Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 we plan for teaching and examinations to be conducted as described in the course description and on semester pages. However, changes may occur due to the corona situation. You will receive notifications about any changes at the semester page and/or in Canvas.

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

Course content

This course teaches the physical processes that control the flow of water below the ground, surface-water groundwater interactions, transport of solutes, and well hydraulics. It aims to give students a sound understanding of how water moves below the surface, 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 geothermic, and hydroelectricity.

The teaching focuses on a physical understanding of key processes in the hydrological cycle that control the state and movement of water in the subsurface. The knowledge that is the 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 the course students will have learned the following:

  • Characteristics of groundwater flow in porous and fractured aquifers.
  • Aquifer properties and the effect on groundwater flow.
  • Characteristics of groundwater recharge, flow and discharge.
  • Physically-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.
  • Competences to decide on appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods commonly used in physical hydrogeology (e.g. piezometric maps, conceptual and numerical models of soils and aquifers, analytical solutions for groundwater flow, multiphase flow, interpretation of pumping tests).
  • 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 to 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 priority 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 among those with the same amount of ECTS credits.

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


Lectures, 4 hours a week, and exercises/laboratory, 3 hours a week, over a period of 17 weeks. Active participation of the students is expected. There are teaching activities which count towards the final grade. These include:

  • A compulsory 1-day excursion collecting own data on an aquifer, with the submission of a report from the fieldwork.
  • 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.


There are four compulsory assignments/activities which all have to be approved separately and which counts towards the final grade.

  • One written report from the field excursion counts for 10%.
  • One oral presentation of an article in the subject field counts for 20%.
  • One written report on laboratory experiments counts for 20%.
  • One written report of a modelling assignment which shall also be presented oral counts for 50%.

Assignments 1, 2, and 3 will be due during the course of the semester. Assignment 4 will be due at the end of the semester.

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) Sep. 30, 2020 7:12:34 AM

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