Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course focuses on American political institutions – the presidency, elections, political parties, Congress and the courts – and on contemporary national politics, including ideological conflicts and political debate.

The course is topical in character, but regardless of the specific topic, broader historical patterns (continuities) as well as moments of fracture, dislocation and change will be considered. Explanatory paradigms include the role of ideas and ideologies, the influences of the media sphere, changing or clashing definitions of American identity(ies), the politics of symbolism, the impact of institutional continuity, and the influence of social changes and stresses.

Course topic for Autumn 2018: American Liberalism and Its Discontents: Politics and Culture after WW2

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • have insight into the institutional arrangements of the American political system;
  • can analyze the content of contemporary American ideologies;
  • can identify the changing character of media coverage;
  • can analyze politics from the standpoints of ideology and policy.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

It is recommended that you have taken ENG1506 – American Civilization or similar courses – or to acquire such knowledge during the course of the semester through background reading. The course assumes good reading and writing skills in English.

Overlapping courses


Seminar, two hours per week for 10 weeks, 20 hours in all.

Attendance is obligatory 8 out of 10 seminars. Additional absences must be justified by documentation to the exam coordinator. Read more about guidelines for obligatory activities.



The exam consists of two parts:

  1. A term paper. You are required to write 5 -6 pages. 
  2. A 2-hour written exam at the end of the term. 

A pass mark is required on both parts. Both exam parts have to be taken in the same semester.  The exams will be graded separately with a combined final mark. The term paper counts towards 50% of the grade and the 2-hour exam counts towards 50%.

Written examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Submission in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read more about how to submit in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

For those who want to retake their exam: Since this exam includes a term paper, you must follow the classes and write a new paper in order to qualify. Admission depends on capacity.

If it's just the written exam you have missed because of illness, it is possible to apply for a postponed exam. Please contact the exam consultant for more information.

Withdrawal from an examination

A term paper or equivalent that is passed may not be resubmitted in revised form.

If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2018


Autumn 2018

Teaching language