ISSSV1753 – The Norwegian Welfare State

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course presents the historical background, the development and the present day challenges of the Norwegian welfare state. It examines the role of values and norms in shaping the services offered by the welfare state, and it discusses how political debates concerning the country's welfare programs are shifting in response to changing immigration patterns, gender roles and employment. The course pays special attention to the Nordic model of work-family balance, as this is one of the distinctive features of the Norwegian welfare state, which contributes to high employment and high fertility in Scandinavia. At the end of the course students will be able to discuss the foundations of the welfare state, as well as compare different welfare regimes and challenges.

The course puts emphasis on classroom discussion and student participation with the aim of enabling students to make a comparative analysis of social structures and institutions in their own and other countries.

Learning outcome

To give students insight into the historical background, the development and the present-day challenges of the Norwegian welfare state, and on this basis enable them to make a comparative analysis of the social structure and institutions in their own and other countries.


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.


The course consists of 26 lectures, 3 hours daily (10:15-13:00), Monday to Friday, for six weeks. Classroom sessions include lectures and group discussions, based on comparative analysis. All students are required to give an oral presentation on a given topic to the class. Active student participation is expected. Field trips to institutions in Oslo are included.

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 an oral presentation, and a final written examination, which lasts for 3 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.

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.

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






Every summer


Every summer

Teaching language