Study plan

Bachelor of Circumpolar and Nordic Studies

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Programme description

The major in circumpolar studies, minimum 90 ECTS, can be combined with any other major or electives of 90 ECTS. We strongly advise students to use electives to develop a secondary major, which will provide better opportunities for admission to Master degree studies within the UArtcic network.

The major in Circumpolar studies consists of 4 introductory courses (60 ECTS) and 3 advanced courses (30 ECTS). The following main courses are all available on-line:

  • BCS105X An Introduction to the Humanities and to the Circumpolar North (15 ECTS)
  • BCS115X Land and Environment of the Circumpolar North (15 ECTS)
  • BCS125X Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar North(15 ECTS)
  • BCS135X Contemporary Issues of the Circumpolar North (15 ECTS)

The advanced courses at Nord University are:

  • SA210S Nordic Politics, 10 ECTS
  • SA212S Nordic Societies, 10 ECTS
  • SA218S History, Politics and Northern resources, 10 ECTS

These are available to take on-line or on campus.

The remaining 90 ECTS of elective courses can be taken at Nord University or at another educational institution. Courses taken at other institutions needs to be recognized, or pre-recognized, by Nord University. Note that Nord University don't offer all the remaining 90 ECTS of electives online or as distance learning.

International candidates who wish to complete the full degree at Nord should plan to move to Norway in the second year, in order to take courses delivered on-site. The faculty can adjust the programme structure to enable international students to take year 3 entirely online.

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Learning outcomes

The programme provides knowledge of and insight into social, cultural, economic and political conditions in the Circumpolar North.

Knowledge Upon completion, the candidate should:

  • have a broad knowledge of key concepts, themes and theories, issues, processes, tools and methods
  • have a critical understanding of how society both shapes, and is shaped by, people's experiences, interests and actions
  • be familiar with the different areas of research concerning the High North
  • be able to identify and distinguish between different methods used to study societal and social processes.

Skills Upon completion, the candidate should:

  • be able to collect data and apply social science theories and approaches to analysis of High North topics
  • be able to make use of relevant research methods
  • be able to address ethical challenges in their scientific practice.

General Competence

Upon completion, the candidate should:

  • be able to communicate course content both orally and in writing
  • be able to work independently on a given problem
  • be able to consider issues from different perspectives and make research-based choices and reflect ethically on such choices.

Admission requirements

Higher education entrance qualification. Documented proficiency in English language

More information about application and  admission here

Career possibilities

The study provides a very suitable professional background for social work and various administrative tasks where knowledge and insight into social conditions in the Circumpolar areas is required. High North studies are also well suited for teaching purposes and as additional education for teachers.

Further education

The program provides a basis for applying for admission to various social science master's degree programs. We point out that separate requirements for language skills must be expected for various master's programs. If you are thinking of further master's studies, it may make sense to examine any language requirements for the master's education you wish to pursue. There are often requirements for a minimum of 10 credits Social science method for admission to master's studies

Study abroad

The specialized courses are delivered both at Nord University and at other UArctic member institutions located both in Norway and abroad. Students who wish to take specialized courses at UArctic partners may apply for a scholarship (North2North). It is recommended that students go on exchange from semester 4. Northern Arctic Federal University (Russia):

To qualify for exchange, students must have successfully completed a minimum of 60 ECTS with a weighted grade average of C.


No tuition fees. Costs for semester registration and course literature.

Specific arrangements for recognition of prior learning

If the applicant does not fulfil the requirements for the Higher Education Entrance Qualification but has experience-based competence relevant to the field of study, he or she may apply for recognition of this competence in order to fulfil the admission.

Examination regulations, assessment and grading

The Norwegian system for grading and assessment using the letter grades A - F, in which A denotes the best/highest grade and F denotes "not passed". Work can also be assessed as "passed", "not passed", "approved" and "not approved".

Refer to applicable legislation, rules and regulations

Assessment methods

The final examinations for the mandatory courses are take-home examinations. Preliminary examinations consist of weekly written assignments. Students who hand-in the assingments by the given deadline will receive feedback on some of them from teaching staff. The written assignments have to be successfully completed in order for the student to be able to receive the formal grade and credits. The examinations on the electives will depend on which courses that are chosen.

Graduation requirements

There is no separate final exam for a Bachelor in Circumpolar and Nordic studies. Exams are carried out along the way, as a conclusion for each individual course.

Programme evaluation

The study programme is evaluated annually via student questionnaire and by the programme director. These evaluations form a part of the university's quality assurance system.

Qualifications requirements and regulations

ECTS Credits 180 Study level Bachelor's degree programme Teaching language
Faculty of Social Sciences
Course location Bodø