GEO4212 – Paleozoology, Systematics and Evolution

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

The course shall give the student an introduction to paleobiology, systematics and morphology of fossil taxa as tools for classification and biostratigraphy. Furthermore, this course gives detailed knowledge of evolutionary theory and theories of extinction, macroevolution, advanced paleoecology and biogeography.

Learning outcome

After taking this course you will know:

  • What identifies and differentiates the main invertebrate and vertebrate groups in the fossil record.
  • Key principles for studying fossil organisms.
  • How taphonomy affects fossilization in different groups.
  • Evolution of selected groups in the fossil record.
  • How to use invertebrates/vertebrates in biostratigraphy.

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.

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.

Overlapping courses


Lectures and practicals 2 * 2 hours per week. Practicals with studies of fossils are mandatory and will be carried out in the Natural History Museum´s collections at Økern.

There are two compulsory home assignments which shall be presented orally in the class during the course. Participation in studies of fossils and presentations of home assignments must be approved before the final exam.

One compulsory 1-day excursion in the Oslo-field. A field report must be written from the excursion, handed in and be approved.

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.


  • Participation in compulsory studies of fossils, excursion, presentation of the two compulsory home assignments in the class, as well as the field report must have been approved before the final examination.
  • Final oral examination counts for 100%.

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

Subjects taught in English will only offer the exam paper in English. You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or 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. 29, 2020 5:12:32 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)