Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 we plan for teaching and examinations to be conducted as described in the course description and on semester pages. However, changes may occur due to the corona situation. You will receive notifications about any changes at the semester page and/or in Canvas.

Spring 2020: Teaching and examinations was digitilized. See changes and common guidelines for exams at the MN faculty spring 2020.

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

Admission to the course

Students at UiO register for courses and exams in Studentweb.

Special admission requirements

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).

Formal prerequisite knowledge

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.

Overlapping courses


2 double hours of lectures and 2 hours of compulsory exercises 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 Student administration (

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.

General information about excursions at the Department of Geosciences.


  • 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%.

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:

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.

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.

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) June 5, 2020 7:13:20 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language