GEO4410 – Glacial and Periglacial Geomorphology

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

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

Course content

The focus of this course will be on geomorphological processes and landforms associated with glaciers, permafrost, periglacial and slope environments. The course also has relevance for Quaternary geology. The course will give an insight into modern research methods, including field methods, numerical landscape modelling and theoretical approaches to understanding processes and impacts of meteorology and climate on glacial, periglacial, gravitational and fluvial landforms, past as well as the present.

The course has a theoretical part with lectures and seminars, and a practical part with fieldwork/ excursion. The fieldwork will provide students with personal experience from modern glaciers and periglacial environments. Seminars will deal with papers, based on field studies in Norway and other cold-climatic regions, to improve knowledge on such geomorphological processes, and to demonstrate the use of cold-climate landforms to reconstruct past environments and climatic conditions. Discussions will concentrate on identifying the critical questions for future cold-climate geomorphological research. Computer labs will provide insight into the use of physical and empirical modelling of geomorphological phenomena.

Learning outcome

  • This course will provide you with knowledge on analyzing and modelling geomorphological processes and landforms, with special focus on cold environments.
  • You will train your ability to discover knowledge for yourself, wanting to know more, and with long-term retention of this knowledge.
  • You will train your ability to perceive relations between old knowledge and new.
  • You will train your ability to apply your knowledge to solving problems.
  • You will develop your critical evaluation skills, including logic.
  • You will develop your ability to communicate your knowledge to others.

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.

Formal prerequisite knowledge

Overlapping courses


The course will have a theoretical part with lectures (2 hrs/week) and seminars/exercises in the computer lab (2 hrs/week). From the seminars/exercises, you have to write at least two computer lab reports (max 3 pages each), which must be completed and approved before the final examination. Students have to write a topical essay (max 10 pages including figures) and present this in the class. The essay counts towards the final grade.

There is a compulsory field course (4 days) at Finse, Western Norway. A field report must be written from the field course, and this counts 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 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.

To attend the field trip/excursion it is required that you have passed the following HSE-training:

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.

Cost of taking the course

The field trip is compulsory and has a deductible (fee) of NOK 150 per night. 


  • At least two written computer lab reports must be delivered and approved prior to the final examination.
  • One written field report (weighted ca 35 %) and one essay about a selected research topic (weighted ca 15 %) count for ca 50%.
  • Final oral examination counts for ca 50%.
  • Both the written field report, the essay and the final examination must be passed individually in order to pass the course.

If there are more than 10 students admitted for the course, the final examination may be held as a written 3-hour examination. 

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.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed if the final examination is given as 3-hour written exam. 

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) Nov. 24, 2020 3:33:32 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language