Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Exams after the reopening

As a general rule, exams will be conducted without physical attendance in the autumn of 2021, even after the reopening. See the semester page for information about the form of examination in your course. See also more information about examination at the MN Faculty in 2021.

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 taking this course you will be able to

  • describe the strength and stability of geomaterials under different conditions
  • explain stress, strain, frictional sliding and instability
  • compare the rheological behaviour and flow of common geomaterials
  • apply yield and failure criteria to evaluate stability
  • communicate results from your own lab work and published work in oral and written form
  • reflect on which geomechanical tools are suitable for evaluating different geohazard applications

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 GEO4131 and GEO9131 has a joint admission, with a joint capacity of 20 students.

If there are more then 20 applicants for GEO4131/9131, applicants will be ranked after the following categories:

  1. Master students in Geosciences admitted to one of the following programme options (not prioritized order):
  2. Other master students at one of the following programme options/programme options (not prioritized order):
  3. PhD students at the MN faculty
  4. Other programme students at the Department of Geosciences, UiO
  5. Exchange students and other students at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  6. Others

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 2 hours per week, as well as practical exercises and labs 2-4 hours per week. Students are required to give a compulsory oral presentation and to submit 2 lab reports. The oral presentation must be approved before the exam and the 2 lab reports 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.


  • An oral presentation must be approved before the final exam.
  • 2 written laboratory reports count 50% towards the final grade.
  • A final written exam counts 50% towards the final grade.
  • The written lab reports and the final written exam 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 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) Nov. 27, 2021 7:18:26 AM

Facts about this course

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