This course is discontinued

UV9919H3 – Semiotics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course is offered in collaboration with the research group “Humanities Studies in Pedagogy” (HumStud).

Responsible: Torill Strand, University of Oslo
Lecturers: Marianna Papastephanou, University of Cyprus, Sebastien Pesce, Universite de Tours, Anne Krogstad, University of Oslo, Inga Bostad, University of Oslo, Torill Strand, University of Oslo

Semiotics is the study of sign processes, semiosis, or the acts of signs. Semiotics, which we can trace all the way back to antiquity, is today a multidimensional field of theories and methods relevant to numerous research areas, as different as philosophy of mind, cultural studies, mathematics, psychology, sociolinguistics, visual communication and education. 
Topics explored range from metaphors of mind to meaning making; from learning to communication; from modelling systems to rhetoric. However, common to the many schools and branches of theoretical and applied semiotics is a focus on the mediating and knowledge-creating actions of signs.

This course provides a brief overview of the field and introduces semiotics as a methodology for educational research. In close dialogue with the course literature, we will explore theoretical frameworks, topics, research questions and analytic strategies relevant to the partakers’ research projects.

The course is particularly valuable for candidates carrying out humanities-oriented research in education. The course takes the form of a collaborative research seminar. The PhD students’ active engagement with the literature and in the seminar is a vital part of the course content.

Learning outcome

  • The PhD candidates will be introduced to semiotics and learn how to conceptualize and explore semiotic process in educational settings
  • The PhD candidates will gain experience on the systematic ways of working in a collaborative research seminar
  • The PhD candidates will gain skills in writing an academic essay at high international standards


PhD candidates at the Faculty of Educational Sciences will be given priority, but it is also possible for others to apply for the course. Applicants must have at least a Master's degree.

Candidates admitted to the PhD Programme at the Faculty of Educational Sciences should apply through Studentweb

Other applicants may apply using this application form

The course is cancelled.


This is an intensive course over three days, comprising a total of 14 hours.

Dates: September 16-18, 2019

Place: University of Oslo, Helga Engs hus, Seminar Room 231

Work format: Research seminar and lectures

You will find the timetable and literature on the semester webpage for this course.


To obtain 1 study point 80% attendance in the course is required.

To obtain 3 study points participants need to submit an academic essay (2250 – 3500 words) before the course. The deadline for essay submission is September 11, 2019. 80% attendance is required.

The essay shall explore a topic relevant to semiotics and education and make use of selected parts of the course literature. The PhD candidates will receive guidelines for how to write an essay beforehand. The PhD students’ essays will be distributed, presented and discussed in the seminar.

Papers are to be submitted electronically in Canvas.

Language of examination


Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2019


Autumn 2019

Teaching language