MIED4100 – The Norwegian Education System in its Nordic Context

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

This course is divided into two parts.

Section 1

The first section will introduce you to the Norwegian education system within its Nordic context. It will provide you with a thorough understanding of all relevant components of the Norwegian education system. In addition, it will introduce you to the notion of ‘the Nordic model’, how it affects Norwegian education, as well as how it relates to the European idea and other educational models. 

The first section will cover both formal and informal institutional practices in education, and address questions about the ideas of democracy, inclusion and exclusion, the role of knowledge and expertise, the public and private dimension, lifelong learning, and access.  

Section 2

In the second section of the course the educational activities will be organized within the two specialisation areas of the program: 

  • Higher Education Studies (HES) 
  • Education and Social Change: Childhood and Youth Studies (ESCY)

This implies that the students will be divided into two groups based on the specialisation area to which they have been admitted. It will not be possible to change the area of specialisation. 

Higher Education Studies (HES)

In this area, we will move from the specific to the general by introducing students into the academic field of Higher Education Studies, the theories, concepts and terminology relevant to the study of higher education, and the basic characteristics and dynamics of higher education systems and institutions at all relevant levels. The Norwegian higher education system will be used as a frame of reference in this. Students will get acquainted with the key position of knowledge in societies around the world, and the role higher education and science play in the knowledge society. We will focus especially on higher education governance and teaching and learning aspects, and how these are related.

Education and Social Change: Childhood and Youth Studies (ESCY)

In the second specialisation area, students will first be introduced to some main theoretical perspectives on contemporary social change. Then, childhood and youth studies will be introduced and discussed from historical, social change and cross-cultural perspectives. The specialization focuses on change and continuity in key issues, perspectives and policies related to children and young people’s life and education in our contemporary world. You will examine how childhoods and youth are conceptualized in the Nordic and Norwegian socio-cultural contexts, in relation to the European and global contexts. The Nordic models of education and childhoods are compared to some other cultural perspectives and social-political models and practice related to children and youth in the world. 

Learning outcome

The aim of this course is to provide you with a solid introduction into the Nordic education model with a special focus on the Norwegian education system. This introduction will serve as a foundation for the following learning outcomes: 

Upon completion of the course you should have acquired the following learning outcomes: 


  • have thorough understanding of the nature of the Norwegian education system in its Nordic context
  • be able to identify and understand theories, concepts and terminology that form the foundation for the selected area of specialization
  • have critical understanding of the inter-disciplinary nature of the selected area of specialization


  • be able to critically compare the Nordic education model with education models developed and used in other parts of the world. 
  • be able to analyse and critically relate to various sources of information and apply these with the aim to address specific problems at all relevant levels in the selected area of specialization
  • be able to identify relevant concepts and interpretations within the area of specialization and work independently with practical and conceptual problems


  • be able to use their knowledge and skills with respect to the Norwegian education system and Nordic education model in relevant professional contexts
  • be able to communicate about field-specific problems, analyses and conclusions within the area of specialization with academic specialists as well as a general audience of interested lay-persons
  • be able to apply their knowledge and skills in carrying out academic assignments 


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 primarily for students enrolled in the Masters in Education. 

Other master students at UiO, as well as eligible exchange students at masters level, who are interested in taking this course, can be admitted if there are available places.

Only students who have been admitted to this course may attend the lectures, seminars and examinations.  

All first year students accepted to the Master in Education programme have equal access to the course.

Other applicants may be considered based on capacity. If there are available places, exchange students will be prioritized before master students on other programmes.  

Capacity: maximum 60 students


The course combines lectures, seminars, group work, discussions and student presentations in both sections and specialization tracks. Active participation in group work and class-based discussions is expected.

Obligatory Component:
You are required to contribute to the development and presentation of a group assignment on a given topic in your area of specialization.

There is a mandatory 80% attendance requirement for this course. If you do not fulfil the mandatory attendance requirement, you must complete an additional assignment prior to passing the course. The requirement for the additional assignment is at the discretion of the lecturer.

Any absence beyond 70% must be approved on an individual basis by the student administration. If approved, the additional assignment will have the same length as the course examination.

All the educational activities organized as part of the course will take place at the University of Oslo Blindern campus.

This is a full-time programme. 

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The final exam will be based on a written assignment (maximum 8 000 words). 

Deadline for submission of the assignment will normally be 14 days after the last lecture. 

The obligatory components must be completed and approved before the final exam can be submitted. Students that do not complete the obligatory component will not be allowed to submit the exam.  

Two examiners will evaluate the exam.  

The examination will count as the entire portion of the course grade. 

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

Students who fail the exam, withdraw from the exam during the exam period or are registered with valid absence from the ordinary exam, are allowed to re-sit for the exam. The (re-)exam will be organized within the same semester. 

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 evaluated every time it is taught. See summaries of course evaluations at the Faculty of Educational Sciences.

Facts about this course

Every autumn

The course will be offered for the first time autumn 2022

Every autumn
Teaching language