220 613 History: web-based distance learning programme


The discipline of history concerns the study of human society in the past and is based on the idea that the present, with its diverse social forms, can only be understood in light of the past. The programme includes world history and Norwegian history from antiquity until the present day. It examines cultural, social, political and economic developments over time, and invites reflection on change and continuity and an understanding of the relationships between developments in different areas of society. It will provide an understanding not just of past societies, but also of how understanding the past has itself changed. The program includes both an overview course that provides a perspective on the major events and issues and specialized sections that allow close study of smaller topics. It also aims to provide a basic understanding of historical theory and methodology and aims at developing students’ capacity for independent, critical assessment of historical materials.

Target Group and Admission Requirements

The program is suitable for those who have an interest in Norwegian and world history, who wish to acquire knowledge and understanding of human cultural, social, economic and political developments in Norway and abroad, and who seek an understanding of our times in light of the past.

Students must meet general admission requirements.

Students should note that history is a demanding subject. The study programme involves a considerable amount of reading, and the subject requires that students are capable of effectively expressing themselves in writing. Parts of the syllabus have not been translated into any Nordic language, so students must be able to read English well. Experience has shown that students who have lower grades in Norwegian or English than the equivalent of a 3 or 4 often find completing the study programme problematic.

Aim of the Programme

The programme aims to provide students with:

  • A basic overview of overall historical developments and an understanding of the factors and processes that create change in human societies
  • Detailed information about certain selected historical themes
  • Factual knowledge related to time, place, important individuals and communities, particularly in Norway and the European cultural sphere, but also globally
  • Skills that will enable them to assess historical materials critically and independently
  • The ability to independently make written and oral presentations on the subject
  • Knowledge concerning historical methods and discussions, including how different methodological approaches and issues influence our interpretation of the past
  • Skills in reasoning and analytical thinking

The 60 ECTS course of studies history is a foundation programme that may be combined with other college and university programmes. It may also be included as part of a general teacher education programme.

Learning outcome

After successfully completing the programme, candidates will have achieved the following learning outcomes:


The candidate has:

  • An overview of the key developments in world, European, and Norwegian history
  • Broad knowledge of historical events and periodization of them within a chronological framework
  • Detailed knowledge of specific historical topics
  • Knowledge of the methodologies used in various fields of history
  • Understanding of historical research debates


The candidate is able to:

  • Criticize, comment on or edit texts and documents in accordance with the general guidelines of criticism for the discipline of history
  • Communicate verbally about the subject through its terminologies and techniques
  • Analyze historical data, sources and literature, and draw independent conclusions from such material
  • Organize complex historical information in a logically consistent manner
  • Use information and search tools in conjunction with bibliographical materials, archival materials and electronic references

General competence:

The candidate:

  • Is able to communicate the subject material orally and in writing
  • Is able to work independently with a given topic and question
  • Is able to work with new problem areas and analyze issues from various perspectives
  • Is aware of and respects perspectives that have different national and cultural origins than the Norwegian one
  • Is critically aware of the relationship between past and contemporary events and processes

Curriculum and structure

The study programme is divided into four semesters. World history is taught in the autumn semester, and Norwegian history in the spring semester.

For the more specialized courses, reading lists with information on books/articles and required reading for each course will be provided. Reading lists will be provided for the overview sections, and in some cases proposed reading lists.

The course of study is based on research in that teaching staff would normally consist of active researchers. Teaching may also directly be based on the teacher's own research, especially in specialization courses.


The Department of Humanities & Cultural Studies has a number of exchange agreements with foreign institutions.

Teaching and Learning Methods

The teaching and learning methods are mainly based on self-study under supervision, and students will also be able to work together with the teacher staff and their fellow students. Teaching materials will regularly be published online in Fronter. Audio files of the lectures/ discussions on the subject will be posted every week. PowerPoint presentations and similar teaching materials will also be posted, although not weekly. In addition, students will have the opportunity to participate in group discussions with the teacher on Skype or by other means. By using The Forum on Fronter, students will also be able to ask questions related to the subject; subsequently, all the students will have access to the questions and answers raised in The Forum. For inquiries relating to the individual student, the teachers will be available by email and phone.

The study programme includes two workshop sessions per semester in Bø, comprising eight to ten 1-hour teaching sessions.

Mandatory coursework requirements will be specified, including submission of assignments in the various courses. Fulfilment of mandatory requirements is a condition for being permitted to take the examination in the individual courses. These are not assessed in the context of the examination, but are an addition to the mandatory home assignments that are part of the examination/assessment.

Assessment Methods

The study programme includes ongoing assessment (usually in the form of mandatory assignments), as well as the final school examination. The study programme includes two assignments (mandatory submissions in Fronter) during the semester (ongoing assessment), one for the overview course and the other for the specialization course. These will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. Students will be given the opportunity to improve their grades for each submission. Students must receive passing marks for each part of the course in order to be permitted to take the final examination. The final examination consists of two parts, one for each of the overview and specialization parts. Each part will be awarded a separate grade of A-F, where A is the highest grade and F is a fail.

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

Publisert av / forfatter Ian Hector Harkness <Ian.HarknessSPAMFILTER@hit.no>, last modified Eline Flesjø - 19/02/2013