Norway: Economy, History, Politics and Society

SAM21 Norway: Economy, History, Politics and Society

Spring 2024

  • Topics

    The course has four main branches, where students will be given a basic introduction to the topics in a non-technical way:

    Economy: GDP, exports, the Nordic model, "the petroleum fund";

    History: important industries and businesses, the public sector, historical development;

    Politics: the Norwegian political system, political history, Norway and the EU;

    Society: the role of trust, the welfare state, Norway and the rest of the world

  • Learning outcome

    The main objective of the course is to give students a broad and basic knowledge of Norway. The course focuses on four aspects; the economy, the history, the politics and the organization of society. It combines a descriptive approach with analysis of the factors that differentiate Norway from other countries.


    On successful course completion, the student will: 

    • understand the basic features of Norway's economy and political system
    • know the most important eras in Norway's modern history, as well as key historical persons
    • be familiar with some of the main features of Norwegian society, including values and traditions


     On successful course completion, the student will be able to:

    • discuss how Norway has managed to rise to the top of the UNDP's Human Development Index
    • present briefly the main sectors of the Norwegian economy, both currently and historically
    • give a broad overview of Norwegian history over the last 200 years, including main eras and important individuals
    • describe and discuss some of the most important factors that distinguish Norway from other countries, in Europe as well as internationally

    General competence

     On successful course completion, the student will be able to:

    • present and contextualize information about Norway
    • participate in basic discussions about the country
    • be able to communicate about Norway with both specialists and non-specialists

  • Teaching

    The main method of teaching will be regular lectures. Students are expected to participate in discussions and presentations, as well as in the development of the written curriculum (see below). Some of the teaching will occur outside the traditional class-room setting.

    Participation in lectures is compulsory, and students need to attend at least 80 per cent of the class hours in order to fulfill compulsory activities (work requirements). With regard to the COVID-situation: 

    • lectures will be filmed/ streamed
    • student activities might be changed relative to a normal semester
    • students that are unable to participate in the activities for health reasons, will have to perform additional tasks in order to fulfill compulsory activities (work requirements)

  • Restricted access

    Given that this course is intended for foreign students, in particular students visiting the NHH on exchange, compulsory activities (work requirements) will only be granted to students that have no previous experience from the Norwegian educational system.

  • Compulsory Activity

    Participation in at least 80 per cent of the class hours is required. Students that are unable to reach this goal, will be asked to perform additional tasks to make up the necessary credits. 

    In addition

    1. Three short (approximately 300-400 words) "encyclopedia entries" that will be published in the "class knowledge base". The course instructor will provide a list of potential entries, and the students will produce one entry from each category, to be shared online with the other students, making up the knowledge base. One of the entries may be in another format than standard written text (video, etc.)    
    2. A poster presentation, or other form of group work, written as part of a group of 3-5 students. The course instructor will provide a list of potential topics.    
    3. A short essay (approximately 1000 words/ two pages), written individually, on a topic chosen by the student and accepted by the course instructor

  • Assessment

    Oral exam, up to 20 minutes - partly based on the students' compulsory work, ie (1)-(3) above, partly based on the literature (see below). Oral exam will be held digitally.

  • Grading Scale

    Pass or fail or A-F, depending on the student's choice.

  • Computer tools

    Students are expected to bring a laptop, tablet or smartphone to class

  • Literature

    Students should have read and be familiar with all the entries in the "class knowledge base". In total, there should be around 100 such entries that the students are expected to be familiar with. In addition, students choose and read four articles from a list of ten articles provided by the instructor at the start of the course.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Not offered spring 2024.

Course responsible

Professor Stig Tenold, Department of Economics