Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course provides an overview of the Earth´s tectonic evolution in the context of plate tectonics. The first part of the course consists of lectures giving a systematic description of geological processes and the Wilson cycle, which include formation of continental rifts and margins, oceanic spreading, transforms faults, subduction and island arcs, as well as continental collision and formation of mountain belts. The tectonic processes typical of the various stages of the Wilson cycle, and their significance for basin formation, deformation, metamorphism and generation of magma will be in focus in this part of the course. The second part of the course concentrates on large-scale plate motions, paleogeography and the link between plate tectonics and the Earth´s interior. The course includes one week obligatory field teaching where many of the phenomenon discussed in the lectures are presented.

Learning outcome

The course aims to provide state-of-the-art knowledge on the geology of various plate tectonic environments and regions. Methods of plate reconstructions are taught and the field teaching will provide first-hand experience with many rock units formed in different tectonic environments.


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.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

HMS0504 – Field Safety OR MNHMS0015FS – Introduction to Field Safety (discontinued)

Recommended previous knowledge

This is a course at an advanced level and it is recommended that students have a knowledge equivalent of a bachelor in Earth- or other physical/mathematical sciences. The course fits well with other advanced geology and geophysics courses, including GEO4620 Geodynamics.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with GEO9840 – Tectonics


3 hours lectures and seminars/exercises pr. week. Seminar presentations by students. Field teaching days.

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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Studies administration, email address:

To attend the field trip/excursion it is required that the following course is passed:

You will need to provide documentation that you have passed HMS0504 when you attend the field trip/excursion.

General information about excursions at the Department of geosciences.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


Obligatory term paper and presentation (counts 1/3), reports from field teaching (counts 1/3), final written exam (3 hours) (counts 1/3). Final exam may be held as an oral examination in years with few registered students.

In this course exam papers are written in English and only arranged in the semester the course is given.

Language of examination

In this course may any written exam questions or assignment questions 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.

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.


We reserve the right to change the form of teaching and exams according to the number of students. This will be decided between the teacher and students.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language