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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life by The University of Edinburgh

2,287 ratings
628 reviews

About the Course

Learn about the origin and evolution of life and the search for life beyond the Earth....

Top reviews

Sep 15, 2020

A great opportunity to learn a lot of things especially in terms of seeking the origin of life here on our planet Earth and beyond in the vast universe. Thank you for the knowledge and everything.

Jul 24, 2020

A great opportunity to learn a lot of things especially in terms of seeking the origin of life here on our planet Earth and beyond in the vast universe. Thank you for the knowledge and everything.

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501 - 525 of 616 Reviews for Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

By Efstathiou G

Jan 3, 2019

Very interesting and informative course, the instructor is actually really engaging. However, after week 3 it seems that the instructor just wanted to get it over with, having videos of 6-8 minutes covering topics that astrophysicists would need twice the time to comprehend (like the methods of searching for exoplanets). And the fact that after a 15-20 minute collection of videos you need to take a quiz of 20 questions, means that the instructor actually spent less than a minute explaining each one of these questions. Overall, it was a great course, which I totally recommend to anyone who is interested in learning a few basics in astrobiology, however, in my opinion, for those of us who have zero to limited knowledge of astrobiology, this introduction to astrobiology should have been a little more detailed, with longer videos explaining all these interesting topics with greater detail.

By Harry M

Feb 25, 2021

Astrobiology is a fascinating area and Professor Cockel clearly presents a well organized introduction to the subject. His presentations are clear, concise and enjoyable. As a scientist with little knowledge of astrobiology, I learned a lot and thought my course time was well spent. Having said that, I must add that the course is very dated. Professor Cockel's discussions are almost 10 years out of date. As I write this, the US has landed a spacecraft on Mars and I am astounded by the photographs that have been sent back to earth. This makes the course of ten years ago seem even more dated. Nevertheless, the course provides a solid foundation to the field. I thought that some the quiz questions were more than a bit tricky and picky. Who remembers how many countries were in the UN at a specific time in history?

By Bearely B

Sep 15, 2015

I love this course, it gave me the basic idea of how life could and couldn't start with one situation or another. The impact of some element in our life and how alternative elements have smaller chance to be the backbone of life is not a common thing to think in my everyday life (a fresh air for me)

I have difficulty to remember all the project that we all do to search the extraterrestrial life though XD...this course make me think that I now have a basic scientific facts to start build a new story about the early life in earth <3 oh my god, thanks a lot sir!! (^u^)v

By Suryendu S

May 30, 2020

The course has been very interesting and has motivated me to pursue this field further as a researcher. However, the pieces of information are really outdated, as old as of 2012, so I would like to request Prof. to update the course as much as possible. In the course certificate, the overall grade is not depicted, therefore, I request coursera to look into this matter. Nevertheless, it gives me immense pleasure to undergo this course and I thank whole-heartedly to Prof. Cockell and coursera as well.

By Carlos C

Oct 21, 2015

About the contents, I was expecting maybe less biological charge and a bit more about astronomy, but maybe that was my mistake. The teacher makes a great job, and I have been learning both astrobiology and English. About practicing English while studying another subject, I would like to appreciate the synchronizing of the subtitles, that were perfect.

I totally recommend this course to anyone interesting in solar system, astronomy, biology and the search for extraterrestrial inteligence.

By Aaron M S

Sep 27, 2019

This course was very informative about the current scientific research beyond our Earth and beyond the solar system. I give it four stars because all the information in the lectures and video did not cover tested material. I had to go outside of the course to find some of the information required in the quizzes. I do believe that some of the information could be updated for 2019. Thank you very much for offering this course! I will be looking for more courses with similar topics.

By Dion S

Jul 29, 2018

This was a fun course, and I'm glad that I took it, however I wish that we learned a bit more science, perhaps about what work is currently being done that might encourage us to go into the field. Or perhaps there isn't much that can be done at the moment, because we are only just getting the technology and telescopes to have the ability to do interesting things in this area. I think the next 20 years will be a very exciting time for astrobiology.

By Ricardo V

Aug 27, 2015

Almost perfect (for the intro level it was designed for). I would suggest that next time, if possible, instructor image could be a little smaller and the actual images illustrating the points he is talking about a little bigger and more diverse. But that is a minor, please, don't get me wrong. The course was very very good, thank you a lot. Also, the off-line written forum-style discussions were very very good.


Feb 27, 2020

The course was very interesting and the lectures were very well executed. If there is something negative about the course, it would some issues related with some outdated material. There were some points for example where dates such as 2013 and 2015 were refereed to as future dates which means some of the date there may not be accurate or even somethings might don't be even the same as they are today in 2020.

By Akshat N

May 18, 2020

Found this course very informative and helpful for understanding what is actually happening right up there. Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life is indeed an emerging and great future field that will surely benefit to lot of students across world to get to know about our old and early earth and also regarding our search for more habitable planets in this universe! :)

By Samantha B

Jan 30, 2021

Good course, covers a wide range of topics related to astrobiology. While I have already studied a bit of this subject, it did bring in some new information for me, which I am pleased about. Some of the information is a little bit outdated, as it referenced events "going to happen" in years 2013 and 2015, in regards to missions and projects.,

By wilfried b

Oct 28, 2017

Clear explanation by Charles Cockell. The course gives a nice introduction, an overview of the history and latest developments of this area, which covers numerous subjects. Charles places them in the right context. What I miss are some references (books, web site links, articles) to dig into some more details.

By Sumit B

May 26, 2020

very nice, comprehensive and synthesis have been wonderful. Possible chronological development can be better, and science behind them (especially mineralization and fossilization, stellar nucleosynthesis, steller and galactic structure, relation of life with physical constants of universe) can be meade better

By Daniel M

Aug 25, 2015

Very interesting material, and very well explained. The course is slightly out of date, and a couple of the test questions were poorly worded (mostly, these were corrected), but overall it is educational and fun to participate in. I enjoyed it and I learned even more about something that interested me.

By Rob E

Jul 11, 2016

The teaching methods and pace were quite fine but it lacked a bit of media presentation pizzazz. It was definitely sufficient but could've been a little better production quality-wise. The professor had an amiable vibe and definitely seem to be a master of his field. I enjoyed it and plan to resume.

By Aditi C

Aug 9, 2019

It was an excellent course! It was brilliantly taught and offered some great insights. However, I'd have liked it if it were more up-to-date. Nonetheless, I had fun learning about the origins of life on Earth, the possibility of life on Mars, Extraterrestrial intelligence and other topics covered.

By Torrey W

Dec 31, 2015

I really enjoyed this course. It threw me, at first, that the whole course was only lectures -- no videos or readings -- but so much of this course will be applicable to teaching biology that it's useful no matter what. I also had a small problem with verifying quizzes on my phone.

By James L

Jun 28, 2016

Very intensive course, definitely very well detailed and thorough. The tests often rely on paying attention to the smallest details of the lecture, which while frustrating, forces you to learn. Its one of the hardest courses on here, but also the most rewarding when you finish it.

By Paul P

Aug 13, 2016

Very good introductory course that embraces a broad range of topics. The depth of coverage, however, is somewhat shallow in comparison to other scientific courses aimed at beginners, such as the outstanding 'Origins' course from the University of Copenhagen.

By David F

Aug 13, 2015

Very informative, well organized and well presented. My only complaint is that the class was a little on the short side, and it could have went into more detail at a couple of points. I would still recommend the course, regardless of length (and have).

By ivantong

Feb 6, 2021

thanks and the course provided oversight about the background on astrobiology. Suggest to include more contemporary topics at SETI e.g. how the community can contribute; and some more insights about levels of cilivisation like Kardashev scale

By Keith P

Nov 16, 2017

This is a wonderful course to getting started in Astrobiology basics, with solid facts on geology, biology, evolution and astronomy. The quality of the lectures, the pace and the instructor himself made these few weeks really interesting!

By Tom N

Apr 23, 2016

While a decent overview, the course is a bit dated (2012), One thing that would be nice, is having the key topics that are being talked about, show up on the backdrop. Sometimes, there too much information being presented too quickly.

By Gunnar H

Oct 7, 2015

Thank you very much for this course.

I think I now have a good understanding of what Astrobiology is and how it is possible to look out for life on other planets.

Hopefully some of the big questions of astrobiology will be answered :)

By Amy C

Aug 24, 2015

I learned a lot from this course. It did feel like some of the videos were out of order in the first two weeks of the class. Overall, it was very interesting and I now know more about a subject I was unfamiliar with previously.