Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

Course content

The course covers central fields of inorganic geochemistry, focusing on the use of the 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.
  • How to give a critical evaluation of a research problem based on published data.

Admission to the course

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.

Formal prerequisite knowledge

Background in Geosciences: Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry.

Overlapping courses


Two-hour lectures every week and exercises in the laboratory during the semester. The time for the lab exercises will be in an appointment with the teacher and the students. Note that some of the laboratory exercises can be held 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.

PhD students have to give a presentation of a literature review in a given topic.

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 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.


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

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:

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 pass/fail scale. 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) Oct. 28, 2020 10:12:46 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language