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Course content

Physical Geography focuses on the landscapes on Planet Earth, and the geomorphological processes responsible for these. The spatial distribution of past and present geomorphological processes in different climatic and vegetational zones is reviewed, as are the main controls exercised by geology and climate on landscape development. The effects of climatic change, past and present, are given special attention. The course covers all regions of Planet Earth, but with special emphasis on the physical geography and landforms within the Nordic region and the effects of past glaciations. By this the student will be acquainted with the main types of characteristic landscapes for planet Earth and on a more detailed level with within the Nordic region.

Learning outcome

After accomplished this course, you will have the following competences:

  • can explain the structure of the Earth, basic meteorological processes and gain knowledge about the global climate and vegetation zonation
  • have insight into the basic principles for exogen and endogen processes which forms the surface of the Earth
  • know about the climate development in the northern areas through the Quaternary, and explain glaciations and related landforms
  • gain knowledge about consequences of climate change on the natural environment
  • gain insight to use digital maps and satellite images within the framework of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and gain the ability to perform simple spatial analysis.


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

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

The following course must be taken before the field trip/excursion in GEO1010:

For students taking GEO1010 autumn 2012 or later, to have GEO1010 included in your degree you must first pass the following HSE courses:

For further information se website for transitional arrangements between old and new HSE courses.

Overlapping courses


Lectures, exercises (6 hours each week) and obligatory excursion at the beginning of the semester.

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.


A written field report from the Finse stay (counts ca 20%) to be submitted in the last half of September. An oral group presentation on topics from the Ringerike excursion (counts ca 20%) is held in late October / early November. Both parts must be passed. In addition, 3-4 short submissions / presentations of exercises which must be passed in order to take the exam. Final written exam (3 h) at the end of the semester (counts ca 60%). The final grade is determined by an overall assessment of the individual exams.


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

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

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.

This course was periodic evaluated in autumn 2012 (pdf, in Norwegian).

Facts about this course






The course is discontinued, taught for the last time autumn 2016.


Teaching language