autumn 2022
GEO-3117 Optical mineralogy - 10 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, 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 program for basis of admission.

Application code: 9371.

Course content

Within the scope of this course, students will get training in polarized light microscopy. The course starts with theoretical background of crystal optics and polarized light microscopy. The second part of the course is devoted to the training in identification of the most common rock forming minerals and interpretation of textural relationships in magmatic and metamorphic rocks using polarized transmitted light microscopy. The third part of the course focuses on identification of the most common ore minerals and interpretation of textural relationships in ore-forming processes using polarized reflected light microscopy. The course is recommended for students in solid Earth sciences and sedimentology.

Recommended prerequisites

GEO-2001 Mineralogy, GEO-2005 Sedimentology, GEO-2007 Historical geology / Stratigraphy

Objectives of the course


The student has

  • a comprehensive understanding of polarized transmitted and reflected light microscopy
  • knowledge of how to identify the most common rock-forming and ore-forming minerals in thin sections.
  • knowledge of how to apply polarizing microscopy in mineralogical, petrographical and ore deposit studies.


The student can

  • identify most common rock-forming and oreforming minerals in thin sections
  • identify the most common ore minerals in polished sections
  • use polarizing microscopy for identification of the most common types of magmatic and metamorphic rocks
  • interpret some of the most common textures in magmatic and metamorphic rocks
  • interpret some of the most common ore textures

General Competence

The student can

  • report findings and formulate scholarly arguments when delivering oral/poster presentations, reporting scientific findings and presenting data.
  • work independently with geological analyses that require polarized light microscopy.

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

14 hours of lectures and 42 hours of practical exercises.

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:


Examination: Date: Duration: Grade scale:
School exam 30.11.2022 09:00
4 Hours A–E, fail F

Coursework requirements:

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

Practical application Approved – not approved
Excercise 9 Approved – not approved
Excercise 10 Approved – not approved
Excercise 1 Approved – not approved
Excercise 2 Approved – not approved
Excercise 3 Approved – not approved
Excercise 4 Approved – not approved
Excercise 5 Approved – not approved
Excercise 6 Approved – not approved
Excercise 7 Approved – not approved
Excercise 8 Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

More info about the coursework requirements

All practical course excercises must be approved and there will be a practical application of polarizing microscopy for identification of rock-forming and ore-forming minerals before the exam.

Re-sit examination

A re-sit examination for students that did not pass the previous ordinary exam will be arranged for this course.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: GEO-3117
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet