Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Introduction: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Sustainable Development

  • ECTS credits15
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeSDG310
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish 
  • Resources

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester


Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content

The main aim of this course is to develop broad knowledge of the context, core concepts and processes in sustainable development across disciplines. The course will familiarise the student with the historical context of sustainable development and encourage critical reflection on how the interaction of the SDGs can create both benefits and trade-offs. The course will deepen understanding of the role of institutions and how governance structures shape outcomes at local, regional and global levels. The course will give the student broad knowledge of core concepts related to global societal challenges; climate change and energy transition; and marine resources and protection. Knowledge and understanding of the processes of sustainable development will be gained through interdisciplinary engagement with concrete problems.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course the students should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student

  • can explain and analyze sustainable development and the path to the SDGs
  • can identify and compare relevant legal and governance frameworks at local, regional and global scale
  • can interpret rights, social justice and equity issues
  • can plan and prepare interdisciplinary processes in the promotion of sustainable development such as partnerships, social movements, etc.
  • can engage in interaction between the environment and society and the co-production of outcomes
  • can compare and debate core concepts of global societal challenges (including health, migration and inequalities)
  • can compare and debate core concepts of climate change (including causes, impacts and responses) and energy transition (including energy production, consumption and technological solutions)
  • can compare and debate core concepts of marine life (including marine resources, ecosystem services and protection)


The student:

  • can deal critically with various sources of information on sustainable development issues and apply them to structure and formulate independent scholarly arguments
  • can collaborate in interdisciplinary groups to solve complex sustainable development challenges
  • can analyse challenging sustainable development issues through applying interdisciplinary perspectives
  • can analyse the synergy and trade-offs between SDGs using "sustainability thinking"
  • can critically analyse and extract the essence of written texts

General competence

The student:

  • can coherently communicate ideas concerning sustainable development both in written work and in oral presentations
  • can critically assess theories and methods from different disciplines, and select and apply those which are appropriate for responses to global challenges

Required Previous Knowledge

Bachelor¿s degree or similar, with special competence equalling one and a half years of study (80 ECTS) in a field or specialisation relevant for the programme.  

Recommended Previous Knowledge


Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap


Access to the Course

The course is open to students enrolled in the Master's programme in sustainability at the University of Bergen

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods will comprise lectures, seminars, workshops, student-led learning and a problem based learning component, as well as individual feedback on one writing assignment. 

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

  • Short individual oral presentation of a self-selected sustainable development related topic.
  • Participation in the student-active learning groups and in the presentation of problem-based task.
  • Participation in guided, self-directed workshops and student-led lecture on interaction between two sustainable development issues

All activities and assignments must be completed with minimum 80 % attendance in seminars, learning groups and workshops, and approved before the student¿s portfolio will be assessed. 

Forms of Assessment

Portfolio assessment with portfolio consisting of three products:

1) Benefits and trade-offs of using an interdisciplinary approach to solving a particular sustainable development issue  [written feedback] (weight: approx. 30 %)

2) Reflection Paper on synergy and antagony in interdisciplinary processes  (weight: approx. 20 %)

3) Module paper (take-home exam) related to the learning outcomes of the course. (weight: approx. 50 %)

Grading Scale


Assessment Semester

Autumn. There is also an early assessment in the spring semester of students with valid compulsory assignments and attendance. 

Reading List

Will be available June 1st.

Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated in accordance with the quality assurance system of the University of Bergen.

Programme Committee

The Program Board is responsible for the academic content and structure of the study program, and for the quality of all the subjects therein.

Course Coordinator

Programme board for the Master's Programme in Sustainability

Course Administrator

The Center for the study of the sciences and humanities (Senter for vitskapstori, SVT) is administratively responsible for emne

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Portfolio assessment

    Submission deadline
    15.03.2022, 13:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam