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Indigenous Studies - master


Duration:2 År
Credits (ECTS):120
Qualification:Master of Philosophy in Indigenous Studies
Admission requirements:Bachelor's degree
Application deadline:

Nordic applicants: 15 April

EU/EEA + Swiss applicants: 1 March

Non-EU/EEA applicants: 15 November

Application code:

Nordic applicants: 5058

EU/EEA + Swiss applicants: 7160

Non-EU/EEA applicants: 2031

Programme description

The Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, and the Faculty of Law, in cooperation with the Centre for Sami Studies, offer a two-year full-time master's programme in Indigenous Studies (MIS). The programme is multidisciplinary within social sciences, humanities and law, and based on research conducted at UiT The Arctic University of Norway regarding the Sami and other Indigenous peoples. The thematic focus of the master's programme is the emergence of the international indigenous movement, the historical experiences and contemporary context that Indigenous peoples experience across the globe.

During the two years of studies, students take courses totalling 120 ECTS. Seven mandatory courses are designed to give a broad base, from which the individual student may choose a relevant topic for the master's thesis. The thesis work is supervised by a faculty member from the Sami Centre and the cooperating units. Topics are chosen in cooperation with the appointed advisor. It is customary to conduct data collection for the master's thesis at the end of the second semester.

Programme structure

10 ects 10 ects 10 ects
1. sem. (autumn) HIF-3620 Indigenous Revitalization - Languages, Literature and Arts - 10 stp. HIS-3005 History of Indigenous Peoples - Indigenous people, ethnic minorities and the multi-cultural society in the North - 10 stp. IND-3025 Introduction to Indigenous Studies - 10 stp.
2. sem. (spring) IND-3026 Methodology and Methods in Indigenous Studies - 10 stp. SOA-3006 Indigenous Culture, Resource Management and Human Rights - 10 stp. JUR-3624 The rights of indigenous peoples - 5 stp. STV-3020 Indigenous Peoples - Politics, Institutions and Tools - 5 stp.
3. sem. (autumn) IND-3904 Master's Thesis in Indigenous Studies - 60 stp.
4. sem. (spring)

Learning outcomes

Students who have successfully completed the MIS programme, are expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes:


Advanced knowledge of:


Capacity to:

General competence

Ability to:

Teaching and assessment

The organisation of teaching will depend on the character and the content of each course. More information about teaching and examination is specified in the description of each individual course.

Seminars in methodology and thesis writing run parallel to the other courses throughout the studies. The course in methodology ties together the different courses and disciplinary approaches. This constitutes the basis both for the development of the students' individual research design and for the integration of Indigenous perspectives in research.

Every student will be assigned a thesis supervisor in the first year of the study. Supervision is given through seminars and individual tutorials.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction and syllabi is English.

Exchange possibilities

Students can carry out fieldwork/data gathering abroad with basic financial support from the Centre for Sami Studies. If you are considering an exchange period, we recommend that the exchange is combined with fieldwork during the second and / or third semester (April-December) at a partner university.

The Master's programme in Indigenous Studies has bilateral exchange agreements with universities abroad where the students may take modules that will subsequently be approved as part of the degree. We recommend our students to use these agreements. There are certain reservations concerning what modules the partner university has to offer. UiT has several open agreements that also can be used by students in Indigenous Studies. Check student mobility at UiT. Information about exchange programmes will be given by contacting the Centre for Sami Studies.

Job prospectives

The Master's programme in Indigenous Studies introduces students to Indigenous Studies as a distinctly multidisciplinary field. The objectives of the programme include:

Possible propects

Our graduates thrive in work fields that require understanding of global and local Indigenous issues, international experiences as well as analytical thinking, communication, and project implementation skills. The Master’s programme prepares students for exciting careers in multiple academic, public and business environments. Job opportunities include:

Academic Careers

The Master's programme provides an excellent foundation for pursuing a PhD in relevant fields, such as Political Science and Governance, Anthropology, Environment and Development Studies, Language, Cultural and Religious Studies, and Education, to name just a few. Many of our graduates were successful in attaining competitive PhD positions and research fellowships.

Professional Careers

As a graduate from the Master in Indigenous Studies, you would gain general conceptual, critical and evaluative skills which are required in many senior jobs in the government and public sectors, civil society organizations, project management and education institutions. The skills to analyze public policy, plans and development projects make our graduates highly qualified candidates for working both in the public and private sectors at all levels, providing institutions and organizations with knowledge, critical thinking and advice in a wide range of processes.

The international nature of the programme connects our students in a global network that helps them develop a global outlook and competence to make high-level critical comparisons of Indigenous realities on the ground. As a graduate from the Master in Indigenous Studies your in-depth analyses of Indigenous peoples own experiences locally, nationally and internationally could be of critical importance for Indigenous and marginalized communities worldwide. This expertise makes you qualified for work both with international and local stakeholders, contributing to frame, voice and disseminate their interests and concerns, and co-design suitable courses of action.

Access to further studies

Upon successful completion of the degree programme, students may be qualified for admission to a PhD programme in a number of academic areas at universities in Norway, Scandinavia and internationally.