ISSSV1753 – The Norwegian Welfare State

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course presents the historical background, development and 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, as well as how the structure of the state in turn shapes societal norms and values. The course follows how political debates concerning the country's welfare programs have shifted in response to accelerated immigration, changing gender roles and shifting employment patterns. It pays special attention to universal welfare services, work-family balance and the Introduction Programme (Norway’s integration package), as these are some of the distinctive features of the Norwegian welfare state. Additional modules on education, healthcare, childcare, corrections and labour market policy will demonstrate values and norms in practice, as well as highlight the challenges that increased globalization presents to a state welfare system. 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 their responses to common challenges.

Learning outcome

Students will gain insight into the historical background, the development and the present-day challenges of the Norwegian welfare state and will on this basis be able to make a comparative analysis of the social structures 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.


Class timings will be 2 hours per day Monday-Friday, from 4 p.m. – 6 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 online seminar sessions which include group discussions and collaborative project work. Throughout the course of the summer, all students will be required to give one 10-15 minute oral presentation with a powerpoint on an assigned reading. 

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.

Preliminary Course Schedule for Summer 2020

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 includes a final take-home exam, which is worth 100% of the grade. Students must meet the attendance requirement and give an oral presentation to be eligible to take the final exam. 

All students must give an oral presentation (0% of the grade) on a given topic. The topics will be assigned on the second day of class. These presentations will occur throughout the course of the semester (one or two presentations per day). The presentations should take 10 – 15 minutes, not including questions. Completion of a satisfactory presentation, in connection with meeting the attendance requirement, qualifies the student for taking the final exam.

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 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.

Facts about this course






Every summer


Every summer

Teaching language