ISSSUM4180 – Energy, Environment and Social Change

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Course content

Topics covered in this course include energy policy and planning, energy efficiency, conservation, renewable sources, energy trends and scenarios, and emerging technologies. Climate change and environmental impacts, international environmental agreements and conventions, the sustainable development paradigm and sustainable production and consumption are also central issues for discussion.

Other topics include eco-design, low energy futures, indirect energy, sustainable buildings and cities, and anthropological approaches to energy use. The focus of the course is on practical solutions from both industrialised and developing countries. Course leaders and guest lecturers cover a broad spectrum of international experience.

Learning outcome

To provide understanding of the complexity of energy and environmental issues within a framework of sustainable development. The course does not intend to provide detailed technical information.


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 recognised institution. Minimum academic requirements.

Applicants should have a related degree in energy studies, sustainability, development, natural sciences and/or social sciences.

Recommended previous knowledge

Documented professional experience within fields such as planning, policy, engineering, economics or social sciences may also qualify applicants even though their academic background does not match the course profile.

Overlapping courses

This course changed name from ISSSUM4180 - Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development to ISSSUM4180 - Energy, Environment and Social Change, in November 2017. 


The course is normally 4 hours per day (08:30 to 12:30) plus two afternoon sessions (14:00 to 16:00) a week for six weeks. Classroom sessions include lectures, student presentations, group work and discussions. A class excursion around southern Norway to sites of environmental interest, energy production, industry and ecological technology is included.

A detailed syllabus will be available prior first day of class. 

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 course includes a written assignment to be submitted as well as presented in class, and a final written exam. 

The written assignment, together with active attendance and participation, count for 50% of the total grade and the final written examination counts for 50% of the total grade and lasts for 4 hours.

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

Digital 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.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in at the ISS Office two days before the examination together with the support material form

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.

Contact the ISS Office for more information.

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.


This course is offered in cooperation with Centre for Development and the Environment at UiO.

Facts about this course






Every summer

Teaching language