Undergraduate course

Sustainable Innovation

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeCET201
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

Sustainable development and climate and energy transformation calls for innovation in all sectors of society. Both public and private enterprises are increasingly dependent on the capacity to innovate and transform, and many of these challenges are connected to sustainability. The aim of the course is to allow for students to develop practical and theoretical competencies that can be leveraged in innovation processes in their working life.

The course combines theoretical and practical approaches. The student will learn methods for innovation, sustainable development, creative processes and interdisciplinary collaboration through case-based learning. Students will learn the steps in these methods by working actively in case-based innovation processes.

The course sessions will combine theory with practical work with cases:

  • Theoretical part: Discussion of central theories and methods within innovation (such as design thinking), social entrepeneurship and sustainable development.
  • Practical part: Students will work in interdiscplinary teams where the methods from the theory parts are applied in work with practical cases. The cases are developed in collaboratation with public and private partners.

The course includes central methods and theories within innovation, entrepeneurship, and creativity, with a particular focus on how to create sustainable solutions, concepts and business models. The course is practically oriented, but provides a broad theoretical overview of the innovation and sustainability fields.

The course is open for students from all disciplines and lines of study.

Learning Outcomes

After completion of the interdiscplinary course in sustainable innovation, the student has/can:


  • broad knowledge about innovation processes, methods for green innovation, social entrepeneurship and interdisciplinary collaboration, including sustainable business models and the «design thinking» / «human centred design» approach;
  • knowledge about sustainable development, climate and energy transformation, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the interactions between different dimensions of sustainable development;
  • knowledge about how to assess innovations from a sustainability perspective, including how these models affect the interactions between society, environment and economy.


  • use innovation methodologies in practice as a tool to solve concrete challenges in society or corporations;
  • methods to work in interdisciplinary teams;
  • methods to work with sustainability and green transformations in public and private sectors.

General competencies

  • plan and implement an interdisciplinary innovation project connected to sustainability;
  • convey central theories and methods for sustainable innovation;
  • reflect on ethical issues connected to sustainability and innovation.

Required Previous Knowledge

At least 60 ECTS completed higher education courses.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Ex.phil, ex.fac or equivalent introductionary courses.

Access to the Course

Open for all students at the University of Bergen.

This course has a limited number of places (30 places). If we have more applicants than places, we will seek to create an interdisciplinary student group.

You apply for the course when you register for class in Studentweb with the deadline 10 January.

Teaching and learning methods

6-10 sessions (3-7 hours), 25-40 hours in total. The sessions will build on a practical case, and use "design thinking" and sustainability as general approaches to innovation processes. Supervisors and teachers will be present in all sessions.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

The sessions are compulsory, but absence up to 20% can be accepted. Students are expected to work together in their project groups in between the sessions.

Forms of Assessment

Student will be assessed in the following way:

  • Oral presentation of the project assignment (60%)
  • Written assignment (40%)

The groups will make an oral presentation of their projects for students, supervisors, societal partners and a panel of evaluators (accounts for 60% of grade). All students will also hand in a an individual written assignment of 2500 words (accounts for 40% of grade), where the student will discuss a given problem in relation to theory and the collaborative process in the course.

Examination Support Material


Grading Scale


Course Coordinator

Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation and Department of Geography