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Noruega. Master of Philosophy in Indigenous Studies

Categories: Postgrados


Professional prospects

With a Master´s degree in Indigenous Studies, students are qualified for work within teaching and education, promotion and implementation of indigenous issues internationally, civil society organisations, government and public sector, project management, and for further research and studies in indigenous issues.

Qualification awarded
Master of Philosophy in Indigenous Studies.

Admission requirements

Applicants must document three years of study at university level beyond the basic entrance requirements, equivalent to a Bachelor degree. The Master´s in Indigenous Studies is primarily directed at students with basic training in the social sciences, as well as the social application of law and humanities. A special interest in indigenous issues is a precondition.

All applicants must enclose a description of the background for their wish to apply for the Master´s Programme, and what they expect from the programme (maximum two pages). All applicants must write in English. Documented experience from work related to indigenous peoples and/or studies will be an advantage. Applicants from universities other than the University of Tromsø should enclose a short description of all relevant courses mentioned in applications and certificates.

The programme is taught in English and applicants must document adequate proficiency in English.

The programme aims to recruit Sami and Norwegian students as well as students from other countries. A mixed group of students will strengthen the comparative aspects of the programme, and will contribute to international network building. Admission of students from different countries and regions will be emphasized in order to ensure a varied student group. Ethnic background will also be relevant in this respect.

Application deadline

Quota students: 1 December

Self financed international students: February 1st

Norwegian and Nordic students: April 15th

Local admission, study code 5058.


Programme description

The Master's programme is an international graduate programme in comparative indigenous studies. It is based upon the accumulated research and knowledge at the University of Tromsø regarding the Sami and other indigenous peoples within the social sciences, humanities and law.

During two years of studies, students will take courses totalling 120 study points (credits). Most courses are obligatory, with some additional courses that can be chosen on the basis of the interests of the individual student as a preparation for the Master´s thesis. Courses are designed to give a broad base from which the individual student may choose a relevant topic for the Master´s thesis. The thesis work is to be supervised by academic staff from the cooperating units at the University of Tromsø, and topics are chosen in cooperation with appointed advisors. The Master thesis gives 60 credits. One 10-credit course can be chosen among other courses given at the University. The chosen course has to be approved by the Programme Board.


Aims/Learning outcomes

The thematic focus of the master´s programme is the emergence of the international indigenous movement, the historical experiences and contemporary context that indigenous people experience across the globe.

The MIS programme provides students with the following knowledge and analytical understanding:

  • Main dimensions constituting life in indigenous societies in the past, today and the challenges of their future; including culture and ethnicity, colonialism and the history of indigenous peoples, and indigenous resource management and environmental change.
  • The emergence of indigenous civic organisations, their present operation as formal and informal systems, including their strategies for self-representation in political process at different levels, i.e. from the local community to the global level.
  • The relationship between nation-state and indigenous minorities, including the role of pan-national organisations (UN, ILO), the formulation of legal/land and resource claims with reference to customary international law, and the debates regarding how internationally recognized human rights, such as the right to self-determination pertaining to indigenous peoples can be interpreted and implemented.

Skills and competences

The MIS programme prepares the students to:

  • Apply analytical skills to understand the social and cultural contexts of indigenous peoples, their organisations and rights.
  • Apply analytical skills to study empirically indigenous issues cross-culturally and within the frameworks established by their nation-states.

Design and carry out a research project by applying independent data collection by means of fieldwork methods and/or use of written sources.

Language of instruction and examination

Teaching and assessment methods

The organisation of the teaching will depend on the character and the content of each course. Marks will be given from A to F. The different responsible units decide on requirements for the individual courses, which will be used as a basis for the grading of exams and papers. Some courses will have home exams (written paper/essay) with a following oral exam. Other courses will have regular exams lasting from 4 to 8 hours. Folder evaluation is also used for some of the courses as well as for the field work/ Master´s thesis. More information about the exams can be found in the descriptions for each individual course.

All students will be appointed an academic adviser in the course of the first year of study. Supervision is to be given both through seminars and individual supervision.

The type of examination is specified in each module. Evaluation is based on the grading system A-E, F = fail

Programme evaluation
The study programme is evaluated annualy. The courses which constitute the programme are evaluated at least once during the programme period. Both students and teachers take part in the evaluation.


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