Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course gives a broad introduction to radioactivity and the application of radioactivity. It is for anyone wanting to know what radioactivity and ionizing radiation are and how it can be used. The course is recommended for everyone who intends to work with nuclear and radiochemistry, but also for persons who are going to work with radioactivity and radioactive material in related fields, e.g. medicine, biotechnology, chemistry, pharmacy, geology, physics etc. The course is also relevant for students who just want an introductory course in this challenging field. In addition to basics, we touch upon many different subjects, e.g. nuclear reactors, fission, fusion, nuclear medicine, formation of the elements in cosmos, super-heavy elements, nuclear bombs, accelerators, etc.

Learning outcome

After completing the course, you will have the following competence:

  • Know what radioactivity is and how it arises.
  • Know radioactivity in nature and why it is there.
  • Know fundamental concepts e.g. half-life, radioactive series and isotope generators.
  • Have fundamental understanding about what a nucleus “looks like” (shell model, liquid drop model, magic numbers).
  • Understand disintegration processes, nuclear reactions and fission.
  • Know the fundamental principles for a nuclear reactor and the different problems around them (criticality, waste, security).
  • Understand on a fundamental level how radioactivity is used in medicine for diagnosis and therapy (nuclear medicine).
  • Know typical examples of how radioactivity is used in research and industry.

The objective is to give the students a basis for using radioactivity and related radiation in different types of activity in a versatile and competent way. The course is recommended for everyone who is going to use radioactivity in their MSc or PhD, regardless of topic.


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

KJM1002 – Introduction to Chemistry. It is recommended to follow this course no earlier than the fourth semester of the bachelor program.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with KJM5900 – Radioactivity (discontinued)


The course comprises 39 hours of lectures and 18 hours of exercises, as well as a project assignment which has to be approved before the students are allowed to take the exam. Furthermore, three excursions to relevant institutions, e.g. Kjeller, the PET-center at Rikshospitalet and the Norwegian radiation protection agency, are planned during the semester.

The first lecture is mandatory. If you are unable to attend, the Expedition Office has to be informed in advance (phone 22 85 54 46, or e-mail, or else you will lose your place in the course.


Written final examination counts 100 %. You also have to do a project assignment which has to be approved before the students are allowed to take the exam.

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Examination support material

Chart of nuclides (must be brought by the candidate). Calculator

Language of examination

You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. If you would prefer to have the exam text in English, you may apply to the course administrators.

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

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.


English speaking students must contact the person responsible for the course, and no later than one week before the first lecture is given. English speaking students must also contact the Officer of Academic affairs (eksamenskonsulenten) at VU20 if the final, written examination is required in English.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language