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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 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.

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

Course content


Geohazards are events coupled to geological and/or geophysical processes, which can potentially cause damage to the environment and/or society. The course aims at introducing different types of geohazards, their potential consequences and how disasters can be prevented. Emphasis is placed on Norwegian geohazards, but extreme events from other parts of the world will be discussed. The course will develop an understanding of the geological and physical processes driving geohazards and how society can be affected. An introduction will be given to geotechnical methods to handle geohazards and the mitigation measures that can be implemented to prevent disastrous events. Special attention will be given to building up an understanding of the interplay between nature and society, and how this interplay controls the potential consequences of an event.


The main focus will be placed on processes causing landslides, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, as well as their possible consequences, in addition to methods for quantifying their hazard and risk. In addition, we will discuss potential interlinkages between different types of geohazards, disaster prevention and management, and quantification and communication of uncertainties. The course will include three components; a theoretical, a practical and a field-based part. The theoretical teaching activities will mostly be student active. An important part of the course will be a series of practical exercises allowing the student to work with different aspects of the syllabus. In order to understand relevant geohazards in Norway, an excursion will be arranged where different geohazards (e.g. landslides and floods) will be presented with different risk mitigation measures. The students will also have the possibility to identify potential and previous events in the field.

Learning outcome

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student has:

  • an overview of the physical and geological processes causing geohazards such as landslides, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions
  • knowledge of the formation of different landforms and deposits related to geohazards
  • knowledge to describe methods for quantifying hazard for the individual geohazards and factors controlling their uncertainty.
  • knowledge of geotechnics and which mitigation measures that can be used to reduce risk related to different geohazards.
  • understanding of possible consequences of geohazards as well as risk and disaster management.
  • knowledge of possible interactions between geohazards and their consequences.


The student is able to:

  • perform simple quantitative analyses (e.g. calculate landslide runout, calculate expected earthquake ground shaking)
  • recognize deposits and landforms related to geohazards
  • present and analyze data in a Geographical Information System (GIS)
  • visualize observations/data/principles of geohazards graphically
  • recognize and discuss risk mitigation measures for catastrophic geohazard events
  • identify and categorize slide deposits in the field.

General competence

The student can:

  • use precise terminology to describe and discuss geohazards and their consequences orally and in writing
  • recognize, assess and communicate the human role in, impact on and consequences of geohazards
  • work individually and in groups, and ethically correct, with peers
  • do fieldwork during an excursion in agreement with the HSE-regulations at GEO/UiO

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.

The courses GEO4034 and GEO3034 have a joint admission with a joint capacity of 25 students. 

If there are more then 25 applicants the applicants will be ranked after the following categories: 

  1. Students admitted to the following programme option:
  2. Students admitted to the following master programme option:: 
  3. Other master students at one of the following programme option/programme (not prioritized order):
  4. Other programme students at the Department of Geosciences, UiO. 
  5. Arriving exchange students on an agreement
  6. Other bachelors- and master students at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (UiO).
  7. Single course students.

Applicants will be ranked by the number of ECTS-credits within each category: all applicants within category 1 is ranked before applicants in category 2. If there are space limitations in the course, available places will be given to students selected randomly among those with the same amount of ECTS credits.

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


The course will be taught through a series of student active seminars and exercises, combined with self-study and portfolio work. There will be a mandatory excursion as part of the course.

Assessment will be granted when the following assignments have been approved:

  • Approved field diary
  • Completed and approved 10 quiz assignments in connection with teaching
  • Completed and approved three portfolio assignments:
    • a poster,
    • a group report 
    • an individual written text
  • Completed and approved 2 GIS-assignments in connection to teaching
  • Handed in reflection note

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.

General information about excursions at the Department of Geosciences.

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.

Cost of taking the course

Participation in the excursion is mandatory. The excursion has a fee of NOK 150 per day (if accommodation).


The student will be assessed based on a portfolio that covers:

  • 10 quizzes to be completed at the beginning of each class session counts 20%.
  • Poster (group project) counts 25%.
  • Risk communication project (group project) counts 25%.
  • Term paper (individual) counts 30%.
  • All parts need to be submitted in order to get the portfolio assessed.

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:

Language of examination

Subjects taught in English will only offer the exam paper in English. 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) Nov. 24, 2020 7:13:04 PM

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