Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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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

This course will focus on the mechanics of earth materials (e.g. rock, soil, snow and ice), in particular, how earth materials deform, yield, flow and fail under applied loads or external forcing (both natural and man-induced). Failure criteria, frictional sliding, time-dependent strength and (in)stability will be considered. The concepts discussed will be applied to geohazard problems e.g. landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and glacier dynamics.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, students are expected to have competence in:

  • describing the strength and stability of geomaterials
  • stress and strain
  • rheological laws of geomaterials
  • yield and failure criteria in different materials
  • frictional sliding
  • slope instability
  • flow laws and micromechanisms of plastic deformation
  • oral presentation

Admission to the course

Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

Nordic citizens and applicants residing in the Nordic countries may apply to take this course as a single course student.

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

The courses GEO3131 and GEO4131 has a joint admission, with a joint capacity of 25 students.

If there are more then 25 applicants for GEO4131/3131, applicants will be ranked after the following categories:

  1. Masterstudents in Geosciences admitted to one of the following programme options:
  2. Bachelorstudents in one of the following programmes:
  3. Exchange students and other bachelor students at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  4. 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.

Formal prerequisite knowledge

The course includes laboratory work. A laboratory safety course must be passed before you can do the laboratory exercises.

Overlapping courses


The course includes lectures and compulsory practical exercises, approx. 6 hours per week. Attendance to 4-6 laboratory exercises has to be approved before you can sit for the final exam. 2-4 laboratory reports and presentations count towards the final grade.

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 of their absence 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.


  • Compulsory attendance to 4-6 laboratory exercises, attendance must be approved before you can sit for the final exam.
  • Assignments and presentations of 2-4 laboratory reports count for ca 50%.
  • The final written exam (three hours) counts for ca 50%. If there are few registered students, the exam can be given as an oral examination.
  • All parts of the exam must be passed to get a final grade.

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 English, and you submit your response in 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) Oct. 21, 2020 1:12:41 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language