Course Details - 100-hour certificate course in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Course Schedule


This course is open to students of B.Sc. and M.Sc. level with Physics as their main subject as well as to all engineering students (studying or completed B.E. / B.Tech. level and above) having an aptitude for Astronomy and Astrophysics.


The number of seats in a batch is limited to 30 ONLY. Admissions will be done on first-come-first-served basis.
Admissions will be open from April 1, 2019.
Schedule for next batch: 8 June 2019 to 5 October 2019


Classroom Sessions:
2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Saturdays)

Field Trip:

Radio Astronomy center, Gauribidanur.
Students will be given an exposure to skywatch during the period of the course.

Course Fees:

Rs. 12,000/-
(Rs. 6,000/- for bonafide students)
(Fees does not include field trip expenses)


Phone: 080-22385956, 080-40914507
Fax: 080-22385957

Apply Now Download the application form. Click here to know how to apply.
Course Details



Enrol for the course


On successful completion of the Course, the Institute shall give certificates to the students with grades based on attendance, dissertation, seminar lecture, quiz and overall performance.



Course Overview


The primary aim of this programme is to inculcate a scientific awareness of the subject of Astronomy among the young students and to motivate them to pursue careers in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The course work is planned as an extra subject beyond the regular University curriculum. It is conducted outside the normal college hours as weekend classes or evening classes. The course includes theory classes, practical sessions, field trip to an Astronomical Observatory, dissertation writing and a seminar presentation. On completion of the course, the students will be awarded certificates with grades based on overall performance.

Course Benefits:

The course also provides an in-depth exposure of the technical intricacies involved in the study of Astronomy and Astrophysics to such students who are found to possess an aptitude for the subject. This programme is also expected to set a platform for those students who would eventually be seeking higher studies in the subject and aspiring for further research work in Astronomy and Astrophysics.


The faculty for this course consists of the permanent teaching staff at the institute as well as the internationally acclaimed scientists and professors of various scientific institutions and research organizations in and around Bangalore.




The syllabus for the certificate course is framed to cover the basic aspects involved in understanding the astronomical and astrophysical concepts. It also includes an exposure to the observational techniques and the usage of astronomical telescopes as well as the focal plane instruments. The students are required to submit individual dissertations at the end of the course and present a seminar lecture before a panel of faculty members. Click here to download the Syllabus.

Recommended Books / References:
  1. University Astronomy - J.M. Paschoff and M.L. Kutner
  2. Astronomy: Fundamentals and Frontiers - R. Jastrow and M.H.Thompson
  3. Astronomy: Principles and Practice - A.E. Roy and D. Clarke
  4. Frontiers of Astronomy - D. Morrison and S.C. Wolff
  5. Exercises in Astronomy - J. Kleczec
  6. Stars and Galaxies - K. D. Abhyankar
  7. Astrobiology - C. Sivaram and Ajay Sastry
  8. Universe - William J Kaufmann, III

Classroom Sessions:

A total of 35 hours will be allotted for theory classes.

Practical Activities:

A total of 30 hours would be allotted for practical sessions.

A suitable number of exercises may be  chosen from the following list.

  1. Observation of planets through a telescope
  2. Sunspots
  3. To draw a constellation
  4. The atmospheric extinction
  5. Retrograde motion of planet Mars
  6. Estimation of distance to a cluster of stars
  7. Spectral classification of stars
  8. The observation of double stars
  9. The observation of star clusters and nebulae
  10. The observation of the Milky Way
  11. Photoelectric photometry of a short period variable star in UBV filters
  12. Introduction to CCD techniques
  13. Determining the latitude of the place by observing the alt-azimuth of stars


  1. A period of about 35 hours may be utilized for preparing the dissertation. 
  2. Each student is required to submit a dissertation and give a seminar type of talk on the topic of his / her dissertation.
  3. Individual students may choose a specific topic for the dissertation. 
  4. Similar topics may be chosen by a maximum of 3 students and they may work together on that topic.  However, each one of them shall submit their dissertations individually.
  5. The dissertation may be typed or printed and presented as hard bound volume.
  6. Each individual student shall give a brief oral presentation on the topic of the respective dissertation in the form of a seminar.
  7. Experts from an appropriate panel may assess the dissertations and seminar lectures.
  8. On successful completion of the course, the Institute shall give certificates to the students with grades based on attendance, dissertation, seminar lecture, quiz and overall performance.
  9. Click here to download the Dissertation Topics.
  10. Click here to download the Dissertation Format.

Field Trips:

  1. Radio Astronomy center, Gauribidanur.
  2. Students will be given an exposure to skywatch during the period of the course.


Enrol for the Course:

Registration and Admission:
  • The forms need to be duly filled and submitted at the Institute on or before the prescribed deadline.
  • The application must be submitted along with two passport size photographs and one stamp size photograph.
  • The right to admit will solely rest with the Institute.

How to Apply:

  • Students can contact the institute to know about the fee structure of a particular course.
  • Interested students can download the application from the internet, fill it and send it by post to the address mentioned below along with a local cheque / DD drawn in favour of "M. P. Birla Institute of Fundamental Research" (payable at Bangalore). Fee structure includes registration and admission fee.
  • Interested students may also contact the Director and collect the application forms from the institute (address given below). Students can personally pay the prescribed fee (payable by cash / local cheque / DD).
  • If you wish to pay the course fees through netbanking, kindly send a mail to requesting for the netbanking banking details.

M. P. Birla Institute of Fundamental Research,
2nd Floor, M. P. Birla Research Centre,
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Campus,
43/1, Race Course Road, Bangalore – 560001.

Phone: 080-22385956, 40914507
Fax: 080-22385957

You can also download the application form here.


What our students say...

The 100 hour certification course was not less than a roller coaster ride for me. Within a short span of 6 months the course entirely changed my understanding of the Universe.

The course is created in such a way that none of the topics related to Astronomy and Astrophysics remains untouched. And yes, to enrich & enhance our knowledge, of course, we have the library where we have sufficient books - that encompass even minute concepts and magazines - that contains the major breakthroughs in the field of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

I feel like I have found new goals in my life and look forward to have my dreams fulfilled under the supervision of Dr. Babu sir. My heart filled thanks to him for introducing such a wonderful and magnificent course.

- Pradeep Iyer, 2012




 All rights reserved 2011 - 2012.   Home   |   Email   |   Contact   |   Sitemap