STV4252 – Politics and Strategy in the Nuclear Age

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

This interactive class introduces students to analytic and policy challenges associated with nuclear weapons. The seminars focus on nuclear proliferation, nuclear strategy and conflict escalation.

Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the basic intellectual perspectives on these issues, as well as enhancing their analytical skillset in deliberating how different actors in the international environment interpret and address these complex problems.

Learning outcome


You will:

  • Learn about the spread and use of nuclear weapons
  • Analyze the evolution of the global non-proliferation regime
  • Weigh the pros and cons of counter-proliferation options
  • Study basic principles of nuclear strategy in historical and contemporary perspectives


You will learn to:

  • Understand the basic policy challenges associated with the use and spread of nuclear weapons
  • Assess the pros and cons of policy instruments for preventing the spread of these weapons to additional states
  • Prepare and present policy briefs to decision-makers
  • Apply analytic perspectives to past and current nuclear crises


You will learn to:

  • Analyze policy challenges at the intersection of technology, politics and strategy
  • Assess and advocate policy options
  • Critically assess the strength and weakness of the global non-proliferation regime and military alliances in addressing contemporary challenges associated with nuclear weapons


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.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

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

Apply for guest student status if you are admitted to another Master's programme (deadline 1 August / 5 January).

For incoming students

All Master's courses in Political Science must be registered manually by the Department. They will not appear in Studentweb. Contact your international coordinator at UiO.



Compulsory activities:

  • Attend at least 8 out of 10 seminars.
  • Prepare policy briefs for seminar discussion.

Absence from compulsory tuition activities.

If you are ill or have another valid reason for being absent from compulsory tuition activities, your absence may be approved or the compulsory activity may be postponed.


Portfolio examination.

The portfolio consists of:

  • One policy brief on an assigned topic. 750 words (pass or fail grade).
  • Two written assignments:
    • Assignment 1: One written assignment where students choose one of two questions. 1000-2000 words.
    • Assignment 2: One written assignment where students choose from three questions. 3000-4000 words.

Assignment 1 and 2 count equally. You receive one overall grade. You must pass the policy brief and the two assignments in the same semester.

Guidelines for written assignments.

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

Ask for a grade explanation

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






Spring 2020

This course is not given on a regular basis


Spring 2020

This course is not given on a regular basis

Teaching language