Teaching and exams spring 2022

In light of the most recent infection control regulations, we will at the start of the spring semester 2022 increase our online teaching, while we at the same time try to maintain in-person teaching where this is possible. We hope to go back to more in-person teaching later on in the semester. You will be informed about any changes in teaching or examinations on the semester page, in Canvas or through your regular channels.

Read more about postponed exams for the autumn semester 2021.

Course content

This course examines the geodynamic processes that shape the solid portions of our planet. In particular, we study the forces that drive mass and heat transport within our planet and the different styles of rock deformation that result from these forces. We apply our understanding to geological and geophysical processes such as faulting, plate flexure, mountain-building, plate tectonics, volcanism, mantle convection, gravitation, glacial flow, and sea-level change.

We will work on timescales ranging from seconds appropriate for landslides to billions of years for planetary evolution, and length scales ranging from microscopic deformation of rock crystals to planetary-scale convection. We will work within the soil, crust, lithosphere, mantle, oceans, and cryosphere of the Earth, and on other planets. We place an emphasis on problem-solving in order to apply physics-based concepts to real-world observations of geodynamic processes. In doing so, we gain a fundamental physical understanding of how geodynamics controls many of the geological features around us.

Learning outcome

When you have completed this course, you will be able to

  • describe mechanisms for rock deformation within planetary materials
  • explain processes for heat and mass transport within planetary interiors
  • relate the forces acting on rocky layers to patterns of geological deformation
  • analyze the Earth’s shape and gravitational field to infer its interior structure and dynamics
  • formulate conceptual and analytical descriptions of geodynamic processes such as faulting, volcanism, global tectonics, mantle convection, and postglacial rebound

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.

It is recommended that students have knowledge equivalent of a bachelor in earth sciences or other physical/mathematical sciences.

Overlapping courses


Lectures and seminars including exercises occupy 6 hours per week throughout the semester. Up to three mandatory exercises must be approved before you can take the final examination. Typically, these mandatory exercises are based on the concepts discussed in class and consist of oral presentation and written solutions to assigned problems.

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 (studieinfo@geo.uio.no). 

We reserve the right to change the teaching form and examination of the course in semesters where 5 or fewer students have been admitted.


  • Up to 3 mandatory exercises/presentations must be approved before sitting the final written examination of the course.
  • The final written exam counts 100% towards the final grade.

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 the following course:

Examination support material

The examination will be open book, open notes: any examination material is allowed.

Language of examination

Courses 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 the exam 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) Jan. 20, 2022 10:13:20 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language