autumn 2023
SPL-3014 Arctic Cities Field Course - 20 ECTS

Type of course

The course may be taken as a singular course.

Admission requirements

Bachelor degree in social sciences is required as a general rule.

Applicants must have a minimum grade average comparable to a Norwegian C (2,5) in the ECTS scale.

The course is open for students accepted in master's degree programmes in other social science disciplines.

Application code: 9371.

Course overlap

If you pass the examination in this course, you will get an reduction in credits (as stated below), if you previously have passed the following courses:

SPL-3012 Nordic Planning Methods: Arctic field course 15 ects
SPL-3011 Arctic Cities 10 ects

Course content

In this course, emphasis is placed on important aspects of the composition of the urban Arctic, and on how cities in the Arctic are undergoing reorganisation and change in relation to their socio-cultural and spatial characteristics. In contrast to the impression given by conventional images of the Arctic landscape, urbanisation processes in the Arctic are common and widespread. The course provides an overview of urban development in the Arctic, and research-based reflection on what urbanisation means to people in an Arctic context. Conventional urban theory is questioned, as it neglects forms of urbanisation that take place outside the global network of regional towns and cities. In this course, students will be invited to reflect more deeply on issues of Arctic urbanisation, in which the relationship between nature and culture, centre and periphery, and majority and minority cultures is challenging traditional methods and practice in physical planning.

The course involves field studies in a Nordic city. The course integrates theoretical understanding and reflections on regional development with analytical tools to study ongoing processes of urban development in a Nordic context. The focus is on how planning methods and tools are used and combined in ongoing planning processes involving conflict management and resolution. The course will address issues both in relation to the urban core, such as the compact city, cultural heritage, etc., and processes of interaction between the urban centre and the regional periphery. The course materials and syllabus will cover theories of planning and development of cities and regions, methods of urban analysis (e.g. socio-cultural place analysis and mapping), research ethics and insight into planning practice and planning documents.

Objectives of the course

The students have the following learning outcomes:


The student has:

  • Basic insight into the characteristics of Arctic cities, and a theoretically-based understanding of their specificity, similarities and differences, and the challenges they face in the development of today’s Nordic countries
  • A basic understanding of fieldwork methodology
  • Analytical understanding of the driving forces behind urbanisation and regional development
  • An understanding of the dynamics between players at various geographical levels - local and global forces


The student is able to / can:

  • make use of perspectives on urban life in the North, with an emphasis on the sustainability, governance and planning of Arctic cities
  • Use available data sources, undertake participant observation and apply qualitative interview techniques
  • Competent use of methodological tools relevant to the study and practice of urban planning, urban development and process management
  • Work in a group, both in the ongoing academic discussions and when writing a field report after the field trip


  • Competent use of theoretical and analytical concepts relevant to urban planning and development in an Arctic environment
  • Competencies in understanding processes and conflicts in planning processes
  • Competencies in navigating between different professional skills in planning processes

Language of instruction and examination

Language of instruction and examination is English.

Teaching methods

  • Teaching a diversity of fieldwork methodology
  • Lectures in arctic urban development and planning (the lectures will be concentrated to the weeks without fieldwork)
  • Seminars and workshops with student presentations
  • Field studies in an Arctic urban region

Information to incoming exchange students

This course is available for inbound exchange students.

This course is open for inbound exchange student who meets the admission requirements. Please see the Admission requirements.

Do you have questions about this module? Please check the following website to contact the course coordinator for exchange students at the faculty: INBOUND STUDENT MOBILITY: COURSE COORDINATORS AT THE FACULTIES | UiT

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More info about the coursework requirements

  • Presentation of an Arctic urban case study at a seminar.
  • Field report (in groups) illustrating all or either of the following field work methods and aspects: observation, interview, mapping, reflection on the researchers’ position in an Arctic environment

Re-sit examination

Re-sit examination is offered in the beginning of the following semester in case of grade F or Fail. In case of re-sit/re-scheduled examination, the student must re-sit all the parts of the exam unless one part of the assessment (group presentation or home exam) is passed. In this case, the student may re-sit only the part that is failed.

Registration deadline for retake is January 15 for autumn semester exams and August 15 for spring semester exams.

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 20
  • Course code: SPL-3014
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet