Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course will provide fundamental analytical descriptions of the physical processes acting in and on the solid parts of a planet. It will provide an understanding of planetary structure and formation as well as the constitutive properties that govern tectonic and planetary deformation, and the thermal evolution of the Earth.

Learning outcome

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

  • describe planetary formation and the thermal evolution of the Earth and planets
  • derive the structure of the Earth and its gravitational and magnetic Fields
  • relate the rheology of the Earth’s materials to patterns of plate and mantle deformation, including convection
  • conceptionally and analytically describe mantle plumes, plate tectonics, and subduction zones


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.


Recommended previous knowledge

It is recommended that students have knowledge equivalent of a bachelor in earth sciences or other physical / mathematical sciences. MAT1100 – Calculus, MAT1110 – Calculus and Linear Algebra, FYS-MEK1110 – Mechanics or comparable courses are an advantage. The course GEO4620 – Seismic waves and seismology/GEO9620 – Seismic Waves and Seismology is complementary and could be taken in parallel.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with GEO9630 – Geodynamics


Lectures and seminars including exercises, 6 hours per week over 12 weeks. Up to three mandatory exercises which must be approved before you can take the final examination.

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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration (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.


  • Up to 3 mandatory exercises/presentations must be approved before sitting the final written examination of the course.
  • Final written exam (3 hours) counts for 100%.

Language of examination

In this course any written exam questions or assignment questions may be available in English only.

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.

Explanations and appeals

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.

Withdrawal from an 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.

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:

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language