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Geology and Geophysics

This course provides an introduction to geology, the study of planet Earth, and some of the geophysical tools we use to investigate it.

collage of images

It covers the structure and composition of planet earth, and how it has changed through geologic time. The course includes one international excursion to Scotland, and one excursion within Sweden.

Autumn term 20 | Due to the circumstances and uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we have needed to make a few changes to this course. For many of you, this will be the first course you have taken at the University, and we feel it is important that you not only get to meet one another, but also experience classroom and field-based learning at the University level. This is particularly relevant for many of the practical/laboratory-based components of the course. As such we are striving to maintain as much ‘on-site’ teaching as possible

iconField trip to Stockholm archipelago

More details below under Course structure.

  • Course structure

    Teaching format

    Lectures: We will have between 40–60 students in this introductory course. Although we have a lecture room booked that has a large capacity (up to 70 students) we will only allow 25 students to attend each lecture so that we can maintain safe social distancing. Students not attending the lecture can watch them live on zoom.

    Practicals/laboratory work: For the practical/laboratory work, we will divide you into 3–4 groups of approximately 15 students. When your group is not engaged in classroom activities you will be expected to work on assignments and make sure you remain up-to-date on required reading.

    Field Trips

    In 2020, we have replaced our usual fieldtrips to Gotland and Scotland with local alternatives that circumvent travel restrictions and social distancing requirements related to COVID-19. The local excursions will take us to some great geological sites in the Stockholm archipelago, the islands in Mälaren, and the Närke region of Örebro län, where we will see some fantastic geology.


    We have not altered any of the assessments for the course. The final exam will take place at the University.

    Knowledge assessment and examination are in the form of written examinations.

    Grades will be set according to a seven-point scale related to the learning objectives of the course:
    A = Excellent
    B = Very good
    C = Good
    D = Satisfactory
    E = Adequate
    Fx = Fail, some additional work required
    F = Fail, much additional work required

    The grading criteria will be distributed at the beginning of the course.
    In order to pass the course, students must receive the minimum passing grade E on all course units and participate in all mandatory instruction.

    Students who receive a failing grade on a regular examination are allowed to retake the examination as long as the course is still provided. The number of examination opportunities is not limited. Other mandatory course elements are equated with examinations. A student who has received a passing grade on an
    examination may not retake the examination to attain a higher grade. A student who has failed the same examination twice is entitled to have another examiner appointed, unless there are special reasons to the contrary. Such requests should be made to the department board. The course has at least two examination sessions per academic year the year of tuition given. Intermediate years are given at least one examination.

    There is no facility to improve the grade Fx to a pass grade in this course.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.

    Below you will find a preliminary and schedule to give you an idea of how the course is run. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course (August 31), your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course. If you have any questions regarding the course structure please contact me at If you are worried about being on campus during the autumn term for any reason relating to the pandemic, please do not hesitate to contact me or one of your program directors, and we can try to find a good solution for your education.

    The schedule has been updated in August 26 2020.

  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Marshak, S., 2014 eller 2015
    Earth: Portrait of a Planet – 5th or 6th ed
    International Student Edition
    W.W. Norton & Co Inc
    ISBN: 9780393640311

    Andreásson, Per-Gunnar (Ed.), 2015
    Geobiosfären – en introduktion
    ISBN10: 9144096399
    ISBN13: 9789144096391

  • Course reports

    Course evaluations allow the possibility to affect and take responsibility for your own learning and gives important information for our work with pedagogical development.

    It's important that all students complete the course evaluations after each course, it gives the Department the opportunity to improve the courses' quality.

    The course evaluation is composed of a number of questions and specific questions for each course. If you, as a student, want to contribute with more course specific questions you may send them to

    If you haven't received the course evaluation for your finished course, or if you have other questions regarding course evaluations at IGV please contact

    Course evaluation = student's review of the course
    Course report = course leader's reflections about the review

  • Contact

    Matt O'ReganResearch scientist, Sediment physical properties
    Matt O'Regan
    +46 (0)8 674 78 57 | Room: R233