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Vår 2018

BED-8005 Innovation and Sustainability Transition - 7.5 stp

The course is administrated by

Handelshøgskolen ved UiT

Type of course

Elective for students in business or other social science disciplines studying entrepreneurship and innovation for their PhD. The course is offered as part of the Norwegian Research School in Innovation (NORSI), the PING track (program in innovation and growth).

Course contents

The increasing emphasis on grand challenges related to climate change and environmental degradation is raising important new questions and avenues for research for scholars in innovation studies as well as policy makers. Attention for grand challenges has even found its way into EU`s new 2020 growth strategy which emphasizes the importance of "exploring new development paths to generate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth... Various long-term challenges such as globalization, pressure on natural resources and an ageing population are intensifying. If we are to adapt to this changing reality, Europe can no longer rely on `business as usual`" (European Commission 2013, p. 3).

In this debate, the burgeoning literature on sustainable transitions has made a substantial contribution in analyzing how technological change and innovation can contribute to the adaptation of societies and economies to more (environmentally) sustainable modes of production and consumption. Transition is here understood as shifts or "system innovations" between distinctive socio-technical configurations encompassing processes of technological change that co-evolve with changes in markets, user practices, policy and cultural discourses as well as governing institutions. Probably the most well-known and intensively studied empirical example is that of a low-carbon transition in fields of energy and transport. Popular analytical frameworks to study such sustainable transitions are the multi-level perspective on transitions (MLP) and the technological innovation system approach (TIS).

The aim for the course is to provide an introduction to the topic of innovation and sustainability transitions. Students will become familiar with the foundations of transitions research, its main conceptual and analytical frameworks as well as with current debates and knowledge gaps in the field of sustainability transitions. The course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to become familiar with different aspects of transitions research and to discuss this in relation to their own research projects.

During the course students participate in plenary sessions, smaller group sessions where they present and receive feedback on their own work, and contribute to the discussion of their peer students work. The plenary sessions will include questions and dialogue and there will be good opportunities for informal discussions among participants and faculty.

 Themes covered in the course include:

Application deadline

PhD students enrollet at UiT register for the course through StudentWeb.(Deadline; 1. february)

Other applicants apply for admission through SøknadsWeb (Deadline; 1. february)

Choose the application code 9306 and write the course code (BED-8005) in the remark field.

Admission requirements

This course is aimed at PhD students and researchers (including PostDocs) from all scientific disciplines, but is open for applicants holding a Master`s degree. If you aim to include the credits from the course in your 30 mandatory PhD ECTS you should discuss it with both your supervisor and your faculty.


The course has 30 seats. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, applicants will be ranked in this order:

1. PhD students at UiT

2. Participants in the Associate Professor programme at UiT (must hold a Master´s degree)

3. Registered PhD students from other universities

4. Applicants documenting that they have a Norwegian Master´s degree (or equivalent)


The course will be cancelled if less than 15 participants.

PhD students at UiT register for the course through StudentWeb.

External applicants apply for admission through SøknadsWeb. Application code 9306.


Non-UiT PhD students must upload a document from their university stating that they are registered PhD students. This group of applicants does not have to prove English proficiency and are exempt from semester fee.

Holders of a Master´s degree must upload a Master´s Diploma with Diploma Supplement / English translation of the diploma. Applicants from listed countries must document proficiency in English. To find out if this applies to you, see the following list: Proficiency in English must be documented - list of countries


For more information on accepted English proficiency tests and scores, as well as exemptions from the English proficiency tests, please see the following document: Proficiency in english - PhD level studies

Contact Ingjerd Gauslaa Nilsen ( at the BFE-faculty if you have troubles or questions regarding registration to the course. 


Duration: 25 June - 29 June 2018 (five full days).

Objective of the course




Language of instruction


Teaching methods

The course will use a combination of teaching methods; guest lectures from internationally leading scholars that conduct research on sustainability transitions, discussion in smaller groups, presentations in plenary sessions.


In order to meet the objectives of the course, each participant will be required to write a scientific paper. In order to pass the exam, each student will have to provide:


Pre-coursework - by the submission date indicated below, and according to instructions provided ahead of the course.

Participation - in all parts of the course.

Written scientific paper - by the submission date indicated below; subject will be provided during the course.


Evaluated with pass/fail. There will not be arranged a re-sit exam for this course.

Date for examination

Scientific paper hand in date 01.10.2018

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