Stardust to Planets: Building a Habitable Solar System

Course content

The Solar System’s formation, from first solids to planetary accretion and differentiation, will be explored using radiogenic isotopes as chronometers and isotope tracers. We will examine the radiogenic isotope records of Earth, the Moon and Mars as well as our diverse collection of meteorites to understand the temporal and spatial events that resulted in a habitable planet.


MSc Programme in Geology-Geoscience - restricted elective

Learning outcome


The course will provide students with the theoretical and practical knowledge about radiogenic isotopes and their use in terrestrial and planetary geology in the context of early Solar System evolution.


Acquisition and Manipulation of radiogenic isotope data including the calculation of ages and their use as tracers of geological and planetary processes and reservoirs.

Recognize the potential use of radiogenic isotopes to address questions in Earth and planetary geology. Design scientific projects that use radiogenic isotopes as a primary tool. Read and critically assess scientific papers that include radiogenic isotope data.

Two weekly three-hour lecture/​tutorial/​discussions with one weekly three-hour practical session. Formal lectures will be combined with practical exercises that will be worked on during the practical segments. Tutorials will also include discussion of assigned papers from peer-reviewed literature. Throughout the course, students will work on a literature review paper on a topic of their choice that will result in a paper submitted at the end of the course.

Knowledge of basic concepts of geology is recommended.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Oral examination, 30 minutes
Type of assessment details
Oral examination worth 50% of the total grade. There is no preparation time for the oral exam. Weekly assignments worth 50% of the total grade.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal censor

Oral examination worth 50% of the total grade. There is no preparation time for the oral exam. The same weekly assignments are handed in again in the reexamination week and count 50 % of the total grade. This is also the case at the third attempt.

Criteria for exam assessment

See Learning Outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 48
  • Preparation
  • 134
  • Practical exercises
  • 24
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
Max 20 participants
Study Board of Geosciences and Management
Contracting department
  • Globe
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • James Connelly   (8-66727171686f6f7c4376787167316e7831676e)
Saved on the 27-02-2024

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