GEO4181 – Introduction to Natural Hazards

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course introduces natural hazards, both globally and related to Scandinavian conditions. The course introduces basic concepts of describing, analysing and mitigating natural hazards and associated risk. There will be a focus on a range of different methods to address and better understand hazards, including computer laboratory experiments and numerical modelling of relevant processes.

Learning outcome

After the course, the students are expected to have the competence and/or abilities to:

  • recognize and differentiate different types of natural hazards and their major driving factors,
  • evaluate the principles of different methods to address natural hazards, such as statistical or modelling tools,
  • work in groups and build up experiments to understand natural hazard processes,
  • evaluate multi-hazards and address implications related to these events.


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.

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

The course admits a maximum of 15 students. If the number of applicants exceeds the course capacity, applicants will be ranked in the following order:

  1. Students in the master’s programme in Geosciences, programme option Environmental geology and geohazards
  2. Students in the master’s programme in Geosciences, other programme options
  3. Master’s level exchange students and other master’s level students at the MN Faculty
  4. New single course students on master’s level

Admission will be decided by drawing lots for applicants who are ranked equally.


The course includes lectures and computer laboratory work, approx. 4 hours per week. There will be 2-6 days mandatory hours in experimental and numerical computer Laboratory.

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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration (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 field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


All mandatory activities must be approved in order for the student to take the final exam.

Final exam consists of a written (3 hours)/oral (depending on no. of students) examination (c. 60%), a scientific report from computer laboratory work (c. 20%), and oral presentation of a case study (c. 20%).

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.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2019

The course will be replaced by a new Geohazard course starting from autumn 2020. 


Autumn 2019

Teaching language