Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course provides an introductionto the crystallographic, physical and optical properties of the commonest minerals. You will learn about atomic bonds, different mineral groups and the classification of minerals. We combine theory with practical exercises for identifying minerals and understanding their formation environment. The minerals in rocks are explained through chemical composition and structural stability. Knowledge of minerals is fundamental, for example the alteration of minerals is relevant to sedimentology, weathering and the physical shaping of the Earth’s surface, and to properties of the Earth’s crust and mantle.

Learning outcome

When you have taken this course, you will be able to:

  • find and describe different symmetry elements in a mineral to identify its crystal group
  • understand crystal stability fields
  • understand the classification of minerals and how their chemical composition and structure influence this
  • identify the commonest minerals and be able to say whether the rock is magmatic, sedimentary or metamorphic
  • work out the order of crystallisation of the different minerals present in a rock and from that explain the geological development of the area
  • describe the properties of the minerals so that others can identify the minerals


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

The course includes a compulsory field course and excursions. A health and safety course for safety in the field must be passed before you can go on these.

Recommended previous knowledge

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with GEL2110 – Mineralogy, petrology and geochemistry (continued)


2 double hours of lectures and 2 hours of compulsory excercises per week. The compulsory exercises must be approved before taking the final examination.

There are 2 compulsory excursions.

Attendance at the first lecture is compulsory. Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Study administration, email address:


General information about excursions at the Dept. of Geosciences.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


  • The compulsory exercises must be approved and the practical test in mineralogy passed before sitting the final examination.
  • Practical test in mineralogy which counts for 20%.
  • Final written examination (3 hours) which counts for 80%.

Examination support material


Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. 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.

Exam attempts for this course are counted together with exam attempts in GEL2110 – Mineralogy, petrology and geochemistry (continued). The combined upper limit is three attempts.

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






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language