UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life below water

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

In 2015 the United Nations adopted 17 interconnected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressing the global challenges of poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace, and justice. This course sets focus on SDG 14: Life below water. SDG14 aims at "conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development", and has 10 specified targets related to marine pollution and conservation, sustainable fisheries, marine technology, and global change. Through active learning and working in teams, the student will acquire knowledge and skills related to science, policy, and society necessary for understanding and contributing towards sustainable development of life below water. The course will end with a symposium where the students will present a group project as a poster. Check out posters from earlier courses here.

See short movies from the course in 2019 on how student active learning connects the students with the UN system.

Learning Outcomes


Upon completion of the course, a student should be able to:


  • Explain physical and biological ocean processes that contribute to making the problems under SDG14 global.
  • Explain the history and contents of the most important international agreements and conventions relevant for SDG14.
  • Describe the roles of key governmental and intergovernmental arenas for decision-making relevant for SDG14.



Upon completion of the course, a student should be able to:


  • Analyse and interrelate SDG14 targets in light of other SDG targets.
  • Find, navigate, and make connections between scientific literature and the literature of reports, conventions, and policy documents.
  • Identify stakeholders and analyse their motives.
  • Evaluate existing research and suggest research needs related to SDG14.


General competence

Upon completion of the course, a student should be able to:


  • Be able to compose and use scientifically grounded arguments for societally relevant debates.
  • Be able to provide peer feedback while balancing critical and constructive views.
  • Identify and separate between scientific knowledge, values, beliefs, and ideologies.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study

Master level

Semester of Instruction


This course has a limited capacity, enrolment is based on application. The application deadline is Wednesday in week 2 for the spring semester. Please see this page for more information. You will receive confirmation of whether you received a seat in Studentweb no later than Monday the week after the deadline.

It is compulsory to attend the first lecture/orientation meeting, or you risk losing your seat. If you are unable to attend the first lecture, you must contact the Study Section (studie.bio@uib.no). The time of the first lecture/orientation meeting can be found in the schedule on the course website or on Mitt UiB.

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
It is an advantage to have studied at least one year at the University level.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
SDG200: 7 ECTS
Access to the Course
Open to all students at the University of Bergen.
Teaching and learning methods
This course is largely based on active learning methods, where the students play a key role in their learning. Student will work in groups, with individual and group assignments, including:
  • group presentations
  • peer reviews of fellow students' assignments
  • preparing for and performing a debate
  • preparing a poster and presenting it
  • course conference
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Although it is not compulsory to attend all teaching sessions, much of the activities take place there and the learning effect will be limited if one chooses not to participate actively.
Forms of Assessment
Portfolio assessment, including Ready-to-learn process with individual and team quizzes.
Grading Scale
Assessment Semester
Course Evaluation
Students will evaluate the course in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the Department.
Examination Support Material