Astronomy in the Curriculum

Teachers and educators can use an activity based on Open Star Clusters to cover astronomy content set out in various exam curricula. For example,

  • The Doppler Effect and redshift (often thought of in cosmological terms, but vital to concepts associated with binary stars).
  • Wien's Law, blackbody spectra (Wien's Law relates the peak wavelength at which an objects emits to its temperature; crucial to the x-axis of the CMD/HRD).
  • Optical light and its position within the electromagnetic spectrum.


There are several examination boards (also known as awarding bodies) that are able to set and award qualifications, such as GCSEs, A levels, and Highers, to pupils in state schools and colleges across the UK. Follow the links below to explore subject specifications in more detail...

AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance)

GCSEs: Physics, Combined Science: Trilogy, Combined Science: Synergy.

AS and A level: Physics, which includes an optional module in Astrophysics.


CCEA (Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment)

GCSE: Physics, Science Single Award, Science Double Award

AS and A Level: Physics


OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA)

GCSEs: Physics A, Physics B, Science A, Science B

AS and A Level : Physics A, Physics B (Advancing Physics)


Pearson Edexcel ("Education” and “Excellence")

GCSEs: Astronomy, Combined Science.

AS and A Level: Physics.


SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority)

National 5, Higher, Advanced Higher: Physics.

Baccalaureate: Science.


WJEC (Welsh Joint Education Committee)

GCSEs in Physics, Applied Science (Single Award), Applied Science (Double Award), Science (Double Award).

AS and A Levels in Physics.