autumn 2019

BNS-1001 Introduction to multidisciplinary studies - 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 course introduces students to and provides:

  • An understanding of the historical development and cultural dependence of all knowledge-systems and how they speak in favour of interdisciplinarity.
  • An orientation to the challenges of good governance on Northern issues when socio-political and economic evaluations are based on the advice of too few, or many different specialists and stakeholders.
  • Insights as to how to handle the risks of being superficial and missing relevant theory and crucial data in an interdisciplinary inquiry.
  • Historical and contemporary illustrations of the above, found in the regions of the Euro-Arctic as well as in the Circumpolar Arctic.
  • Methods of conceiving and planning interdisciplinary research and development projects.

Students will be trained in operationalising viable interdisciplinary approaches to complex issues based on case studies from the Subarctic and Arctic Regions.

Objectives of the course

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


  • Understand the epistemological contingency and general historical dependence of all knowledge-systems, and how they motivate interdisciplinary Northern Studies.


  • Detect overconfidence in too narrow a solution to complex socio-economic issues.
  • Discuss, with the help of relevant literature, a reasonable scope of an interdisciplinary investigation relating to a Northern issue within a given frame of resources at the students' disposal.

General competence

  • Provide academically sound standard criticism to a narrow specialism.
  • Argue for an interdisciplinary approach in social, political and historical analysis.

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.



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.

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%).


A final term paper. 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

Term paper - Nett hand in date 06.12.2019
Term paper Alta hand in date 06.12.2019

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