how astronomical observations inform us about particle physics. For dark energy, you will look at what different models have been suggested and how the data may distinguish between these models.

What does this course cover?

Most people have heard about dark matter and dark energy but don't understand the true motivation for these concepts from data, nor do they often understand why they are fundamentally different to each other. This module is designed to provide a bridge between this situation and graduate research, which is very active in both fields. The main educational aim therefore is to provide understanding of these subjects in more detail, providing you with the tools to commence graduate research in these areas a lot more quickly. If you are not moving on to graduate research, the module will provide an up to date and stimulating module which will test and broaden your lateral thinking and calculational abilities. 

What will I achieve?

By the end of the module, you will:

  • Have a good understanding of how we measure the properties of dark matter and dark energy
  • Have learnt a great deal about the different properties of these two separate phenomena, how we measure them in the Universe and how we re-produce them in different theoretical scenarios
  • Understand the theories which hope to explain these phenomena, what makes a good theory, and how a wrong theory can be ruled out by the data
  • Be equipped to read research papers at the forefront of this field and understand the basic techniques and methodology relevant for investigating theories of dark matter and dark energy, and finding out how they compare to the data.
  • Be able to critically read current literature and start to make informed conclusions about the validity and value of research level literature
  • Understand how gravity and particle physics combine to understand the Universe. This is a good demonstration of how research naturally pushes us towards interdisciplinary areas and will hopefully show how often this happens in life
  • Develop background knowledge that will enable you to start to do graduate research in these areas
  • Be able to disseminate information to the public about these topics much more effectively
  • Understand the theories which exist to explain these phenomena and the mathematical descriptions underlying those theories
  • Develop knowledge in a range of areas in astrophysics, cosmology and particle physics.

Who is this for?

​​T​he standard entry requirements comprise:

  • A 2:2 honours degree or international equivalent in Physics, or a closely related subject
  • A CV and personal statement outlining your reasons for study
  • English language band D (for example, IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each skill)
  • Plus, you should have a background in introductory astronomy and basic coding skills.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed via coursework. 

What is the teaching schedule?

This is an on-campus module. Lectures will be held on a single day of the week, each week, during term time. You will be expected to be on-campus for these. Exact dates and times will be confirmed upon enrolment.

Further information

This module is offered as part of our flexible master’s awards in Professional Development. The awards are one of the most flexible currently offered in the UK, providing the opportunity to study a range of modules from across King’s, both on-campus and online. Whether you are looking for a promotion or to retrain, you have come to the right place.

Designed for mature professionals juggling life and work commitments, our postgraduate awards will enable you to study at your own pace. In challenging financial times, you are also able to fund your studies module-by-module. We will support you to select the right module diet that meets your objectives while ensuring that you are well prepared for success. We will also help you to build your professional network of peers from across our suite of CPD modules.

We can’t wait for you to continue your lifelong learning journey here at King’s.

Course status:


Full fee £1039

International students £2937



Offered by