Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 we plan for teaching and examinations to be conducted as described in the course description and on semester pages. However, changes may occur due to the corona situation. You will receive notifications about any changes at the semester page and/or in Canvas.

Spring 2020: Teaching and examinations was digitilized. See changes and common guidelines for exams at the MN faculty spring 2020.

Course content

The global environment is tightly linked to the global cycles of carbon and other key elements like nitrogen, phosphorus and iron. These elements are also closely related to the hydrological cycle as well as biological production, diversity and ecosystem services, and chemical properties of the environment. The course will focus on couplings between biological, geological and chemical processes, on the interactions between climate and the environment, and human impacts on these processes.

Learning outcome

After completing the course, you will:

  • have knowledge about the development of the biosphere on Earth and the major biogeochemical interactions in air, land and water. 
  • have knowledge about the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur and mercury.
  • be able to explain the major processes governing these cycles
  • provide examples on how these cycles are linked
  • be able to explain why and how the biogeochemical system is changing
  • explain how climate and biogeochemical processes mutually interacts
  • have obtained skills in calculation of chemical speciation by use of a speciation programme
  • be able to perform simple mass balance calculations In addition, you acquire:
  • insight into how one uses chemical knowledge to understand biological and geological processes in the environment
  • understanding of the chemical relationship between impact and response related to our environmental challenges
  • insight into water sampling, sample processing, chemical analysis, environmental data processing and the relationship between characteristics of the watershed and water chemistry

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.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Formal prerequisite knowledge

n 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).

HMS0504 – Field Safety must be taken before first field work

HMS0503 – Laboratory Safety must be taken before the first laboratory exercise

Basic knowledge in chemistry and biology.

Overlapping courses


  • Lectures  
  • Colloquiums
  • Practical module: 8 hours field work, 6 hours lab work; 4 hours environmental data workshop. Compulsory attendance
  • Mandatory report from practical module 

There is a compulsory attendance for the first lecture for students who will follow the course, including students on the waiting list. You will lose your spot on the course if your abscence has not been reported to the student administration at the Department of Chemistry before the teaching starts. Mandatory activities and submissions must be approved to sit for the exam. A completed and approved practical module and report is valid for six semesters in addition to the approved semester. After this period, you must complete the practical module again in order to prepare for the exam.

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.


Final written digital exam (3 hours) counting 100% of the mark.

Mandatory activities and submissions must be approved to sit for the exam.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

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

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. 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: BIOS3070 – Biogeochemistry and KJM4070 – Biogeokjemi

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Sep. 26, 2020 10:23:07 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)