Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The lectures will deal with the basics of the earth system with an emphasis on interactions between its components (atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere). Observed changes in the state of the earth system will be presented. Current Earth System Models will be introduced and their capabilities and limitations will be discussed. Projected future climate change based on multi-model simulations will be highlighted.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, students will:

  • Have insight into ongoing and projected changes in the Earth’s climate, and associated uncertainties.
  • Be familiar with the methods used in climate science.
  • Be familiar with the concept of the Earth System and key processes governing interactions between its main components.


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.

The course is offered both on MSc and PhD level and has a limited total capacity for both courses to a maximum of 15 students. If the number of applicants exceeds the course capacity, applicants will be ranked in the following order:

  1. PhD candidates at the Department of Geosciences and Master students in Geosciences, programme option Meteorology and Oceanography
  2. Other PhD students and visiting PhD students, and Master students in Geosciences, other programme options
  3. Master’s level exchange students and other master’s level students at the MN Faculty
  4. New single course students on master’s level

Admission will be decided by drawing lots for applicants who are ranked equally.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

The course includes a compulsory field course and excursions. A health and safety course for safety in the field must be passed before you can go on these.

Recommended previous knowledge

Overlapping courses


The course is taught weekly. The teaching consists of interactive lectures with active participation by the students (e.g. oral presentations, discussions) and a mandatory field excursion to Andøya Rocket Range observatory, Andøya, Norway. A field report must be handed in after the excursion and approved before the final examination. Student presentations will be part of the course, and counts towards the final grade.

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 Dept. 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.


  • All mandatory activities must be completed and the field report must be approved in order for the student to take the final exam.
  • Oral presentation (s) counts for 50%.
  • Final oral examination counts for 50%.

Examination support material

No examination support material 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.

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.


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


This course changed code from GEF4400 to GEO4990 autumn 2018.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language