autumn 2022
GEO-3122 Micropalaeontology - 5 ECTS

Application deadline

Applicants from countries within EU/EEA: June 1st for the autumn semester.

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 15 April for the autumn semester.

UiT students: September 1st for the autumn semester.

Type of course

This course is available as a single course.

Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree in geology, or a similar degree following a programme of study of at least three years duration, or similar education approved in accordance with the Norwegian Universities Act section 3-4. In addition, specialization in geology worth the equivalent of at least 80 ECTS credits is required. Normally, an average mark of C or better is required at the bachelor's degree level or other programme for basis of admission. Application code: 9371.

Course content

The most important microfossil groups will be presented with respect to their systematics, ecology, evolution and stratigraphy. Marine microfossils will be focused on, in particular the foraminifera. The exercises will demonstrate microfossils, sample preparation and identification. A cruise on a research vessel (e.g., R/V Helmer Hanssen) to areas around Tromsø is included in the course.

Recommended prerequisites

GEO-1001 Introduction to geology, GEO-2007 Historical geology / Stratigraphy

Objectives of the course


The student has

  • knowledge of the most important microfossil groups, their systematics, biology, and geological history.
  • knowledge of the use of microfossils in ecology, evolution, and stratigraphy.
  • knowledge of the general use of the microfossils in palaeoclimatic/-oceanographic studies.
  • knowledge and understanding of the advantages/disadvantages of use of the various groups of microfossils for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions.


The student can

  • prepare samples and identify microfossils.
  • handle and process surface samples of living benthic foraminiferal samples from slope, shelf, and fjords in Troms and West Finnmark.
  • perform microscopy for counts and identification of living benthic foraminifera.
  • use data to make comprehensive ecological interpretation and discussion of living benthic foraminiferal faunas from two different environmental settings.
  • conduct marine geological fieldwork with a research vessel (e.g., R/V Helmer Hanssen) to retrieve gravity cores, box-cores, plankton tows, seismic and acoustic data, and use these data for finding good sampling locations.

General competences

The student can

  • understand the specific use of marine microfossils in stratigraphy, and reconstructions of past changes in the climatic-oceanographic system.
  • prepare and initiate a master¿ project in palaeoceanography and palaeoclimate.
  • read and write about scientific results in English.

Language of instruction and examination

The language of instruction is English and all the syllabus material is in English. Examination questions will be given in English.

Teaching methods

32 hours of lectures, 42 hours of exercises, a cruise and a day in the lab after the cruise.

Information to incoming exchange students

This course is open for inbound exchange student who meets the admission requirements, including prerequisites. Please see the Admission requirements" and the "Prerequisite" sections for more information.

Do you have questions about this course?  Please check the following website to contact the course coordinator for exchange students at the faculty:

Recommended reading/syllabus

Pensumliste for GEO-3122 Micropalaeontology


Examination: Duration: Grade scale:
Oral exam 20 Minutes A–E, fail F

Coursework requirements:

To take an examination, the student must have passed the following coursework requirements:

Participation on cruise Approved – not approved
Exercise 6 Approved – not approved
Exercise 7 Approved – not approved
Exercise 8 Approved – not approved
Exercise 9 Approved – not approved
Exercise 10 Approved – not approved
Exercise 11 Approved – not approved
Exercise 12 Approved – not approved
Safety training Approved – not approved
Cruise report Approved – not approved
Post cruise lab Approved – not approved
All exercises Approved – not approved
Exercise 2 Approved – not approved
Exercise 3 Approved – not approved
Exercise 4 Approved – not approved
Exercise 5 Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

More info about the coursework requirements

Admittance to the exam requires approved exercises and field/cruise report. Participation in the cruise is mandatory.

Approval of training in health, safety, and environment prior to the cruise. This follows the UiT routines for cruises and will be provided by the crew onboard the research vessel.

More info about the oral exam

The oral exam is individual and has a duration of 20 minutes.

15 minutes oral presentation and aproximatly 5 minutes for examination.

Grading scale: Letters A-F, where F is fail.

Re-sit examination

A re-sit exam will not be arranged for this course.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 5
  • Course code: GEO-3122
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet