spring 2022
BNS-1004 Land and Environment of the Circumpolar World - 10 ECTS

Last changed 17.06.2022

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 December 

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October 

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. Admission procedures for foreign applicants, please read: https://en.uit.no/education/art?p_document_id=351800

Admission code: 9199

Course content

The primary aim of the first half of the course is to provide students with a more in-depth understanding of the lands and environments that define the Circumpolar North as well as the key issues associated with human and environment interactions that were introduced through the BNS module of BNS 1002: Introduction to The Circumpolar World.

The second half of the course will provide students with a basic ability to analyse the sustainability of different socio-economic and business projects in the North in relation to the region¿s nature.  This part of the course also deals with the impacts of natural and physical change on the peoples of the Circumpolar North.  The focus is on three major fields of scientific study:  (1) climate change, (2) natural resources, and (3) health and environment.  Emphasis is given to the challenges of sustainability, and to the need for appropriate, long-term stewardship.

By taking the course, the students will obtain a deeper insight into the challenges presented by the physical and natural universe, and the impact on Northern peoples as well as an awareness of the relationship between science and policy, and its significance for the future of the Circumpolar North.

Objectives of the course

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


  • Explain biological and geo-scientific concepts central to Arctic and Subarctic nature and understand the typical workings of several of its ecological systems.


  • Conduct basic evaluations of different socio-economic projects in the North with regard to their impacts on nature.

General competence

  • Form an independent opinion on the quality of arguments and conclusions presented in environmental impact assessments of Northern projects and activities.

Language of instruction and examination


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. 

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

Information to incoming exchange students

This course is available for inbound exchange students.

This course has academic prerequisites. Please see the "prerequisite" section for more information 



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%).

Exam:  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.


  • About the course
  • Campus: Alta | Online | Annet |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: BNS-1004