ISSHF4060 – Gender Equality in the Nordic Countries

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course gives an introduction to the Nordic context and an overview of how the concept and implementation of gender equality has developed and is currently practiced in the Nordic countries. The main focus is on the period after the 1970s, and themes that are taught relate gender equality to:

  • Work-life balance
  • Access to work, education and politics
  • Nordic gender equality in an intersectional perspective
  • Gender-based violence

Moreover, dilemmas and paradoxes concerning gender equality in the Nordic countries will be a central theme, as well as the attempt to answer questions like: What can explain change and is there a Nordic model of gender equality?

This is a joint graduate/undergraduate course. Graduate students have additional readings, lectures on theoretical perspectives while undergraduate students work on assignments.

Learning outcome


You will acquire:

  • basic knowledge of the Nordic context
  • advanced knowledge of concepts used in analysing gender equality issues
  • advanced knowledge of different conceptions and theories of gender equality
  • advanced knowledge of challenges and outcomes of gender equality in specific fields
  • gender-sensitive perspective in other kinds of research


You will be able to:

  • analyse gender equality issues and to place them in societal and cultural contexts
  • discuss and evaluate historical processes of gender equality measures in the Nordic region
  • discuss and evaluate the status of gender equality in fields such as everyday life, education, working life, politics and ethnic relations
  • work in an independent, thorough and critical manner with central issues in research literature
  • understand the need to follow ethical norms in academic works


After completing the course you have:

  • acquired advanced insight into gender equality issues and processes in general, which can be used to analyse specific gender equality concerns
  • the ability to see, analyse and problematize gender in texts, practices and policies


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

A completed Bachelor’s degree or a period of study comparable with a Norwegian Bachelor's degree from a recognized institution. Minimum academic requirements.

Applicants should have a related degree in social sciences, humanities, cultural studies and/or gender studies.

Recommended previous knowledge

The course is open to students from a broad range of disciplines, though priority of admission will be given to students within the social sciences and humanities. Students with a degree outside of these fields are also encouraged to apply, but should explain how their disciplinary background may add to class discussions. Applicants who meet the academic requirements, but do not have Gender studies in their academic profile might qualify with documented professional experience.

This course relies on active participation from students. All applicants are invited to state in their application letter (Statement of purpose) how their academic, professional, and personal experience will enable them to contribute to class discussions, and how they hope the course will help them for their professional development.


The course consists of approx. 22 sessions. Class timings will be 2 hours per day Monday-Friday, from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. CEST, during six weeks (times subject to variation during the semester, dependent on class activity).

The teaching format will be a combination of online (synchronous) and recorded lectures, in addition to other activities such as discussions, seminars, group exercises, self-study, individual follow up and tutorials with course staff. Lectures held in realtime will also be recorded and made available online to the extent possible.

Active participation throughout the course is expected of the students, and attendance during realtime lectures, seminars and discussions is required. The parts of the course based on recorded materials can be accessed by the students at any time.

For remote learning, the University of Oslo uses secure Zoom video conferencing, and Canvas, the learning management system at UiO. Access to these platforms is provided by UiO to students when they have a UiO username and password.


The course is graded on the basis of a term paper.

In order to take the exam, students must have completed the following requirements:

The students need to submit two drafts of the term paper during the summer. Deadlines will be published in Canvas.


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

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

Submit assignments in Inspera

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

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

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 and withdrawal request form  at the latest one week 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.


This course is offered in cooperation with the Centre for Gender Research at UiO.

Facts about this course






Every summer


Every summer

Teaching language