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Course content

The Earth's environment is tightly linked to the global cycles of carbon and other key elements like nitrogen, phosphorus and iron. These elements affect the climate system, biological production, diversity and ecosystem services, and the chemical composition of the environment. The course will focus on links between biological, geological and chemical processes, on the interactions between climate and the environment, and on how human activities affect these processes. Many of the UN's sustainability goals are closely linked to changes in ecosystem services, which is the overarching topic of the course. The main focus of the course is on terrestrial systems, including soil, vegetation and fresh water, and interactions with the atmosphere.

Learning outcome

After completing the course, you will:

  • Have knowledge on the Earth's development and the most important biogeochemical reactions in air and on land.
  • Have knowledge about the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur.
  • Be able to explain which biogeochemical processes govern these global cycles.
  • Be able to explain how these cycles are interconnected.
  • Be able to explain why and how the biogeochemical system is changing, as well as understand the uncertainties associated with such changes.
  • Be able to explain how the climate affects and is affected by key biogeochemical processes.
  • Have insights into the analysis of air samples, be able to use of air sample data.
  • Have basic skills in the use of computer programs for biogeochemical modeling of soil and water systems.
  • Be able to perform simple mass balance calculations.

Admission to the course

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.

The courses KJM3070 – Biogeochemistry and KJM4070 have joint admission. Students are ranked by the following criteria:

1. Bachelor ́s program students at the Department of Chemistry and master ́s program students at the MN Faculty who have the course approved in their study plan.

2. Other program students.

3. Single course students and exchange students.

Special admission requirements

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).

Formal prerequisite knowledge

The following course must be passed before the first field work:

The following courses must be passed before the first laboratory exercise:

Basic knowledge in biology and ecology.

Overlapping courses


The course duration is one semester. The teaching consists of:

  • Lectures
  • Colloquia
  • Mandatory environmental data workshop
  • Mandatory lab / fieldwork / excursion
  • Mandatory reports from practical modules

Lectures, computer labs and workshops in the course are held jointly for the courses: GEO3070 – Biogeochemistry, KJM3070 – Biogeochemistry, KJM4070 – Biogeochemistry, BIOS3070 – Biogeochemistry and BIOS4070 – Biogeochemistry.

All mandatory exercises must be approved before you can sit the final exam.

Approved mandatory activities are valid for 3 years.

You must be able to show documentation that you have passed the HSE courses on the first fieldwork/lab exercise.

It is mandatory to attend the first lecture (including students on the waiting list). If you are unable to attend the first lecture, you must notify the Department of Chemistry before the start of the lecture, otherwise your course registration will be cancelled.

Since the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out your own travel and personal injury insurance. Read about how you are insured as a student.

If mandatory activities have already been completed and approved, you are not entitled to repeat these activities. If you have been admitted to the course, but have not completed or received approval for the mandatory activities, you are entitled to participate in these activities if there is enough capacity.


  • Final written exam counts 100 % towards the final grade.

This course has mandatory exercises that must be approved before you can sit the final exam.

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: GEO3070 – Biogeochemistry, KJM4070 – Biogeochemistry, BIOS3070 – Biogeochemistry and BIOS4070 – Biogeochemistry

Examination support material

No support material is allowed during the exam.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in Norwegian. You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or 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.

Resit an examination

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

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) July 4, 2022 12:24:18 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)