autumn 2021
BNS-1011 Culture and Identity in the Barents Region - 10 ECTS

Last changed 30.03.2022

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June.

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 15 April. 

Type of course

The course is an elective for the Bachelor of Northern Studies.

The subject can be taken as a single course.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements:

Nordic applicants: Generell studiekompetanse. Admission procedures for foreign applicants, please read:

Admission code: 9199

Course content

This course introduces students to a set of important backgrounds and contexts illustrating ongoing cultural processes and identity formation in the borderland of the Nordic and Russian countries, specifically known as the Barents Euro-Arctic Region. Indigenous cultures of the Sàmi peoples are introduced using a plurality of ways; interpretation of traditional life and culture (nature-culture relationship), formation of identity (ethno-politics) and cultural meaning-making in response to nation state building, new cultural inventions leading to the development of Indigenous tourism.

The contemporary borderland situation between Nordic countries and Russia is discussed in relation to history, the changing nature of borders (globalisation), political contexts, increased internationalisation and tourism. The aforementioned open new opportunities to study business life among the Nordic countries and Russia where communication and trust (values) and corporate/organisational culture are set in relation to a wider international and global framework.

As part of teaching, students will also undertake relevant research approaches to study specified themes presented in the course.

Objectives of the course

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


  • Explain the general forms and manifestations of culture in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.
  • Identify cultural dynamics and situational aspects regarding Indigenous Peoples traditions, the Norwegian-Russian borderland, community and business cultures.


  • Analyse cultural dynamics and processes in relation to ethno-political issues, transnational regional (global) integration and corporate culture.
  • Assess the main dynamics of centre-periphery associated with national, and transnational processes in the Norwegian and Russian North.

General competence

  • Critically assess different cultural forms and patterns with regards to traditional and contemporary life in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

Lectures, group work and discussions. Class attendance is obligatory (at least 75 %).

One part of the course involves an excursion and classes in Kirkenes, or other destinations in East Finnmark.

Quality assurance; Before the end of every course, an evaluation of the course will be arranged in collaboration with the teacher and the student.



Written assignments and oral presentation to teacher-supplied questions. The assignments have to be approved by the teacher(s) responsible for the course before students are allowed to do the final exam. 

Class attendance is obligatory (at least 75 %).


A final oral exam.

Grading: scale A - F, A - E are passing grades, F is a fail. Re-sit exam will be arranged for this course.

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

  • About the course
  • Campus: Alta |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: BNS-1011