Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course covers central fields of inorganic geochemistry, focusing on the use of major element, trace element, radiogenic and stable isotope data to understand the evolution of the Earth from initial accretion to its present, differentiated state. To provide a background for these main topics, the course will give a general introduction to the geochemical classification of the elements and their behaviour in magmatic systems, and to the use of radiogenic isotopes to date geological processes, identify source materials, and evaluate the mass balance of processes in the Earth’s mantle and crust. The practical part of the course covers aspects of analytical geochemistry and handling of analytical data, with emphasis on methods of major and trace element and radiogenic isotope analysis, and evaluation of the uncertainty inherent in analytical data. This part of the course will introduce theory and practice of major and trace element analysis of whole rock samples by XRF and ICPMS, in-situ trace element and isotope analysis of minerals by LA-ICPMS, and will give hands-on experience in the laboratory and training in practical data evaluation, analysis and interpretation.

Learning outcome

By the end of the course, the student should know:

  • How major and trace element analyses and isotope ratio measurements are performed.
  • How the quality of analytical data can be assessed.
  • How geochemical data are used to solve research problems.
  • Have an understanding of the evolution of the Earth and its mantle and crust seen from a geochemical perspective.


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.

You have to be admitted to the MSc programme Geosciences, programme option Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry and Structural Geology and Tectonics in order to take this course.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Background in Geosciences as stated in the admission requirement for the MSc programme Geosciences, programme option Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry and Structural Geology and Tectonics.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with GEO9822 – Geochemistry


Two hour lectures every week and exercises in the laboratory during the semester. The time for the lab exercises will be in appointment with the teacher and the students. Note that some of thE laboratory exercises can be helt as whole days. Students have to write lab reports from the exercises which have to be handed in and approved before sitting the examination for the course.

At the end of the semester there will be some days with seminars, these are mandatory 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 Study administration, email address:

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


  • Reports from the lab and attendance to the mandatory seminars must be approved before sitting the final written examination for the course.
  • Final written examination (3 hours) counts for 100%.
  • If there are less than four students the examination may be oral.

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.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who have 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: GEO4822 – Geochemistry

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language