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Frequently asked questions about studying at the Department

Below are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our programmes of study. This page is updated on an ongoing basis.

NB! Important info for Informatics students

Enrolment for courses in 2020

The enrolment process for courses on bachelor’s programmes has now largely been completed – with some exceptions. Enrolment for teaching for most courses on master’s programmes will take place in week 34. Check StudentWeb and the course pages regularly for information about the courses you have signed up for this semester. 

Students taking single courses can sign up for any remaining places once the admissions process for teaching has been completed.

Is attendance at lectures compulsory? 

Usually, attendance is compulsory on all courses at the “1000” level at the Department of Informatics (IFI), i.e. first-year bachelor’s level courses. However, this semester things are slightly different. In the autumn 2020 semester, attendance will only be registered at the first lecture in IN1050, but no other 1000 courses. Regardless, we strongly recommend that you attend the first lecture in all your courses, as important information about the course will be provided. 

Students taking individual courses can follow lectures, once they have been admitted to the course.

Can I change group?

In autumn 2020, it will not be possible to change groups, if you have been admitted to a group with face-to-face teaching. You can tell by looking at the semester page and schedule whether the group you have been admitted to has physical attendance or is online. There are a limited number of places in classrooms in order to comply with the infection control and prevention protocols.

If you have a group class with physical attendance that is at an inconvenient time, you can follow the online offering for the course, as applicable.

What will teaching be like in autumn 2020?

The teaching in autumn 2020 will continue to be adapted to the infection control and prevention rules.  The semester pages will be updated continuously with relevant information for each individual course. You must therefore check the pages regularly until teaching starts to ensure you stay up to date with any changes. There may also be changes during the semester. The guidelines dictate that physical distancing must be practised. As a result, there is limited capacity in teaching rooms.

What students on courses at the Department of Informatics (IFI) can expect:

  • Digital teaching. A course may be taught online in its entirety or it may comprise a mix of digital and face-to-face teaching. For example, lectures may be held via zoom, while group work is done in person.
  • Face-to-face teaching for some students and digital teaching for others on the same course. There will not be enough room for all the students on all courses to attend face-to-face teaching at the same time. Some groups of students will be prioritised for face-to-face teaching; for example, students in the first semester of a bachelor’s degree.

What will the exams be like in autumn 2020?

There will also be changes in the way examinations are held in autumn 2020. More detailed information will be published on the individual semester page and the course description for each course. The Department mostly uses letter grades. 

How do I sign up for courses?

All first-year students will be automatically enrolled for courses at the beginning of August. This ensures a collision-free schedule. All you have to do is save your individual education plan in StudentWeb.

In subsequent semesters, you need to sign up for courses yourself. Remember to enrol within the first deadline to maximise your chances of getting a place on a course. If you have problems enrolling for a course, notify the study administration

Compulsory assignments

You must be enrolled for teaching in a course in order to be able to submit compulsory assignments through the Devilry submission system.

Read more about compulsory assignments and other written assignments at the Department of Informatics (IFI).

Read more about Guidelines on written assignments, such as deadlines, corrections, etc.

If you missed the deadline for a compulsory assignment, send an e-mail to or call 22 85 24 10.

Reading rooms and use of IFI premises

Reserving reading room places and study group rooms

From autumn 2020, we will introduce reservation of reading room places and group rooms. Links will be posted once the booking system opens.

Follow the link to find more about available rooms  (Norwegian only) in the student areas of the Ole-Johan Dahl building.

Use of the Department’s computers

The computers in the computer rooms do not have a mouse and keyboard. You need to get your own mouse and keyboard if you want to use a computer in OJD or you are having teaching in a room with computer terminals. Alternatively, you can bring your own laptop. The Department has a small number of mice and keyboards that students can borrow.

Use of the work stations in the corridor on level 3

Parts of level 3 are currently being refurbished in order to increase the number of work stations. In connection with this upgrade, the power supply to the tables has been switched off temporarily, so make sure your laptop is fully charged if you intend to work there.

Compulsory course on infection control and prevention

Bear in mind that all students must complete a 15-minute online infection control and prevention course before attending any classes.

How do I sign up for single courses at the Department of Informatics (IFI)?

  • See how to sign up to take individual courses at the University of Oslo.
  • Not all courses are available to students only taking individual courses. Many courses are already full or have very few places available. This is especially true in Autumn 2020 as a result of the restrictions on numbers in classrooms to ensure good infection control and prevention.

Already taken higher education?

You can apply to have courses taken at external institutions recognised and incorporated as part of your bachelor’s degree. If you have a Master's degree from before, you may do the same for your Master's degree. In the latter case you must send an e-mail to 

If you have any questions about courses you have taken at other institutions, contact the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences’ Study Information Office:, or visit the Office in the Vilhelm Bjerknes building.

Trying to improve a disappointing grade?

I am re-sitting an examination to try to improve my grade.

If you have submitted all the compulsory assignments, and they have all been approved, you can re-sit an examination without having to do the compulsory assignments again. All you need to do is sign up for the examination in the course. Click on the link to the guidelines on compulsory assignments above. If you want to resubmit the compulsory assignments, you will have to sign up for both teaching and the examination.

I am signing up for the examination only.

If you are only going to re-sit an examination, you only need to sign up for the examination (i.e. not teaching as well).

Leave of absence, part-time studies and illness

Sick on examination day?

Click on the link to see the University’s guidelines for students who are unwell on an examination day.

How do I apply for a leave of absence or to study part-time? 

You can apply for a leave of absence from your studies or to study part-time if you have had a child, have to do your compulsory military service, or are ill for a prolonged period.

If you have been admitted to a programme of study and are unable to start due to, for example, compulsory military service, you can apply for a deferral (i.e. postpone when you start studying). Please note that getting a normal job is not a good enough reason to be granted a deferral.

Submit your application accompanied by all the relevant documentation by 1 September in the autumn semester or 1 February in the spring semester to or by post to: Pb. 1080 Blindern, NO-0316 Oslo.

Read more about how to apply for postponement of compulsory military or civil service (Norwegian only).

What documentation do I need to provide if I am ill?

If you are applying for leave of absence or reduced progress, you must get a letter from your doctor stating that you are incapable of studying.

This must be addressed to the University of Oslo or the Department of Informatics, indicate the duration of the period of incapacitation (from and to date), and indicate the percentage of sick leave from studying. You do not need to tell us about the diagnosis. 

Different rules apply to illness in connection with examinations.

Especially for master’s students at the Department of Informatics (IFI)

Which master’s courses should I choose in the first semester?

The vast majority of new master’s students need help choosing courses in their first semester. During the master’s week, which is compulsory for new students, you will meet representatives of the research groups associated with your study programme and get help choosing courses.

What will my master’s thesis be about?

You choose the topic of your master’s thesis yourself. All the different research groups will hold information meetings on possible topics for master’s theses in September and October. Working on one of these topics will give you the opportunity to be part of a larger research project. List of available master’s thesis topics. You can also contact the head of one of the research groups or a teacher yourself, if you want a little more guidance on what kind of topic to choose.

Where can I find more information about master's programmes at the Department of Informatics (IFI)?

See the website for master’s students at IFI.

Help with IT or your own computer

Are you having problems with your computer or software?

If you are having difficulties getting started with the programs that are going to be used for courses or are wondering what you need to install or do to get started with your IT studies, check out the IT support service’s webpage (Norwegian only) or ask at Reception on level 1.

Do I need my own laptop? 

Yes. From autumn 2020, the University of Oslo assumes that all students have a laptop and internet access.

COVID-19 has necessitated extensive digitalisation of the University’s programmes. Students therefore now need to have access to a laptop and the internet in order to be able to follow the teaching and take exams. The University of Oslo has introduced a requirement that all students must have their own laptop.

Advice and recommendations on buying a laptop

 There are no special requirements concerning the type of computer or hardware you need, but you can read some advice and recommendations here: Advice from USIT in connection with buying a computer (Norwegian only).

In addition, the Department of Informatics (IFI) has developed its own internal recommendations, which may be useful for students on programmes at IFI:  IFI’s advice in connection with buying a computer (Norwegian only).

Starter kit for IFI students – get started on your own computer

IT operations have created an overview of programs that first-year students at the Department of Informatics (IFI) need. See the IFI starter kit (Norwegian only).

Published Sep. 1, 2020 8:11 AM - Last modified Sep. 3, 2020 10:38 AM