Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The subject covers evolution from the earliest life on Earth to modern life forms. Only fragments of life in earlier times are known, and we use fossils that best document the major stages in the evolution of life. Key themes are the transition from singlecelled to multicelluar life, the establishing of life on land, the main transitions within the vertebrates, the plants changing the landscape, species extinction and species formation, and humankind’s earliest relatives. Studies of unique fossil deposits (lagerstätten) and fossils from the Natural History Museum’s collections form the basis of the subject. The fossilisation processes that are examined require knowledge within geology and biology.

Learning outcome

When you have taken this subject you will have:

  • insight into the evolution of life through the Earth’s history, and understand how the processes of fossilisation limit this knowledge
  • knowledge of how fossils can be preserved under extraordinary conditions, and how they can be used to interpret evolutionary stories
  • a good foundation for more advanced studies of fossils


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).

Recommended previous knowledge

Overlapping courses


Lectures, colloquia and working groups - totally 6 hours per week. Obligatory assignments which must be approved.

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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Study administration, email address:


Final written examination (3 hours) counts 100%.

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

Exam attempts for this course are counted together with exam attempts in GEO3030 – Evolution of Life. The combined upper limit is three attempts.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn

This course continue as GEO3030 autumn 2019.


Every autumn

Teaching language