Bachelor in Northern Studies


Program Description

The Circumpolar World - How can people in the northern part of the world make the most out of this century? How will their lives be affected by environmental changes? How can intelligent governance give way to new ideas, cooperation, and innovation? If you see yourself as one who could make a difference for this region, we welcome you to this amazing three-year interdisciplinary degree. It will make you a better world citizen. And that's a promise.

Program description

  • Duration: 3 years
  • Credits (ECTS): 180
  • Admission requirements: Higher Education Entrance Qualification and certified language requirements in English.
  • Degree Name: Bachelor of Northern Studies
  • Application code:
    • Norwegian and Nordic applicants: 186 315
    • International applicants: 2065

The Bachelor of Northern studies degree program is an international study program designed for students who want to develop an interdisciplinary competence in the circumpolar north. All courses are given on-site.

Learning outcomes


  • Explain different theoretical approaches to politics, culture, and history of the Circumpolar North.
  • Discuss the Circumpolar North and the Nordic countries and Russia with regards to political history and system, indigenous culture, gender issues, and the environment in a south-north perspective.
  • Apply Interdisciplinary insights in contemporary discourses of the Circumpolar North: sustainable development, language and communication, politics, peoples and cultures, regional development and conditions, and opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Identify contemporary social scientific studies and research outcomes/contributions on the Circumpolar North and the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.


  • Apply different social science research methods i.e survey, interviews, analysis of documents, and field research.
  • Explain central concepts regarding the development of circumpolar north in a center-periphery perspective, i.e devolution of power, geopolitics, identity and ethnicity, sustainable development and resource distribution, indigenous people´s history, and economy and regional development.
  • Apply an interdisciplinary approach to the reality of the circumpolar north in order to describe the complex northern society, its cultural processes, political history, and system, land, and environment.
  • Evaluate the current situation and form new relevant research questions based on new information on the development of the Circumpolar North and Barents Euro-Arctic Region.
  • Apply relevant interdisciplinary knowledge to northern sustainable development in northern communities within regional development, innovation, and entrepreneurship while aware of the larger dynamics.

General competence

  • Reflect critically on the multi-faced reality of the circumpolar north by using current research, referring to contemporary issues and its history.
  • Think and write analytically, present knowledge and solutions, both oral and written, on challenges in the circumpolar north.
  • Apply the principles of academic integrity, values, and practices; honesty, fairness respect, and accountability.
  • Explain the ethical considerations of conducting research and the use of research results.
  • Apply an interdisciplinary approach in analysis and projects either you work alone or by participation in a group.

Job prospectives

The BNS degree program is designed to provide students with interdisciplinary insights and a wide, but profound, knowledge of the Subarctic and Arctic Regions.

BNS opens a variety of possibilities for interesting careers in both the public and private sectors. The Barents' cooperation and overall increased internationalization and several intersections between the public and private sectors provide a growing need to see and to exploit new opportunities.

Both the northern educational sector, its municipalities, and county governance bodies, as well as several national State agencies, all have a need for candidates with analytical training, promotional abilities, and generalist knowledge on the complexities of the Subarctic and Arctic Regions.

The BNS program also prepares students for career-entry in the private sector; commercial and non-profit organizations at the local, national, or international level. It is also relevant for companies working with export/import, logistics, and security in the Euro-Arctic, and several branches related to northern service-industries such as tourism, cross-border trade, raw material, and energy production, etc.

Program structure

Term 10 studiepoeng 10 studiepoeng 10 studiepoeng
1st term (autumn)
BNS-1001 Introduction to multidisciplinary studies
BNS-1002 Introduction to the Circumpolar World
BNS-1003 Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar World
2nd term (spring)
BNS-1004 Land and Environment of the Circumpolar World
BNS-1005 Contemporary issues of the Circumpolar World I: Economy
BNS-1006 Contemporary Issues of the Circumpolar World II: Politics
3rd term (autumn)
BNS-1010 High North Politics and Barents cooperation
BNS-1011 Culture and Identity in the Barents Region
BNS-1012 Nordic and Russian Governance in a Comparative Perspective
4th term (spring)
BNS-2001 Regional Economy and Innovation
BNS-2002 Nature Resource-Based Industries
BNS-2003 Governance and Development
5th term (autumn)
REI-1501 Entrepreneurship and Innovation
REI-1502 Enterprise Innovation Practice
REI-1008 Methods
6th (spring)
REI-1503 Project Management
BNS-2040 BA Research Project

Admission requirements

Higher Education Entrance Qualification and certified language requirements in English.

A list of the requirements for the Higher Education Entrance Qualification in Norway can be found on the web site from the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). For language requirements, we refer to NOKUT's GSU-list.

Applicants from Norway or Nordic countries:

  • The application deadline for Norwegian and other Nordic applicants is April 15th
  • Online application, study code 9511

Applicants from outside the Nordic countries:

  • The application deadline for self-financing applicants is December 1st
  • Online application, study code 2065.

Teaching and assessment

In order to reach the goals of learning outcomes, students are expected to work about 40 hours a week (1500-1600 hours for a year of full-time study), including lectures, seminars, group work, and self-study. 

The BNS program is offered on-site.  

The BNS program is taught by lectures and seminars, group-work, group discussions, colloquiums, excursions, tutoring on writing assessments, case-study projects and in fieldwork, and by students presentations of various assignments and of project work.

Through group and individual work, candidates are trained to develop and discuss their understanding of key topics of the Circumpolar North.

Access to further studies

Several master-programs, both domestic Norwegian and international ones within Social Sciences can be taken following the BNS program. Relevant master programs at UIT: Tourism Studies - master, Master of Indigenous Studies - master, Peace, and Conflict Transformation - master.


Exchange studies abroad will make you more attractive in the job market. Studies abroad will increase your learning outcomes, improve your language skills, give you unique adventures and international experience.

The degree program in Northern Studies has bilateral exchange agreements with universities abroad where the student may take modules that will subsequently be approved as part of the degree. In this degree program, we recommend exchange studies abroad in the third and fourth semester.  We make certain reservations concerning what modules the exchange university has to offer. Prior to going abroad, the student should have preliminary approval. 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 application with documentation of passed exams in the recommended modules abroad. For an updated overview of exchange universities, we refer to UiT’s webpage on internationalization, or you may contact our international coordinator.

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a medium-sized research university that contributes to knowledge-based development at the regional, national, and international levels.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a medium-sized research university that contributes to knowledge-based development at the regional, national, and international levels. Read less
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