Introduction to Geology

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The course aims to give an introduction to the structure, composition and processes of the earth from centre to surface. The course gives a fundamental introduction to the most central aspects of geology. The course provides insight to the structure and composition of the earth, and the elements, minerals and rocks that make up our planet. Further, the course aims to give the students an understanding of earth processes and their interactions, that are at play and that have shape the earth and its landforms.

The subject of geology encompasses the inner structure and processes of the earth as well as the landforms and processes active at the earth¿s surface. The teaching provides an introduction to seismology, geomagnetism, classification of rocks and minerals, volcanic and magmatic activity, earthquakes, metamorphism, deformation and plate tectonics. Further, the teaching focuses on weathering, mass wasting, erosion, transport and deposition of sediments, formation of sedimentary rocks, as well as the shaping and break-down of different landforms.

Learning Outcomes

The student can

  • explain the structure and composition of the earth, and the fundamental geological processes that have shaped the Earth
  • explain key geological terms, definitions and theories (for example minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, orogeny)
  • define, classify and describe sediments, minerals, rocks and their formation
  • discuss how different earth processes (for example plate tectonics, erosion, sedimentation) work and interact, and how different minerals, rocks and landforms that result from various processes.
  • discuss the link between cause and effect for different different geological processes (for example the foces driving plate tectonics)


The student can

  • interpret (read and explain) graphs and figures with geological data
  • summarize observations/data/principles graphically
  • recognise and discuss different geological environments, landform and processes
  • perform simple searches for relevant Earth Science literature, as well as cite sources correctly


General competence
The student can

  • use a precise geological language to describe and discuss geological processes and events
  • demonstrate the ability to function individually, in cooperation and ethically with others
  • acknowledge, evaluate and communicate the role of humans in, and our dependency and impact on, the Earth system

Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Attendance on seminars and hand-in of seminar tasks.


Compulsory assignments are valid for 2 subsequent semesters.

Forms of Assessment
The form of assessment is 4 hours written exam. Permitted tools: calculator
Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
Reading List
The reading list will be available within July 1st for the autumn semester and December 1st for the spring semester.
Course Evaluation
The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
Course Coordinator
The course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB, or you may contact
Course Administrator
The Faculty for Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Earth Science has the administrative responsibility for the course and program