The End of the World

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 1GV173

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Earth Science G1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 24 January 2019
Responsible department
Department of Earth Sciences

Entry requirements

General entry requirements

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, a student should 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.


Lectures, seminars, and possible study visits.


Continous examination with four smaller written tests in connection to the lectures throught the course. 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.