Ecotourism and Sustainability, fordypning


Tourism is often described as the world’s largest and fastest growing industry. Nature, landscapes and local culture make up the resource base upon which the majority of tourism products are developed. However, the uncontrolled growth of tourism can have a severe negative impact and risk destroying its own resource base. Through this highly interdisciplinary study programme on ecotourism and sustainability, students will be introduced to and learn about how tourism destinations, businesses and products can be planned, developed and managed in an ecologically sound and sustainable manner. The programme aims at combining theoretical insights with practical experience, and case studies and field trips will be organized. The programme combines perspectives from the field of international tourism studies, ecophilosophy, ecology, conservation and biodiversity, sustainable planning and management, cultural aspects, recreation and outdoor life.

The study programme allows the student to choose between a number of optional courses. It is also possible to participate in the programme for only one semester (autumn or spring).

Target Group and Admission Requirements

Norwegian or foreign students who want to acquire deeper knowledge about the sustainable planning, development and management of tourism.

Admission requirements: One or two years of university level studies in the fields of tourism, business studies, biology, ecology or geography is desirable, but not a requirement. Please see also the prerequisites listed in the different course descriptions.

Aim of the Programme

After completing the study programme students should have acquired extensive knowledge about ecotourism, ecophilosophy, ecology, sustainability and environmental management as a basis for further studies at the Bachelor or Master’s level. In addition, they will be trained in field, project and group work.

Curriculum and structure

Code Course title Credits O/V *) Credits pr. semester
  S1(A) S2(V)
4507 Ecotourism Theories and Concepts 10.00 O 10  
4501 Alpine Ecology 10.00 O 10  
2604 The Individual, Environs and Society
5.00 V 5  
2602 Telemark I: Regional Identity 5.00 V 5  
2606 Ecophilosophy 5.00 V 5  
2612 Ecophilosophy, Term paper 5.00 V 5  
4508 Ecotourism Methods and Practices 10.00 O   10
4505 Conservation Biology 10.00 O   10
1244 The Individual, Environs and Society -
5.00 V   5
2615 Telemark II: Social and Cultural
5.00 V   5
5401 Tourism and the Environment 5.00 V   5
5021 Sustainability Management 10.00 V   10
5020 Business, Innovation and Cultural
5.00 V   5
6025 Business English for Erasmus Students
Fall or Spring
7.50 V   7,5
Total: 30 30
*) O - Mandatory course, V - Optional course

Language courses

In addition to the courses listed in the study programme, the students have the possibility to study 5973 Business English for Erasmus students (oral focus in the autumn semester and written focus in the spring semester) and 2617 Introducing Norwegian Language. We advise students who would like to learn more English or Norwegian to take these language courses in addition to the courses listed in the study programme.


In general, a minimum number of students will be required in order to offer an optional course. Due to the fact that this study programme is an interdisciplinary programme where all courses also are offered in other international study programmes at this department, it may unfortunately be the case that an optional course is not offered if it is impossible to find time in the class schedule for that course. To guarantee the quality of the study programme, we aim to offer at least 15 ECTS of optional courses each semester.

The study programme covers the following subject areas:

  • Ecotourism and related concepts
  • Environmental ethics and philosophy
  • Principles of conservation and biodiversity
  • Sustainable planning and management
  • Outdoor life and nature guiding
  • Ecology
  • Cultural aspects

The curriculum, including syllabus, is described in more detail in the course descriptions above.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Lectures, excursions, seminars with student presentations, mandatory reports and papers.

Assessment Methods

Individual written exams, group or individual project (reports).

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Ian Harkness <>, last modified Helle Friis Knutzen - 02/04/2009