Compulsary courses
Societal transition and transformation - Energy and climate change Year 1 / Semester 1
This course takes climate change and the Paris Agreement as its point of departure and deals with the transition to a low carbon society and the envisioned transformation of the energy system therein.
It brings attention to the political controversies associated with climate change mitigation and adaptation and the different, and sometimes competing, strategies envisioned to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
It discusses different energy scenarios and visions about the future energy system and the ways in which transition and transformation can take place.
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Study points: 10
Course coordinator:
Oluf Langhelle
Philosophy of Science and Research Methods Year 1 / Semester 1
This course approaches science from different angles: The philosophy of science, including various topics related to science and the environment, and methods applied in social research, with an emphasis on research design. The overall aim is to present the current understanding of scientific activities, especially within the social sciences, and to stimulate critical thinking by examining a selection of original perspectives on science and the current state of the global environment and sustainable development.
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Study points: 10
Course coordinator:
Tarjei Mandt Larsen
Energy, energy technologies, and energy system integration Year 1 / Semester 1
This course gives the students basic insights into what energy is, how it is measured, different types of energy that exists and various energy conversion technologies. It then moves on to present various energy technologies and the deficiencies of different energy technologies (fossil and non-fossil based) and the challenges the current shortcomings present for a transition to a low carbon society. It further discusses the role different energy technologies can play in the transition to a low carbon society, the challenges and opportunities represented by digitalization and ICT related to energy system integration, and various configurations of possible solutions for energy system integration.
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Study points: 10
Course coordinator:
Homam Nikpey Somehsaraei
Social science research methods Year 1 / Semester 2
This course will provide a platform for participants' lifelong learning. It will contribute to the research skills of students through hands-on training in planning and conducting research projects. Methods are drawn from major social science disciplines such as psychology, sociology, political science and organization studies.
Read more about Social science research methods
Study points: 10
Course coordinator:
Oluf Langhelle
Energy and environmental politics and policy in a comparative perspective Year 1 / Semester 2
This course looks at the interdependence of energy and environmental policy from a comparative perspective. Environmental impacts differ depending on the energy source and energy system, which is why different policies have to be employed to mitigate impact. The course will look at the implementation of such policies across geographic and socio-economic contexts, i.e. in developed countries, natural resource abundant developed countries, transitioning economies and developing countries. A comparative perspective will hence be employed on the policy challenges associated with governing the energy transition and with mitigating related environmental impacts. Additionally, the course will discuss the politics and policies of environment and energy at different levels of governance, i.e. the local, regional and national level, taking into consideration the international level.
Read more about Energy and environmental politics and policy in a comparative perspective
Study points: 10
Course teacher:
Thomas Michael Sattich
Master Thesis Year 2 / Semester 3
The master thesis is an independent project in which you will apply the knowledge acquired during your studies. It is a crafted scholarly document presenting research questions and original arguments based on scientific methods under the guidance of an advisor. The thesis gives the student the opportunity to demonstrate expertise in their chosen research area.
Master thesis seminars are held in the aumtumn semester. The goal of the seminars is to develop a research design for the master thesis.
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Study points: 30
Course coordinator:
Oluf Langhelle

3 term at UiS or exchange studies

Term 3 at UiS - Choose 3 courses
New Technologies and Ideas for Sustainable City Development Year 2 / Semester 3
Disrupting new ideas often precedes disruptive new-engineered technologies or the two interact. The course aims at discussing such technologies and ideas and the many relationships between them, assuming that they will have a great impact on cities in the near and more distant future. If applied properly they could ensure a more sustainable development of cities. The course aims at studying some selected such technologies and ideas and to train our ability to detect them in advance and to apply them.
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Study points: 10
Course coordinator:
Harald Nils Røstvik
A posthuman era? New theoretical reflections on the human and its relations Year 2 / Semester 3
In recent decades, increased focus on environmental and technological challenges contributes to greater awareness of the role and position of the human in a geological context. Under the umbrella term anthropocene - the age of humanity - emerging research fields such as the posthumanities point to the relationships between the human`s historical, social, cultural and material impact on, and responsibility for, the planet's ecological and technological systems. This course explores what is at stake for the human and its entangled relations with for example technology, animals and the weather.
Read more about A posthuman era? New theoretical reflections on the human and its relations
Study points: 10
Course coordinator:
Mathias Klitgård
Intersectionality: critical perspectives on Inequality and Power Year 2 / Semester 3
The course serves as an introduction to the concept of intersectionality and how it has been used as a critical analytic to produce knowledge of the ways in which structural inequality and oppression continues to organize human life. Intersectionality suggests that inequality is never (only) shaped by single-axis division, such as gender, but rather that inequality must be understood as the effect of multiple and overlapping axes of division grounded in histories of colonialism and exploitation. Intersectional frameworks emerge from and are indebted to Black feminist theory, critical race studies, and in particular the activist labour of Black women and women of colour. Today intersectionality is both a widely used concept in scholarship, policymaking, and activism, and a contested concept in public debates about feminism, anti-racism, and identity politics in the Nordic region.
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Study points: 10
Course coordinator:
Jan-Therese Mendes
Work placement Year 2 / Semester 3
The course offers students work placements in businesses. The work placement contributes to increase the student's awareness of his/her role in relation to others in specific work related development and change tasks. Furthermore, the student gains insight in how to analyse situations and make use of different methods and theories to enhance wanted changes.
Read more about Work placement
Study points: 30
Course coordinator:
Kristiane Marie Fjær Lindland
Energy, Societal Safety and Sustainable Development Year 2 / Semester 3
This course focuses on the complex relationship between climate change, societal safety and sustainable development. Particular emphasis is put on understanding dilemmas of global food, water, energy and environmental security within the constraints of sustainable development. The course highlights what societal safety and sustainable development entail and how disaster risk and (un)sustainable development mutually affect each other.
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Study points: 10
Course coordinator:
Odd Einar Falnes Olsen
Environmental and Resource Economics Year 2 / Semester 3
What is the appropriate level of pollution and how can it be achieved? What is the best management of renewable resources (e.g. fish, forest)? What is the optimal extraction rate for non-renewable resources (e.g. oil, natural gas)? How much is a nature experience worth? And what would be the economic cost of an oil spill in the Arctic? Environmental and resource economics is a branch of economics with explicit focus on the role of the environment and natural resources in the economy, and questions like the ones above are examples of ones that students will learn to address during this course.
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Study points: 10
Course coordinator:
Gorm Kipperberg
Exchange studies
Exchange - 30 SP Year 2 / Semester 3
Choose one course in term 2
Digital societies for sustainable energy transitions Year 1 / Semester 2
While digitalization is often understood as supporting a less resource intensive and more energy efficient society, this assumption has only partly come true. Regulation and governance are needed to ensure that digitalization will contribute to, and not work against, a sustainable energy transition. To this end, this course tries to answer two guiding questions: 1) To what extent and under which conditions can digitalization and smart systems support a transition towards a low carbon, low energy use society? 2) What are related implications for different sectors of society? The course will have an in-depth look at digitalization in the most energy-demanding sectors, i.e. industry, the building sector and transport, as well as at digitalization in nature conservation and agriculture. In a second part, it will then take an integrative perspective and introduce smart cities and digital citizenship and discuss their possible contribution to a sustainable energy transition.
Read more about Digital societies for sustainable energy transitions
Study points: 10
Course coordinator:
Bettina Bluemling
The geopolitics of the energy transition Year 1 / Semester 2
This course provides insight into the international implications of the energy transition. To address this subject, the course introduces different theoretical points of view on the relationship between energy, political power and international affairs. On this basis, the course discusses several cases suited to explain the complex world of international energy politics. This discussion includes different actors, countries, geographical areas and governance structures: Energy exporters (e.g. Norway) and importers (e.g. the EU), rising nations like China, contested energy-producing regions such as the Arctic, and international agreements and organisations (e.g. the IEA). On this basis, the course explores the relationship between the energy transition and international energy politics and governance. In particular, the course explores the geopolitics of renewables, that is the impact of wind, solar, and bioenergy use on inter-state relations and the set of institutions and organisations that structure international transactions and politics in the field of energy.
Read more about The geopolitics of the energy transition
Study points: 10
Course coordinator:
Thomas Michael Sattich
Economics of Energy Markets Year 1 / Semester 2
This course builds understanding of the global energy situation, energy and climate policies, and the market outlook for various energy carriers. Coverage includes conventional power generation, wind power, solar energy, oil and natural gas. Drivers of demand, supply and price formation will be explored, including their relationship to resource scarcity, technology and innovation, economic factors, and policy variables. Finally, the course explores the macroeconomics of energy market developments for importers and exporters of energy resources.
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Study points: 10
Course coordinator:
Lassi Mikael Ahlvik
Innovation Studies Year 1 / Semester 2
Innovation is increasingly important for the development and competitiveness of firms and economies. Today's most successful firms compete mainly through innovation, whether in the form of continuous development of new products, improvement of processes or organizational forms, or identification of new markets. In order to survive in the knowledge economy, firms need strategies for what kind of innovations to pursue and how to promote innovation by designing the necessary preconditions. Equally, economies develop mainly through innovation, by moving their workforces into new and more productive industries in the economy. To promote development, regions and countries need policies for innovation. However, while innovation represents a progressive force, it can also cause negative consequences for employment and growth in firms and regions through disruptive innovations. This recognition has lead to an increased attention to responsible research and innovation highlighting questions of ethics and sustainability. In this context, knowledge and understanding of innovation, seen in an international perspective, is an important asset. Through this course, students will develop their understanding of innovation and its role in the broader economy, as well as the factors contributing to innovation in firms. To embed this in actual practices in firms and governmental agencies, guest lecturers from business and public administration will be brought in. The course provides a broad introduction to the literature in innovation studies, drawing on contributions and perspectives from a variety of academic disciplines, including economics, management studies, geography, sociology, and other social sciences. It will cover current debates in the scholarly literature related to the role of innovation in the economy, different models of innovation, and perspectives on how to promote innovation both from the perspective of individual firms and policy-makers.
Read more about Innovation Studies
Study points: 10
Course teacher:
Marte Cecilie Wilhelmsen Solheim

This is the study programme for 2020/2021. It is subject to change.