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 teaches the physical processes that control the flow of water in the subsurface, surface-water groundwater interactions, transport of solutes, and well hydraulics. It aims to give students a sound understanding of how water moves in the subsurface, including soil and groundwater flow. It prepares students on topics related to groundwater production, remediation of polluted soils and industrial sites, mine drainage and landfill drainage, management of wastewater, land planning, shallow geothermal energy, exploitation of tunnels, and hydroelectricity.

The teaching focuses on a physical understanding of key processes in the hydrogeological cycle that control the state and movement of water in the subsurface. The knowledge gained will serve as a basis for addressing practical aspects such as: how to apply common and advanced techniques in hydrogeology, how to solve practical problems and which tools can be used in each case. Analytical and numerical models are applied and benchmarked software will be used to model groundwater flow and transport of solutes.

Learning outcome

After taking this course, you will be able to

  • describe the characteristics of groundwater flow in porous and fractured aquifers
  • identify and measure aquifer properties and their effects on groundwater flow
  • calculate groundwater recharge, flow and discharge
  • use physics-based equations that describe flow in the unsaturated zone, groundwater flow under natural conditions, and around a pumping well, the flow of immiscible fluids, contaminant transport, retardation of chemicals in groundwater, and heterogeneities of underground flow.
  • decide on appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods commonly used in physical hydrogeology (e.g. piezometric maps, conceptual and numerical models aquifers, analytical solutions for groundwater flow, multiphase flow, interpretation of pumping tests)
  • read and present results from the scientific literature in hydrogeology
  • become an independent user of existing software modelling groundwater

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.

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

The course has a limited total capacity of a maximum of 17 students. If the number of applicants exceeds the course capacity, applicants will be ranked in the following order:

  1. Master students in Geosciences admitted to one of the following programme options (not prioritized order):

  2. Other Master students in Geosciences

  3. Master’s level exchange students and other Master’s level students at the MN Faculty

  4. Single course students on Master’s level

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.

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:

  • Bachelor degree in Geosciences or Applied Mathematics

Overlapping courses


2*2 hours of lectures per week and practicals up to 3 hours a week. Active participation of the students is expected. There are teaching activities which count towards the final grade. These include:

  • A compulsory 1-day excursion where you collect your own data on an aquifer, with the submission of a report from the fieldwork. If the covid situation allows it, the 1-day excursion will be replaced with 1 week of fieldwork organized near Rennes, France. 
  • Two compulsory sessions of laboratory experiments of groundwater flow, with the submission of a report from the experiments in the lab.
  • Around seven sessions of numerical modelling of groundwater flow and transport of solutes, with the submission of a report and an oral presentation.

Digital learning modules are available for several of the topics included in the course.

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.


  • One written report from the field trip/excursion counts 20% towards the final grade.
  • One oral presentation of an article in the subject field counts 10% towards the final grade.
  • One written report on laboratory experiments counts 20% towards the final grade.
  • One written report of a modelling assignment which shall also be presented orally counts 50% towards the final grade.
  • Both the 3 written reports and the oral presentation must be passed separately in order to pass the course.

Assignments in the three first bullet points will be due during the course of the semester, whereas the 4th bullet point will be due at the end of the semester.

When writing your exercises make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules for use of sources and citations. Breach of these rules may lead to suspicion of attempted cheating.

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. 30, 2021 6:25:38 AM

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