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Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern and Indigenous Areas - master


Duration:4 Years
Credits (ECTS):120
Qualification:Master in Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern and Indigenous Areas
Admission requirements:Bachelor's degree, preferably in social sciences, law or education, and a statement of intent.
Application deadline:February 15th for all students. Studies commence in August/September.
Application code:See USask's website for application procedures

Programme description

GENI provides interdisciplinary approaches to academic content, and includes courses delivered by instructors from different departments and faculties at each partner institution. In addition, the program provides practical content, including skills-focused courses.

The program affords all students a unique opportunity to conduct applied research with industry, government, Indigenous peoples and institutions on issues concerning natural resource management, consultations and negotiations, and economic development or other governance issues in the Circumpolar North.

The program is offered flexibly, in both a part-time schedule over eight semesters (4 years) and in a full-time schedule over four semesters (2 years). These two formats facilitate the involvement of students who have already begun their careers and wish to complement their education with a master’s degree, while also allowing more academically focused students to complete the program more quickly.

The program includes internet-based courses, two field schools, an applied research project, and a thesis. All core courses and the field schools are mandatory.

Programme structure

Term 10 ects 10 ects 10 ects
See program structure for part-time study in the attached Study Plan below
Semester I (Fall)
Introduction to Graduate Academic Writing
(USask, 5 ECTS)
(UiT, 5 ECTS)
(UiT, 10 ECTS)
Public Policy Analysis
(USask, 7.5 ECTS)

Northern Public Policy Analysis
(USask, 2.5 ECTS)

Students have their first field school in Canada
Semester II (Spring)
Professional Communication
(USask, 5 ECTS)
(UiT, 5 ECTS)
Circumpolar Innovations and Entrepreneurship
(USask, 10 ECTS)
Northern Resource Economics and Policy
(USask, 10 ECTS)
Students have their second field school in Norway
Semester III (Fall)
(UiT, 10 ECTS)
(5 ECTS)

Students may take the elective in Semester IV instead
Thesis Seminar
(Part of IND-3902 GENI - Project Thesis)
Semester IV (Spring)
(UiT, 10 ECTS)
Thesis Seminar
(Part of IND-3902 GENI - Project Thesis)
(UiT, 35 ECTS)

Learning outcomes

The GENI program provides students with the opportunity to learn through high-level critical comparisons between northern and Indigenous regions. The primary goal of this program is to build the necessary capacity for relationships between academia, industry, governments, Indigenous peoples and northern communities to create thriving local economies, respecting Indigenous rights and protect sensitive northern environments.

Student acquired knowledge

By the end of the program, students will have:

Student acquired skills

By the end of the program, students will be able to:

Student acquired competence

By the end of the program, students will have the knowledge and skills that will provide them with the requisite competencies to pursue doctoral studies in the areas of public policy, Indigenous studies, and sustainable development. Students will also be qualified for professional positions at different levels of public management and in the private sector— managing and executing reviews, and planning development processes. Students will be able to:

Teaching and assessment

Core courses are all delivered online and in flexible formats to facilitate the involvement of students currently employed in the field as well as those who wish to continue to live and work in their northern communities.

The two field schools in the first two semesters create a platform for building a student cohort necessary for cooperation throughout the program and after graduation. The program also encourages active student participation in all core courses.

The delivery of course content depends on the character and the content of each course. Each course description specifies the means used to assess its stated learning outcomes. Examinations and course requirements may come in the following forms:


The Applied Research Project is an example of “service learning” that allows students to put their research, writing and policy development skills into practice, for the mutual benefit of scholarship and local institutions. With the assistance of an academic supervisor and a host supervisor, students conduct research relevant to the needs of the host,most often a governmental, business, Indigenous, or other community-based organization. The topic is usually suggested by the host, but focused in consultation with the student and the academic supervisor.

For students, the benefits of the project extend beyond the obvious sharpening of their analytical and communication skills. The students are able to get hands-on experience with an organization and establish useful contacts for future work. It also serves as the basis for later thesis work.

The research generally takes place during the spring/summer of the first year of the program, normally in the country of your home institution (other arrangements can be made on a case-by-case basis). Students are usually required to spend between two days and two weeks on site doing primary research, including interviews.

Language of instruction


Exchange possibilities

International student mobility is a core element in the GENI program. Students will participate in two field schools in their first year of study. The first field school takes place in Saskatchewan, Canada in September. The second field school takes place in northern Norway in March/April.

There is also opportunity to spend a full semester at the partner institution for the purpose of immersing yourself in an international experience. Studies abroad will make you more attractive on the job market and increase your learning outcomes, improve your language skills and give you unique academic and personal adventures.

As a joint program the GENI has a bilateral agreement with USask where students may take modules that will subsequently be approved as part of the degree. It is also possible to take the elective course at other universities that have an exchange agreement with UiT. In this degree program, we recommend exchange studies abroad in the second or third semester in the full time mode/fourth or sixth semester in the part time mode. Prior to going abroad, the student should have a preliminary approval of the plans for the study abroad semester. A faculty member from the degree program will assist the student in choosing modules that will be approved as part of the degree. Final approval at UiT will be given upon documentation of passed exams in the recommended modules abroad.

Exchange possibilities: University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Job prospectives

Career prospects

The GENI program was consciously designed to provide you with the specialized knowledge and research skills in demand from organizations and companies in northern and Indigenous regions. After graduation, you will be well prepared to work in local, international and cross-cultural contexts.

Your knowledge of major institutions and processes active in the Circumpolar North will be a great asset to employers networking across regional and international borders. Your understanding of the northern natural resource industry and Indigenous rights will make you an ideal employee both as an industry professional, and a policy developer for governments and organizations concerned with regulating industry in the north.

The solid research skills acquired from the GENI program will make you particularly suitable for a research-driven career in government, non-governmental organizations, and private business, as well as academia. As a GENI graduate, you will be able to critically evaluate proposed government policies, business plans, and development proposals, taking both the natural and human resources of northern regions into account. This ability to analyze public policy and development projects is a necessity for employment at various levels of government and industry. Your experience bridging academic knowledge with applied purposes will also make you a strong candidate for positions as a liaison working on policy development, community planning, and information gathering. The GENI program also prepares you for work in consultations and negotiations, particularly between Indigenous peoples, industry and government.

The international nature of our joint program means that you develop a global outlook and an ability to make high-level critical comparisons between parts of the north. You will be able to make innovative yet suitable proposals for positive local policy changes, based on what is happening elsewhere. This expertise makes you qualified for work both with international organizations, and with local organizations open to new ideas from other northern regions.

Career enhancement for working professionals

The GENI program’s interdisciplinary nature and varied subject matter makes it particularly ideal for enhancing your existing career in health; natural resource management; business development; youth and social work; education; and Indigenous/national/provincial/municipal government. Our online program provides the flexibility necessary for you to study and work at the same time, enhancing your existing skills and experience with complementary knowledge from experts in Norway and Canada.

Academic careers

The program prepares students for doctoral programs in public policy, Indigenous studies, sustainable development, and other related fields.