ISSHF2415 – Trends in Scandinavian Film and TV

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

From a national and international perspective, contemporary Scandinavian cinema is doing very well. At home, audiences show an active interest in Scandinavian productions, and films are an integral part in debates concerning cultural and identity politics. Internationally, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish films have received critical appraisal, with these countries managing to successfully compete with Hollywood. The television dramas have developed large fan-bases outside Scandinavia and have earned the marketing term ‘Nordic Noir’, and films regularly win awards at major international film festivals in addition to screening in mainstream cinemas. Scandinavian filmmakers like Lars von Trier, Joachim Trier, and Ruben Östlund have played active roles in contemporary world cinema and have found careers outside their home countries. Coming from a region of roughly twenty million people, the success of Scandinavian cinema is truly outstanding.

This course will explore contemporary Scandinavian cinema with a focus on how this ‘new wave’ of modern films have been able to achieve such global success. Not only do these films rework genre conventions such as horror, crime and comedy to make themselves a niche, but their social realist dramas are able to bring attention to global issues surrounding immigrant and Sami cinema, global conflicts, sexuality and gender, as well as nationalism and cultural politics.

In addition to understanding these contemporary topics, this course will also examine how these films are made, from the roles of the film practitioners to the part the government plays in funding these productions. Overall, this course will provide a better understanding of the inner workings of these contemporary Scandinavian films. 

Learning outcome

This course provides students with the basic terms and concepts for studying and analyzing film in a political, social and cultural context. Methods in contemporary Scandinavian cinema is a major concept under investigation in this course. After completing this course, students will gain insights into the major themes in contemporary Scandinavian cinema and key practices through the funding and production of films, as well as the ability to conduct a close analysis of moving images in order to critically assess what films do. In addition to contextualizing and theorizing film, students will be able to compare and contrast various films and their respective aesthetics and embedded ideologies based on thematic criteria, and contextualize films in terms of popular auteurs, themes and recent film history.


If you would like to take this course, you must apply directly to the International Summer School

Only students admitted to the course may take part in instruction.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

No obligatory prerequisites beyond the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway. Minimum academic requirements.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with NOR2415 – Contemporary Scandinavian Film: Cultural, Aesthetic and Literary Approaches

This course changed name from ISSHF2415 Scandinavian Film Genres to ISSHF2415 Trends in Scandinavian Film and TV in November 2017.


The course consists of 26 lectures, 3 hours daily (10:15-13:00), Monday to Friday, for six weeks. The classroom sessions include lectures and group discussions, often based on comparative analysis of the films and topics concerned. In addition, the course will arrange a visit at the Norwegian Film Institute.

Daily attendance is expected of all participants. Students must attend a minimum of 75% of the lectures in order to take the final exam.


The final exam is divided into two parts:

Take home examination: 60% The take home examination is an 8-page long argumentative essay excluding the bibliography (approximately 2300 characters per page). The question for the take-home exam will be handed out in week 6 of classes and students have three days to complete their essays.

Oral presentation: 40% Students will be asked to give a group presentation on a topic related to the syllabus followed by a class discussion which they will coordinate.

You can check your results and order transcripts in Studentweb three weeks after the exam.

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

Candidates who have a re-scheduled or new examination are allowed take the next ordinary examination. Candidates who are re-sitting NORA exams can also re-sit the exam in the summer at the ISS exam. If you have successfully passed obligatory assignments, or other compulsory activities required before you are qualified to attend the exam, you need not re-sit these.

Only students with either valid absence (doctors note) or students who failed the exam can re-sit an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

A student can take the class and sit for this exam up to 3 times. If a student wishes to withdraw from the exam, s/he must submit the Course Change Request Form to the ISS Reception before the exam. Failure to do so will be counted as one of the three opportunities to sit for the exam, which is the general rule at UiO.

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.

Course combinations

This course can be combined with other summer courses, see which courses you can combine in the course schedule.


Facts about this course






This course will not be offered summer 2020, next time offered summer 2021.

Teaching language