UK Centre for Astrobiology


The UK Centre for Astrobiology offers an undergraduate course at the University of Edinburgh and an online course via Coursera.

Undergraduate Astrobiology

The Centre has been behind a pre-Honours Astrobiology course offered to all Schools across the University (PHYS08051) since the 2013/2014 academic year. It attracted around 200 students each academic year. It typically has attracted students from 11 schools across the University

 It provides a grounding in all sciences with the focus on the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the Universe.

A general summary of the course is below.

On-line Astrobiology

The Centre developed and implemented an on-line Astrobiology course with Coursera as one of six courses developed by the University. It was first offered in 2012 and by 2018, ~145,000 students globally had taken the course. The five-week course can be taken on demand at any time.

The Edinburgh on-line Astrobiology Course.

Astrobiology Textbook: 'Astrobiology: Understanding Life in the Universe'

In collaboration with Wiley-Blackwell, Charles Cockell wrote an astrobiology textbook, now in its second edition, that can be used to teach an undergraduate astrobiology course. 'Astrobiology: Understanding Life in the Universe' has been used in many universities and course around the world since its first edition in 2015. Alongside the textbook, there are 20 sets of lecture slides that can be used to start an astrobiology course in any location. 

The book and further resources are available here.