KULT2205 - STS: Knowledge, innovation and major societal challenges


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignment 100/100 ALLE

Course content

Innovation is often presented as a necessity to solve grand societal challenges and "wicked problems". Norway is therefore heavily invested in innovation towards more sustainable solutions in for instance issues regarding environment and climate. In the health sector we also see that a coming wave of elderly is often presented as a problem that could be solved with new innovations. Is it possible to solve such societal challenges with innovation and new technology?

A range of actors are involved in most innovation processes. Innovators are of course important, but actors from research, policy work and use also matter and must be taken into account if a "good" social development is to be ensured. At the same time, new innovations have to be adapted to existing material infrastructures in order to succeed. Thus, we need an approach that can handle both social and technical perspectives in order to understand the role of innovations in society. In this course the students will develop a socio-technical innovation competence that is important to understand and handle change and development in public as well as private sectors. The course explores innovation as a phenomenon at the intersection between culture and socio-technical processes of change, and we ask how and why innovation has become so central in the present.

The course is open to all students, and is part of the STS (studies in knowledge, technology and society) one-year study program, which can be subject 2 / broad-based year in most bachelor's degrees and qualifies for admission to PPU (social studies).

Learning outcome

Students who have completed this course have knowledge of:

  • what innovation is and how innovation is done, different innovation theories and innovation models
  • different perspectives on knowledge work, expertise and interdisciplinarity
  • critical perspectives on innovation

Students who have completed this course have the skills to:

  • work independently and in groups with problem solving on the basis of knowledge from the subject
  • plan and carry out a small study project on social change - write reasoning texts
  • apply professional knowledge to practical and theoretical issues, including drawing own conclusions

Learning methods and activities

The course is taught in three parts: 1) introductory lectures, 2) combined lectures and seminars on 2-3 different topics (eg restructuring processes, public innovations and urban development), and 3) seminar with project work. To take the exam, the student must have approved work requirements. The work requirements can consist of both individual and group submissions in different formats, such as essay, presentation, interview or observations, empirical analysis and the like.

Approval of compulsory assignments valid in the current and following semester.

Compulsory assignments

  • Minimum 4 approved work requirements

Further on evaluation

The final exam is preconditioned by up to 4 approved work requirements. The work requirements can consist of both individual and group submissions in different formats, e.g. essay, presentation, digital storytelling, blog, etc., or participation in selected teaching activities.

Re-sit examination is arranged as a one-week home exam in the following semester.

Required previous knowledge


Course materials

Compendium + textbooks

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
HFEL0005 7.5 AUTUMN 2008
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  15.0 SP
Study level: Intermediate course, level II


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2024

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Social Studies
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture


Examination arrangement: Assignment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment 100/100 ALLE INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring UTS Assignment 100/100 ALLE INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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