Syllabus for The End of the World

Jordens undergång


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 1GV173
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Earth Science G1N

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G)
  • Established: 2019-01-24
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2020-12-15
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Spring 2021
  • Entry requirements: General entry requirements
  • Responsible department: Department of Earth Sciences

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student shall be able to:

  • describe different ideas about the end of the world and supporting and opposing arguments, critically assess and relate to the plausibility of such statements
  • understand basic properties for catastrophic events such as earthquakes, tsunamies, vulcanic eruptions, magnetic pole reversals or extreme weather
  • relate to historical mass extinctions and other cataclysmic events in past history
  • describe societal emergency plans and other measures for handling catastrophic events


Different visions about the end of the world, scientific theories about the apocalypse in history and culture. Examples of catastrophic scenarios in mainstream debate and their supporting arguments.

Earthquakes, vulcanos, tsunamies and associated events such as landslides and other natural disasters. magnetic pole reversals, dangerous space weather events, solar storms, astroid and comet strikes. Catastrophic climate change, ice ages and other major changes. Historical mass extinction events and their causes.

Sociatal cataclysms such as nuclear war, domsday weapons, resource depletion, pandemics, etc. Preparation and risk aversion strategies for the society. Students are trained in critical assessment and scientific approaches to understanding the world.




Examination by written hand-in exercises.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Syllabus Revisions

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Spring 2021

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.


  • Marshak, Stephen Earth : portrait of a planet

    5th ed.: New York: W.W. Norton & Company, cop 2015

    Find in the library

  • Milne, Antony Doomsday : the science of catastrophe

    Westport, CT: Praeger, 2000

    Find in the library

  • Diamond, Jared; Eklöf, Margareta Undergång: civilisationens uppgång eller fall

    [Ny utg.]: Stockholm: Pan, 2006

    Find in the library

  • Brannen, Peter Ends of the world - volcanic apocalypses, lethal oceans and our quest to un

    Oneworld Publications, 2018

    Find in the library