UNESCO Chair: Sustainable heritage and environmental management
Sustainability education

Courses for the 2030 Agenda (SDG courses)

The University of Bergen has a collection of courses building knowledge for the 2030 Agenda.

Opphavsrett: Alexander Hovland

Main content

Department of Biological Sciences

Undergraduate courses:

SDG110 – Perspectives on Sustainable Development

The course is an introduction topic and gives different perspectives on sustainable development. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and combines principles and information from the natural science with social science. Emphasis is placed on physical, chemical, biological and ecological constraints that are decisive for man's use of natural resources. Important seminars include: sustainable development, energy, biological diversity, freshwater resources, marine systems and global environmental changes.

SDG200 - Ocean-Climate-Society: Sustainability summer course

This course will employ the SDGs as a platform from which to gain a comprehensive understanding of planetary sustainability. This includes building skills for interdisciplinary cooperation needed for humanity to thrive for generations to come, simultaneously avoiding large-scale abrupt or irreversible environmental change. The course aims at recruiting a highly interdiscliplinary student group to facilitate incorporating individual differences of opinions and actions, cultural and social backgrounds and learning negotiating across these differences.

SDG214 – UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life below water

Through active learning and working in teams, the student will acquire knowledge and skills related to science, policy, and society necessary for understanding and contributing towards sustainable development of life below water. The course will end with a symposium where the students will present a group project as a poster.

SDG215 – UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on land

Human influence on the natural processes of the planet has been so massive in the last 200 years that the Holocene epoch in the time after the last glaciation has ended and we now live in the Anthropocene era, with mass eradication of animal species, climate change and physical changes in the Earth's surface. Thus, humans have transformed their natural environment over thousands of years by cultivating the soil and dominating plants and animals.

The UNESCO chair has developed and teaches the SDG110 and SDG215 courses.

Department of Earth Science

Undergraduate courses:

SDG207 - Energy Transition

The main objectives of this course is to lintroduce the science of energy transition and sustainable energy sources, and to provide the students with an understanding of key cross-diciplinary challenges related to the transition towards a low CO2-emission society. The course directly addresses UN Sustainable Development Goal 7, and will give the students perspectives to discuss the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the context of how we mitigate the ongoing changes in climate through a transition to a more sustainable energy supply.

SDG213 – Causes of Climate Change

The seminar aims at giving an introduction to the science of climate change. It provides the basis for understanding the underlying physical processes governing climate variations on different timescales in the past, present and future. The seminar focuses on explaining the main external forcing mechanisms such as the sun, volcanoes, and changes in greenhouse gasses and aerosols, which can contribute to changing the global energy budget and initiate climate variations.

SDG607 - Energy Transition

The main objective of this course is to introduce the science of energy transition and sustainable energy sources, in light of the UN sustainable development agenda, and to provide the students with an understanding of key cross-diciplinary challenges related to the transition towards a low CO2-emission society. The course directly addresses UN Sustainable Development Goal 7, and will give the students perspectives to discuss the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the context of how we mitigate the ongoing changes in climate through a transition to a more sustainable energy supply.

SDG613 - Sustainable development, climate and climate action

The course aims at giving an introduction to the science of climate change. It provides the basis for understanding the underlying physical processes and feedbacks governing climate variations on different timescales. How different anthropogenic emissions influences climate and what are the main factors driving the changes in emissions. In addition, physical and economical climate change impacts and risks will be presented along with an outline of international frameworks for climate assessment, adaptions and mitigation.  The course will give the student the perspective to discuss the UN's Societal Development Goals in the context of the ongoing changes in climate.

Department of Geography

Undergraduate courses:

GEO125 - Økonomisk globalisering, produksjonssystem og miljø
(Economic Globalisation, Production Systems and Environment)

NB: In Norwegian!
Emnet tar opp tema som økonomiske globaliseringsprosessar med konsekvensar for produksjonssystem, lokalisering av arbeidsplassar og miljø (bærekraftig utvikling og omstilling). Utgangspunktet er økonomisk geografi som analyserer endringsprosessar i samfunnet internasjonalt, nasjonalt og lokalt, og som vekslar mellom føretaks-, produksjonssystems- og samfunnsperspektiv.

GEO131 - Mat, miljø og berekraftig utvikling
(Food, Environment and Sustainable Development)

NB: In Norwegian!
Kurset handlar om den mest grunnleggande problemstilliga for berekraftig utvikling: Korleis sikre nok mat til verdas befolkning og samstundes forvalte miljøet på ein berekraftig måte? Det vert lagt vekt på kunnskap om ulike system for matproduksjon i landbruk, fiske, akvakultur, skogbruk og husdyrhald i Asia, Afrika og Latin-Amerika. Sentrale tema er global mathandel, ulik fordeling og matsikkerheit, samt miljøeffektar, ressursforvalting og miljøpolitikk.

CET201 – Sustainable Innovation

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.

GEO222 – Sustainability in an Urbanising World

The course addresses present urbanization processes in the context of globalization processes, and focuses on challenges and opportunities for sustainable development. The course provides insight into central human geographical theoretical and methodological perspectives, and research based comparative insights from cities and communities across the world.

GEO282 - Det rurale i endring
(Changes in rural areas)

NB: In Norwegian!
Emnet startar med ein gjennomgang av ulike tilnærmingar til studiet av landskap. Langtidstrendane i korleis rurale område har endra seg blir drøfta. Vi viser korleis ulike type metodar kan brukast for å studere trendane og kva reiskaper offentleg forvaltning har for å påverke endringane. Vi ser på drivkreftene i omforming av jordbrukslandskapet, som for eksempel, globale marknadsendringar og ny teknologi bl.a. knytt til energiproduksjon, både med tanke på ulike typar driftsformer og dei miljøkonsekvensane som følgjer av desse. Endelig vert det drøfta korleis globale miljøendringar, som for eksempel, klimaendringar vil påverke bl.a. biodiversitet og matproduksjon.

    Postgraduate courses:

    GEO330 – Theories of Sustainable Land Use

    Finding ways to negotiate increasing pressures on land around the world is key to meet the sustainability challenge. The aim of this course is to give the student a thorough introduction to contemporary research and debates on sustainable land use in a period of rapidly increasing climate and environmental crises. The course integrates social science and ecological perspectives on competing uses of land, including production of food and energy, conservation, habitation and recreation. The concept land includes also coastal areas and marine resources. Students will discuss theoretical approaches to global and local complexities of sustainability, vulnerability and resilience. Central approaches to sustainability assessment are introduced, in addition to critical perspectives addressing sustainable land use interventions and policies for transition.

    GEO324 - Geographies of the Green Economy

    This course in economic and human geography addresses the concepts, theories and discourses of the green economy. Through a series of lectures, seminars and student presentations, this course discusses how the concept of the green economy affect society and economic activities on different scales.

    GEO337 - Discourse, Politics, and Place: Critical Perspectives on Environmental Governance

    The primary aim of this course is to strengthen and expand students' understanding of global environmental issues and their implications for local development challenges. To do so, we critically engage both longstanding and emerging theoretical, conceptual, and methodological debates concerning sustainable development and environmental governance in human geography. Students will cultivate an in-depth understanding of important themes within these debates, further empowering them to independently assess and utilize key theories and concepts relevant for their respective Master thesis projects.

    PhD Courses:

    SDG900 - PhD for Innovation. Interdisciplinary course from systems thinking through creative problem-solving to RandD management

    The purpose of the course is to equip PhD candidates with problem solving methods that facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration with a strong focus on research impact. This will be achieved by working concretely with challenge-driven innovation related to sustainable development goals (SDGs), in teams consisting of PhD candidates with varied disciplinary backgrounds. PhD candidates gain theoretical as well as practical experience in methods and ways to solve complex problems that are characteristic for sustainable development challenges. The course works with both, private and public sector institutions (problem owners; varying from one course to the next) who furnish PhD candidates with an applied context and specific sustainable development problems. The course combines theory and application:

    • Theoretical part: systems thinking and creative problem solving.
    • Practical part: work in interdisciplinary teams using the methods for solving concrete sustainable development challenges. Three days of the practical work will be conducted in the format of a hackathon

    Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care

    Postgraduate courses:

    SDG303 - Global Health - Challenges and Responses

    The objective of the course is to equip the students with concepts and perspectives for the analysis of global health challenges and responses in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. This course aims for an understanding of the determinants of health, and health systems anchored in specific political, socio-economic, cultural and epidemiological settings.

    Geophysical Institute

    Undergraduate courses:

    ENERGI101 - Introduction to Energy Resources and Consumption

    Important renewable energy resources such as solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, tidal and wave energy, bioenergy and geothermal energy are to be discussed. Further, nuclear power and fossil energy resources together with CO2 capture and storage will be discussed. The various energy resources will be discussed in a sustainability and economic perspective. The concept of life cycle analysis will be introduced. The course will give an overview over national and global energy production and consumption as well as projections forward in time.

    Postgraduate courses:

    ENERGI200 - Energy Resources and Use

    The course aims at giving the students an overview over various energy resources with emphasis on renewable resources. The course shall also provide an overview over national and international energy use and production, including projections forward in time. Key terms as life cycle analysis, sustainability and cost of energy should be mastered.

    ENERGI230 - Environment and Energy

    The course aims at giving the students insight into environmental consequences of harvesting, conversion and use of energy. The students shall be able to perform analyses and calculations of various technological energy solutions as well as local and global scenarios. The topic shall enhance the students understanding of how different kinds of environmental footprint may be included in planning of energy installations.

    GEOF347 - Seminar on "Earth system science for sustainability studies"

    Earth system science goes beyond traditional climate research by including also biogeochemical cycles in climate studies and thus providing key links to sustainable development, e.g. in terms of energy and food production. Students will be made familiar with the interplay between biogeochemical, physical, and human-induced processes in the Earth system under human perturbations of matter and energy fluxes. The course should enable the students to embed their research into grand societal challenges and contribute to tackling these.

    Department of Government

    Undergraduate courses:

    GOV108 - Climate Policy

    The course examines the significance of energy systems for the global environmental and climate challenges. The course offers particular attention to countries with a relative large poor population and which confronts the challenge of how to reduce poverty and ensure their population access to reliable and affordable energy, without affecting the environment and the climate too much. The course also explores how countries in other parts of the world respond to the energy- and climate change. It gives attention to how global processes in the energy- and finance sectors affect choices that are made more locally. The course problematizes the role of the state and public administration, but attention is also given to actors in the market and in civil society. 


    See the list of all climate courses at UiB.