Sustainable Innovation

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

Sustainable development and climate and energy transformation calls for innovation in all sectors of society. Both public and private enterprises are increasingly dependent on the capacity to innovate and transform, and many of these challenges are connected to sustainability. The aim of the course is to allow for students to develop practical and theoretical competencies that can be leveraged in innovation processes in their working life.

The course combines theoretical and practical approaches. The student will learn methods for innovation, sustainable development, creative processes and interdisciplinary collaboration through case-based learning. Students will learn the steps in these methods by working actively in case-based innovation processes.

The course sessions will combine theory with practical work with cases:

  • Theoretical part: Discussion of central theories and methods within innovation (such as design thinking), social entrepreneurship and sustainable development.
  • Practical part: Students will work in interdisciplinary teams where the methods from the theory parts are applied in work with practical cases. The cases are developed in collaboration with public and private partners.

The course includes central methods and theories within innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity, with a particular focus on how to create and assess sustainable solutions. The course is practically oriented, but provides a broad theoretical overview of the innovation and sustainability fields.

The course is open for students from all disciplines and lines of study.

Learning Outcomes

After completion of the interdisciplinary course in sustainable innovation, the student has/can:


  • broad knowledge about innovation processes, methods for green innovation, sustainability strategies and interdisciplinary collaboration, including the «design thinking» / «human centered design» approach;
  • knowledge about sustainable development, climate and energy transformation, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the interactions between different dimensions of sustainable development;
  • knowledge about how to assess innovations from a sustainability perspective.


  • use innovation methodologies in practice as a tool to solve concrete challenges in society or corporations;
  • methods to work in interdisciplinary teams;
  • methods to work with sustainability and green transformations in public and private sectors.

General competencies

  • plan and implement an interdisciplinary innovation project connected to sustainability;
  • convey central theories and methods for sustainable innovation;
  • reflect on ethical issues connected to sustainability and innovation.

Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
At least 60 ECTS completed higher education courses.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Ex.phil, ex.fac or equivalent introductionary courses.
Access to the Course

Open for all students at the University of Bergen.

This course has a limited number of places (45 places). If we have more applicants than places, we will seek to create an interdisciplinary student group.

You apply for the course when you register for class in Studentweb with the deadline 10 January.

Teaching and learning methods
6-10 sessions (3-7 hours), 25-40 hours in total. The sessions will build on a practical case, and use "design thinking" and sustainability as general approaches to innovation processes. Supervisors and teachers will be present in all sessions.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

The sessions are compulsory, but absence up to 20 % can be accepted. Students are expected to work together in their project groups in between the sessions.

The groups will present their projects to students, supervisors, societal partners and a panel of evaluators as a pitch.

Approved compulsory requirements are only valid in teaching semester.

Forms of Assessment

Student will be assessed in the following way:

  • Individual report (25 %)
  • A written report of group project assignment (50 %)
  • Individual project evaluation (25 %)

During the project process, students will write an individual report connected to the project theme (about 1500 words in total, accounts for 25 % of grade).After the compulsory group presentation (compulserary assessment) the students will submit written report of the group prosjec (accounts for 50 % of grade). After the project completion, students will also hand in an individual written evaluation of the project of 1500-2000 words (accounts for 25 % of grade), where they will discuss a given problem in relation to theory and the collaborative process in the course.

The exam will be given in the language in which the course is taught.

The exam can be submitted in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish

Grading Scale
Assessment Semester

Assessment in teaching semester.

Students with valid absence as defined in UiB's study regulations § 5-5 can apply for an extension of the submission deadline by emailing The application must be submitted before the deadline for submission has expired.

Course Evaluation
All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.
Examination Support Material
Course Coordinator
Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation and Department of Geography