Master in Indigenous Studies

The Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, in cooperation with the Centre for Sami Studies, offers a two-year full-time Master's Programme in Indigenous Studies (MIS). The programme is interdisciplinary and makes use of the expertise accumulated in several departments at the Faculty. 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.

During the two years of studies, students will take courses totalling 120 credits (120 ECTS). One 10-credit course can be chosen from other courses offered by the University. This elective course must be approved by the Academic Coordinator and should be based on the interests of the individual student as a preparation for the master's thesis. The remaining courses are obligatory. They 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 supervised by academic staff from the cooperating units at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, and topics are chosen in cooperation with the appointed advisors. It is customary to conduct data collection for the master's thesis at the end of the second semester.

Learning outcomes

Each programme at UiT The Arctic University of Norway has set targets for knowledge, analytical understanding, and skills and competencies that students should have reached by the end of their studies.

Admission requirements

Admission to the Master's Programme in Indigenous Studies requires a bachelor's degree (180 ECTS), or an equivalent qualification in social sciences and the social application of law and humanities. A special interest in indigenous issues is a precondition. Applicants must enclose a statement of purpose written in English (maximum of two pages). This should include a description of their motivation for, interest in, and expectations concerning their master's degree studies.

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

Teaching and assessment

The organisation of the teaching will depend on the character and the content of each course. The type of examination is specified in each module. More information about the teaching and examination can be found in the description of each individual course.

Seminars in methodology and thesis writing run parallel to the other courses throughout the studies. The course in methodology ties together the different courses and disciplinary approaches. This constitutes the basis both for the development of the students' individual research design and for the integration of indigenous perspectives in research.

All students will be appointed an academic supervisor in the second semester. Supervision is to be given both through seminars and individual supervision.

Language of instruction


Job prospectives

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,
  • research and studies in indigenous issues.
Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated October 10, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Aug 2019
Jan 2020
2 years
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Start Date
Aug 2019, Jan 2020
End Date
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Aug 2019, Jan 2020

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