GEO4810 – Petrography and Microstructures

Course content

This course is designed to provide an overview and practical training in the deformation and metamorphism of the Earth’s lithosphere. Analysis, interpretation and application of structural data will be undertaken along with analysis of metamorphism in the field and in thin sections.

Practical classes will focus on petrological and fabric description of deformed and metamorphosed rocks at both hand specimens and thin sections scale. Important concepts that will be discussed include the controls on metamorphism, fluid-rock interaction and mineral reactions, metamorphic and deformation fabrics, deformation mechanisms, lithosphere rheology.

The course’s aims are the following:

  1. To provide a basis for the identification and classification of deformed and metamorphosed rocks developed at "deeper" levels of the Earth
  2. To introduce the field and petrographic tools for investigating and interpreting structural and metamorphic processes quantitatively
  3. To provide insight and understanding of deformation and metamorphic processes

The course is principally aimed at geologists, but may be relevant for solid-state chemists and material scientists working with analyses of solid materials at microscopic scales.

Learning outcome

After taking this course, you will be able to

  • demonstrate a sound knowledge of major theories of structural and metamorphic geology and show an awareness of a variety of ideas, contexts and frameworks under which deformation and metamorphism may occur
  • analyse deformed and metamorphosed rocks in outcrop, hand specimen and thin section, using given classifications and principles with minimum guidance
  • interpret common microstructures in terms of the underlying rock-forming and rock modifying processes
  • evaluate the relevance and significance of structural and metamorphic data in terms of tectonic and geodynamic processes, and communicate results in a professional scientific manner

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 following HSE-course must be taken before the first lecture: 


This course will be held throughout the semester. The course consists of a field trip, lectures and compulsory exercises. The field trip takes place early in the semester and is compulsory to attend.

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 fieldwork, you should consider taking out separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.

Cost of taking the course

Participation in the excursion is mandatory. The excursion has a fee of NOK 150 per day (if accommodation).


  • Attendance at the field trip and compulsory exercises need to be approved in order to sit the final exam.
  • A mid-term oral examination with an individual presentation about the field trip counts 40% towards the final grade.
  • A final written examination counts 60% towards the final grade.
  • Both the mid-term examination and the final written examination must be passed separately in order to pass the course. 

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

Mid-term examination:

  • No examination support material is allowed.

Final written examination:

  • A mineral identification table and a textbook on optical mineralogy 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) July 7, 2022 7:16:05 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language