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

The subject covers evolution from the earliest life on Earth to modern life forms. Only fragments of life in earlier times are known, and we use fossils that best document the major stages in the evolution of life. Key themes are the transition from single-celled to multi-cellular life, the establishing of life on land, the main transitions within the vertebrates, the plants changing the landscape, species extinction and species formation, and humankind’s earliest relatives. Studies of unique fossil deposits (lagerstätten) and fossils from the Natural History Museum’s collections form the basis of the subject. The fossilisation processes that are examined require knowledge within geology and biology.

Learning outcome

When you have taken this subject you will have:

  • insight into the evolution of life through the Earth’s history, and understand how the processes of fossilisation limit this knowledge
  • knowledge of how fossils can be preserved under extraordinary conditions, and how they can be used to interpret evolutionary stories
  • a good foundation for more advanced studies of fossils

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).

Overlapping courses


Lectures, colloquia and working groups - totally 6 hours per week. Submission of a compulsory report which must be approved before you can sit the final written examination.

There are two compulsory whole-day visits to Økern to study the collections of the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo.

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.


  • A compulsory report must be approved in order to present yourself for the final written examination.

  • Final written examination (3 hours) counts 100%.

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

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in Norwegian. You may submit your response 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. 16, 2021 7:12:50 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language