Continuing Education
Master course

Business and Human Rights

The Business and Human Rights course examines how human rights violations can be linked to corporate activities and possible dilemmas when businesses operate in different countries. Part time course at the University of Bergen each Autumn. Open for applications now!

Business and Human Rights - online course at UiB
Corporate conduct can affect the rights of workers, consumers and communities.

Main content

Business has significant impacts on human rights. Companies create jobs and pay taxes that provide governments with resources to create the infrastructure needed for people to realize and assert their human rights. However, corporate conduct can also adversely affect the rights of workers, consumers and communities.

Course content

This course provides a better appreciation of the nature of human rights violations that can be linked to corporate activity, regardless of corporate intent. The course does this by examining the ethical and legal standards, duties, and expectations of companies. Focus will be on the dilemmas of operating in a space where local standards and rules may vary from and sometimes contradict global standards or policies. Furthermore, the course will explore emerging initiatives in order to deal with human rights and business, and assess the effectiveness of voluntary corporate codes of conduct.

The course will enable students to develop strategies consistent with international human rights standards and to identify policies and practices that do not undermine human rights.

The course is developed- and offered by the Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen, in cooperation with the Rafto Foundation and Institute for Human Rights and Business. 

The Business and Human Rights course is an independent course, but is also one of the elective courses in UiB's part-time master's program in Democracy Studies. The other courses in this program are taught only in Norwegian.

See full description

How is the course organized? 

The Business and Human Rights course is a part time masters´s course (15 ECTS). The course is taught each Autumn semester, as a part time course with four weekend gatherings throughout the semester. These will be organized either fully digital, or hybrid with physical- or digital attendance by your own choice. 

There will be four weekend gatherings throughout the fall semester 2023:

  • Weekend 1 (physical/hybrid): 7-10 September 
  • Weekend 2 (digital): 29 September - 1 October
  • Weekend 3 (digital): 27 - 29 October
  • Weekend 4 (physical/hybrid): 17 - 19 November

Physical/hybrid means that it will be possible to choose whether you want to participate in physical weekend meetings on UiB's campus in Bergen, or participate digitally via live streaming (Zoom).

To accommodate as many time-zones as possible the lectures will be held from 1pm - 7pm (CET). Please note that the times might be shifted an hour either way depending on where our lectureres/students are located.

Note also that changes in dates may occur.


Semester paper assigned at the beginning of the semester. 

It is mandatory to submit a draft of the the exam mid-semester. If you do not get a pass the first time around you will get an extension of one week to revise and submit your mandatory draft.

Final deadline for submission: 4 December

Admission criterias

To qualify for acceptance you must fulfil both of the following criterias:

  • Hold a bachelor´s degree or the equivalent
  • Have a minimum of 2 years work experience (full time) 

How to apply

All applicants must register their application online

  1. Choose University of Bergen from the drop down menu
  2. If you are a Norwegian citizen: Log in with Feide or MinID. 
    If your are a non-Norwegian citizen: Create account with one of the following social media logins: Facebook, Google or LinkedIn. 

All applicants need to attach documentation proving that you fulfil both admission criterias listed above. We will need a your Bachelor's degree certificate/diploma, your CV and documentation from your current or former employer (s) stating that you have a minimum of 2 years full time work experience.