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autumn 2019

BNS-1002 Introduction to the Circumpolar World - 10 ECTS

Sist endret: 01.03.2020

The course is provided by

Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education


Alta | Online | Annet |

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester.

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester. 

Type of course

The course is obligatory for the Bachelor and One Year Program in Northern Studies. The course is taught online for One Year Program.The subject can be taken as a single course.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements: Nordic applicants: Generell studiekompetanse International applicants: Higher Education Entrance Qualification and certified language requirements in English.  

A list of the requirements for the Higher Education Entrance Qualification in Norway can be found on the web site from the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). For language requirements we refer to NOKUT's GSU-list.

Admission code: 5199

Course content

The Circumpolar World introduces students to the landscape, peoples and issues of the Circumpolar region.

Beginning with an examination of the geography, biological and physical systems of the Subarctic and Arctic, it then turns to the Aboriginal and contemporary peoples of the region. The history of the Circumpolar World is treated in a broad fashion in order to provide a grounding in the events and developments that have created the region's contemporary qualities.

The second part of the course surveys some of the particular issues facing the region, including climate change, economic, political and social development.  The intention behind this course is to stimulate interest in the Circumpolar World.

Objectives of the course

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:


  • Discuss peoples, cultures, political and economic institutions, lands, climates and environments with a focus on important contemporary issues of the Circumpolar North.


  • Access, analyse and explain similarities and differences between communities and regions, especially between Indigenous and Non-indigenous ones. 

General competence

  • Reflect critically on the multi-faceted reality of the Circumpolar North, peoples, cultures, political and economic institutions, lands, climates and environments.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

Bachelor students: Mainly teacher presentations, group work and group discussions, supported by digital learning resources.

Online students: The course is composed of separate modules for online studies.  Students are required to submit answers to the individual module questions. Teaching and feedback will be given. Streamed materials will also be available.  A guideline for self-study will be provided. Occasional video conference calls between student and lecturer will be arranged, which is compulsory.



Online students: Assignments to teacher-supplied questions.  The assignments have to be approved by the teacher(s) responsible for the course before students are allowed to sit the final exam. In this subject it is obligatory to deliver two answers orally, module 1 and one more (decided by course instructor). Deliverance by Skype or other videoconference systems.

Bachelor students: 3 written assignments to teacher-supplied questions.The assignments have to be approved by the teacher(s) responsible for the course before students are allowed to sit the final exam.
Class attendance is obligatory (at least 75%). An excursion to and classes in relevant destinations in Finnmark as part of the course.


A final written, take-home exam (3 days). Grading: scale A - F, A - E are passing grades, F is a fail.

Guidelines for retaking examination, see Regulations for examinations at the UiT, Chapter IV for Postponed, re-sit and extraordinary examinations, etc.

Date for examination

Take home assignment - Nett hand out date 09.12.2019 hand in date 12.12.2019
Take home assignment - Alta hand out date 09.12.2019 hand in date 12.12.2019

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced in the StudentWeb early in May and early in November.