Global Challenges

Master programmes

At UiB, we offer a range of master's degree programmes taught in English on topics related to sustainable development and the improvement of living conditions worldwide.

Students at UiB campus
Eivind Senneset / UiB

Understanding and addressing the global challenges caused by increased human activity, climate change, and social inequalities require urgent cooperation between the social and the natural sciences.

We also need a different kind of education than we are traditionally used to, as familiarity with and, to some degree, expertise in more than one discipline is today necessary to grasp the complexities of the challenges we face.

Here at the University of Bergen we nurture strong disciplines to pursue new scientific discoveries, and actively support multidisciplinary cooperation in both research and education.

Global challenges and sustainability are recurring themes in many of our courses and programmes. Within the priority area of Global Challenges, the university provides special support to activities related to migration, health and inequality. These fields are globally connected and influence each other.

Below, you will find an overview of master-level courses and programmes relevant for understanding and addressing many of the challenges that urgently need our attention. Please contact the student adviser for the programmes if you are interested in attending specific courses only.

If you can document proficiency in Norwegian, you can also apply for master's degree programmes taught in Norwegian. Some cources in these programmes are taught n English.

Master's degree programmes taught in English

Social Sciences

Geographies of Sustainable Development
Our planet is facing increasing climate changes and sustainability challenges. This programme gives you the framework, theories and practices to work out research-based ways to solve some of the most important issues today.

Global Development Theory and Practice
How can human rights and social justice be integrated in development processes? How do we appraise the consequences of global governance and the politics of aid? How does climate change impact on sustainable development? This programme gives you a thorough understanding of global development processes through critical evaluation of relevant theories and the contexts of sustainable human development.

Public Administration
Public Administration is the study of administration, organization and politics. The programme develops analytical skills through the use of relevant theories of organization and institutions. You will also learn how to design suitable research methods to study current complex governance and policy issues and their implications.  

System Dynamics
In a complex and developing world, we need theories, methods and tools to help us understand, manage, and communicate effectively. System dynamics studies how and why things change over time.

Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Ocean Technology
Exploration, mapping and monitoring of marine environment and resources are based on marine measurement and control technology and marine installations, which has fundamental importance for the development of fisheries and aquaculture, for the monitoring of marine, climate, renewable energy, active and passive monitoring techniques, for the petroleum industry, as well as exploration of new mineral and biological resources in the deep ocean.

Meteorology and Oceanography
This programme provides comprehensive insight into the forces that control the movements of the atmosphere and the ocean including sea ice; central physical processes in the atmosphere and the ocean; the interaction between sea, sea ice and atmosphere; weather forecast, the cycling of nutrients and carbon in the ocean; and regional and global climate and climate change.

Biology develops knowledge that is needed to solve many of society's major challenges. It is essential to understand the effects of anthropogenic changes to natural processes in the short and longer term. We also need biological knowledge to ensure sustainable social and economic development.

This programme provides the student with a theoretical foundation to understand a wide range of issues related to energy. Specialization within topics related to renewable energy and energy technology is possible. The programme gives the student capabilities to consider energy supply, conversion and application in a wider environmental and societal perspective.


Global Health
Finding sustainable solutions to global health problems is urgent in an increasingly globalised and unequal world. Health is an indicator of inequality and needs to be addressed in a broader perspective. This programme places a priority on improving health and achieving health equity for all people worldwide, with a special focus on health problems in low- and middle-income countries.