GEO9540 – Special topics in remote sensing and terrain analysis

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course explores state-of-the art principles, methods, and techniques within selected topics in remote sensing. The specific course theme varies from year to year, and will be decided between students and teacher. In general, the course includes:

  • Short repetition of the remote sensing and numerical terrain analysis basics as relevant to the course theme
  • In-depth theory of the course topic
  • Overview of relevant existing and upcoming sensors and data
  • Detailed application scenarios
  • New developments in the field of the theme

Learning outcome

The students will

  • understand the technical principles behind the course theme
  • understand how this principles can be applied to geoscientific tasks within the course theme
  • understand which data and sensor types are relevant to solve these tasks
  • understand how the characteristics and errors of these data influence the analysis results
  • understand current developments and open questions in the field of the course theme

The students will

  • be able to design a solution strategy to geoscientific questions using remote sensing technologies
  • be able to collect and process the necessary data
  • be able to assess, select and handle suitable software and algorithms towards a solution of their task
  • be able to develop or modify algorithms and data flows
  • be able to apply the methods learned to other task
  • be able to describe the quality and characteristics of analysis results
  • be able to perform a complete project within the course topic, present the results and discuss critical issues


  • The course aims at fostering and developing scientific curiosity around the course theme and a critical reflection of representativeness, accuracy, reliability and importance of the data and results


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

Overlapping courses

5 credits overlap with GEO5540 – Special topics in remote sensing and terrain analysis

5 credits with AGF-312 Remote sensing of the cryosphere at The University Centre in Svalbard - UNIS.


This research-oriented course with extensive computer-training is an intensive course over 2-3 weeks, with lectures, seminars, tutorials student projects, presentations and discussions.

Attendance of the complete course is mandatory in order to pass.


Scientific paper based on project (c. 50%), oral final exam (c. 50%).

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 pass/fail scale. 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.


Up to spring 2014, this course was named "Permafrost modelling in the Nordic region"

Facts about this course






Spring 2018


Spring 2018

Teaching language