Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Ways of knowing

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester


Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content

The objective of the course is that students learn how different sciences make up different ways of knowing, and how these relate to each other in interdisciplinary settings. They should learn that different practices, such as law, politics and science approach and define sustainability problems in different ways, and how different problem frames operate together, independently, and in conflict.

The course is closely connected to the content of the Introductory and Systems Thinking and Modelling courses, and introduces topics relating to `knowledge of knowledge¿ (in Norwegian: Vitskapsteori). It specifically addresses the following:

  • Different ways of knowing
  • Scientific risk, uncertainty, complexity and ignorance
  • Legal problem articulation and reasoning
  • Disciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity.

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 account for different forms of knowledge and their interrelations in practice, including legal, qualitative and system dynamic perspectives
  • can account for differences between disciplinary, multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches
  • can account for and apply concepts of uncertainty, risk, ambiguity and ignorance


The student:

  • can discuss differences between different theoretical perspectives and central concepts presented in the course
  • Is capable of recognizing differing degrees of uncertainty, including in the student¿s own work
  • can critically assess the merits and implications of different theoretical perspectives and central concepts presented in the course

General Competencies

The student:

  • can think critically about data, scientific facts and evidence as produced and used within and across domains, and using various technologies and media
  • can participate in interdisciplinary collaborations, situating and using the student¿s own knowledge in relation to other ways of knowing.

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

Student-active learning, including lectures, seminars,  presentations and student peer review.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Minimum 80% attendance.

Students must present a draft of the module paper in student-led groups and give each other feedback.

Forms of Assessment

Module paper (up to 5000 words) related to the learning outcomes of the course.

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

Program board for the Master's Program in Sustainability

Course Administrator

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

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Paper

    Submission deadline
    19.12.2022, 13:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam