Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course explores the complex and non-linear behavior of cryosphere systems. Model equations are derived from theory, principles of numerical methods are introduced and applied to a range of problems. These problems involve processes relevant for permafrost evolution and glacier dynamics and are solved using finite difference techniques.

Learning outcome

The students will understand

  • the derivation of model equations from theory
  • principles of numerical solution techniques
  • how these techniques are applied to solve the problems derived from theory
  • how different models can be coupled together

The students will be able to

  • design a simple modelling strategy for cryospheric questions
  • formulate sets of equations describing the problem at hand
  • apply standard numerical methods to solve these equations
  • apply the methods learned to other tasks
  • analyse the quality and characteristics of results


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

Overlapping courses

5 credits overlap with GEO5440


This research-oriented course with extensive computer-training is an intensive course over 2 weeks, with 12 hours of lectures, 32 hours of tutorials including discussions, 2 seminars where students present the progress of their projects.

Attendance of the complete course is mandatory in order to pass.


If there are less than ca 10 students, the final exam will be oral. If there are more than ca 10 students, the final exam can be written. This will be announced on the closing date for admission.

In order to pass, the student must:

  • attend the complete course
  • prepare and present obligatory project work
  • pass the exam
  • hand in a paper report based on the assigned project

The paper report is to be handed in the week after the course and final grades will be set after evaluation of the report.

The exam and the paper report count c. 50% each.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

In this course any written exam questions or assignment questions may be available in English only.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: GEO5440

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Spring 2018

Autumn 2017


Spring 2018

Autumn 2017

Teaching language