HGO4302 – Transformations to Sustainability

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course explores some of the theories, paradigms and processes related to transformations to sustainability. It provides students with an in-depth analysis of traditional and contemporary theories about individual change, collective change, and systems change, situating them within current research on transitions, transformations, social tipping points, and paradigms shifts. The course contextualizes research on transformation within the Anthropocene, an epoch where global environmental changes are challenging models of socio-economic organization and the mental models and worldviews associated with them. The course will consider the dynamics and drivers of transformation from multiple perspectives and explore alternative ways of thinking about humanity’s relationship with the environment. Seminars will focus on links between theory and practice, drawing attention to both the challenges of and potentials for transformation in a changing climate.

Learning outcome

Knowledge goals

You will be able to:

  • account for and discuss key concepts and theories related to transformations towards sustainability in the era of the Anthropocene
  • explain the distinctions and relationships between different perspectives on transitions and transformations to sustainability

Skills attainment goals

  • account for, discuss and critique concepts and theories covered in lectures in a sophisticated manner
  • connect these theories, and critiques thereof, to specific cases and concrete settings in the field
  • write a research paper that links transformation in theory with transformations in practice

General competences

You will be able to:

  • assess specific situations, challenges and openings related to transformations to sustainability based on theoretically grounded knowledge on this field.
  • communicate knowledge-based insights and analysis both verbally and in writing.
  • contribute to the new creative and independent thinking about the potential for transformative change.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

This course is a part of the Master's program in Human Geography. Students with admission to other relevant master’s degree programmes can apply for admission as guest students.


The course consists of lectures and seminars. The lectures will be linked to the readings and students are expected to discuss them. The seminars will focus on practical examples of transformation and help students to develop ideas for their term papers.   


The examination will take the form of a term paper, and students are free to choose a topic that is relevant to the themes and literature covered in the course. The length of the paper will be maximum 6000 words, not including references.  

Examiner guidelines

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

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or 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

It is recommended to request an explanation of your grade before you decide to appeal.



The deadline to request an explanation is one week after the grade is published. For oral and practical examinations, the deadline is immediately after you have received your grade.

The explanation should normally be given within two weeks after you have asked for it. The examiner decides whether the explanation is to be given in writing or verbally.

Ask for explanation of your grade in this course:

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

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 other autumn starting 2018


Every other autumn starting 2018

Teaching language