GEO-DEEP9506 – Special Topics on Dynamics and Evolution of the Earth and Planets: Mineralogy of Planetary Surfaces and Biosignatures

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Spring 2021 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale.

As a general rule, exams at the MN Faculty will during the autumn of 2021 be conducted without physical attendance. For reasons relating to the course content, some courses will have on-campus written examination if the current infection rate makes this possible.

The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination. See also more information about examination at the MN Faculty in 2021.

Course content

This Special Topics course series explores state-of-the-art principles, methods, and techniques within selected topics in DEEP research school themes. During this course, we will introduce the basics of how we can study mineralogy of extraterrestrial bodies and how to retrieve information on biosignatures from this.

In general, the course includes:

  • short repetition of the topic relevant basics according to the selected course topic
  • in-depth theory of the course topic
  • overview of relevant methods and data, and can if relevant include practical (laboratory) work
  • detailed application scenarios
  • new developments in the field of the theme

Learning outcome

After completing the course students will:

  • have fundamental knowledge on the mineralogy of surfaces of rocky planets and relation to biosignatures
  • understand the difference between habitability and biosignatures
  • be familiar with methods (both laboratory and remote sensing) used to study mineralogy of extraterrestrial bodies
  • be familiar with the role of analogue rocks and experiments in studies of extraterrestrial bodies
  • understand challenges in biosignature preservation and detection methods

Admission to the course

Open to PhD candidates enrolled in the Norwegian Research School for Dynamics and Evolution of Earth and Planets (DEEP).

Registration is done by filling out an online application form.

PhD candidates who are admitted to other education institutions than UiO must apply for visiting PhD status. This is easily done through the same online application form. Applicants must be able to present original documentation on request.

There is no upper limit of number of participants.

Only students admitted to the course may sit for the examination.


The course is centred on a one- or two-week session (about 40 h). This includes lectures and practical.

Course literature will be pre-selected and accessible to course participants in due time prior to the course. To be able to sit the final exam, you have to give a short presentation on a given topic during the course week.


Home exam that counts 100% of the final grade.

In order to sit the final exam, a mandatory presentation must be approved.

Use of sources and citation

When writing your exercises make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules for use of sources and citations

Breach of these rules may lead to suspicion of attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

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

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Aug. 6, 2021 1:14:11 AM

Facts about this course


The course is last held spring 2021

Teaching language