Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 and 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. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

Please note that there may be changes in the form of examination for some courses taught Spring 2021. We aim to bring both the course description and the semester page of all courses up to date with correct information by 1 February 2021.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

Course content

This course provides an introduction to 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 who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for 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 (

We reserve the right to change the teaching form and examination of the course in semesters where 5 or fewer students have been admitted.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or fieldwork, 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 counts 20% towards the final grade.
  • Final written examination (3 hours) counts 80% towards the final grade.
  • Both the practical test and the final written examination must be passed separately in order to pass the course.

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 1 of the 3 attempts to sit the exam for this course if you sit the exam for the following course:

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) Jan. 24, 2021 10:13:04 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language