University Of Oslo Geography

Last Updated on December 24, 2022

Geography is a key discipline in understanding and coping with the problems of today’s world. Geographers try to understand the spatial patterns of human activity and the natural environment. The Department of Geography at the University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest geography department, and one of Norway’s leading academic environments for teaching, research and dissemination within geography.

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University of Oslo, Norway |
Duration:2 years

All places –small or large, rich or poor, near or far– are unique yet connected to a multitude of other places at the same time. With a master in Human Geography you learn to understand the difference that place makes and how local and global processes intertwine and produce change around the world. Choose between four thematic specializations to meet your academic interests.

  • Why choose this programme?
  • Learning outcomes
  • Admission
  • Programme structure
  • Semester abroad
  • Career opportunities

Career opportunities

  • Sustainability coordinatorKristin Hansen works as sustainability coordinator at Møre and Romsdal county, department for sustainable development.
  • Special AdviserSigurd Oland Nedrelid works as a special adviser at the Agency for Climate, City of Oslo.
  • Project EngineerErlend Sveen Finstad works as a project engineer at the Agency for Planning and Building Services (Plan- og bygningsetaten), City of Oslo.


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Student life and student politics

  • Information about student life


  • Previous exams and examiner guidelines
  • Evaluations

Projects at the Science shop

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university of oslo sociology

Six students sit outside, talking and eating
HGO4010 – Qualitative method10
HGO4011 – Philosophy and methodology of human geography10
HGO4040 – Individual reading list10
HGO4080 – Master’s thesis 30 credits30
HGO4090 – Master’s thesis 60 credits60
HGO4201 – Urban geographical theory10
HGO4202 – Urbanism – urban policies and planning10
HGO4203 – Sustainable urban transformations10
HGO4301 – The Social Dimensions of Environmental Change10
HGO4302 – Transformations to Sustainability10
HGO4401 – Democratization and civil society in developing countries10
HGO4501 – Development10
HGO4601 – Economic geography: Institutions, evolution and sustainability transitions10
HGO4604 – The futures of work10
HGO4605 – Transformations in the global economy: value chains and production networks10
HGO4940 – Advanced Geographic Information Systems10
SGO1910 – Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS)10
SGO2040 – CityStudio Oslo30
SGO2200 – Economic globalisation and regional development10
SGO2302 – Environment and society10
SGO2500 – North/South – development10
SGO3200 – Innovation in Sustainability Transitions and Transformations10
SGO9001 – Thesis seminar: Introduction1
SGO9006 – Thesis seminar: Nearing submission1
SGO9008 – Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis5
SGO9009 – Advanced statistical methods5
SGO9050 – Thesis seminar: Midway assessment0
SGO9207 – Rethinking labour agency in a globalized world of work5
SGO9208A – Sustainable urban transformations and social justice5
SGO9208B – Sustainable urban transformations and social justice2
SOS2402 – Family, gender equality and the welfare state10
SOS2550 – The Sociology of Small Groups & Subcultures10
SOS2603 – Nordic welfare society – contemporary perspectives10
SOS2700 – Religious fundamentalism, extremism and violence10
SOS2920 – Introduction to Digital Research Methods10
SOS2950 – Social Science Genetics10
SOS4022 – Advanced Statistical Methods10
SOS4100 – Causes and consequences of social inequalities10
SOS4150 – Sociology of Health and Illness10
SOS4510 – Cultural Sociology10
SOS9001 – Thesis seminar: Introduction1
SOS9006 – Thesis seminar: Nearing submission1
SOS9008 – Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis5
SOS9009 – Advanced statistical methods5
SOS9050 – Thesis seminar: Midway assessment0
SOS9235 – Gender equality, family change and family policy: new theoretical developments5
SOSGEO2800 – Migration, diversity, and integration10
SOSGEO4801 – Social Movements in the Age of Migration10

Discontinued courses

university of oslo urban planning

Urban ecology in Oslo - Climate Action

Course content

This course provides in-depth studies of recent theories about urban policies and town planning, as well as empirical research that can clarify the content of these theories. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding correlations between social, cultural and economic changes (such as postmodern urban development and globalization) on the one hand, and on the other hand the growth of new forms of urban policies and town planning (such as entrepreneurship policy, governance, postmodern planning processes, neighbourhood strategies, liberalized housing policies, a focus on spectacular architecture and new urbanism) in cities in the western world. The course also deals with challenges related to architectural design, urban design and town planning at a low geographical level, whether in respect of blocks of flats in central areas or suburban development. A key issue is what kind of urbanism results from a more privatized and pluralistic town planning. At the same time, the significance of the local context is highlighted. Specific examples are given, also from Norway, of how new planning ideals and models are implemented. Emphasis is also put on exemplifying and discussing the contextual assumptions of the theory.

Learning outcome


You will:

  • learn about key concepts and recent theories on urban policies and town planning 
  • learn about the correlations between social, cultural and economic changes on the one hand, and on the other hand recent forms of urban policies and town planning
  • become familiar with examples of what kind of urbanism results from a more privatized and pluralistic urban development


You will be able to:

  • account for and discuss concepts and theories with a high degree of precision and reflection
  • write and present a subject-related contribution or a contribution to a discussion based on the insights you have acquired during the course 
  • write texts at a high theoretical level using empirical examples within a stated deadline. The written work must be of an explanatory nature and show a high level of precision and independence 

General knowledge

You will:

  • have the ability to demonstrate a critical, analytical and professionally constructive attitude towards contemporary urban development and the political debate on this
  • develop a curious and critical attitude to knowledge and research in this field


Admission to the course is dependent on admission to the master’s degree programme in human geography.

Students with admission to other relevant master’s degree programmes can apply for admission as guest students.

Students with admission to the programme or to individual courses must each semester register which courses and examinations they wish to sign up for in StudentWeb.

Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to the master’s degree programme in human geography. Students with admission to other relevant master’s degree programmes can apply for admission as guest students.

This course builds on SGO2100 – Bygeografi og urbanisme (Urban geography and urbanism) and SGO3100 – By- og regional utvikling (discontinued) at the bachelor’s level in human geography. However, sitting examinations in these courses is not a prerequisite for taking this course.

Overlapping courses

The course replaces parts of SGO4012 – Bygeografi (discontinued) and SGO312, both of which are courses previously offered by the Department of Sociology and Human Geography.


This course will be taught at The University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other location in Oslo may be used. Teaching includes lectures and seminars.


A 6-hour school exam at the end of the term.

The Faculty of Social Science is responsible for all written exams, and these exams are normally held at The University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other locations in Oslo may be used.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or 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

  • Explanation of grades and appeals

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.

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