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SA6-503 Understanding Educational Policy

Course description for academic year 2023/2024

Contents and structure

Content and structure

The course aims to increase the students’ insight into and knowledge about the social rationale for building up and developing educational offers in Norway. How can Norwegian educational policy be understood in light of international trends? The course should also provide an understanding of the Norwegian education system as an implementation system for educational policy. The focus is directed at the current educational policy within early childhood education, schools, and higher education. Prerequisites for and design of educational policy are discussed, and the educational institutions as an implementation system are analyzed.

Learning Outcome

Learning outcome

At the end of the course, the student should have the following overall learning outcomes:


The student:

  • Has a general knowledge of policy development and implementation of public policy
  • Has a thorough insight into national and international educational policy that affects institutions from early childhood to higher education
  • Has in-depth knowledge of educational institutions and their role in the Norwegian welfare state


The student:

  • Should be able to analyze educational policy issues in light of policy and policy development theory
  • Can use educational policy documents as a framework for analysis of daily practice as a leader.
  • Should be able to carry out independent theoretical work on a practical problem

General competence:

The student

  • has acquired competence in understanding and analyzing educational policy as a framework and challenge for practice related to leadership, innovation, and professional development, as well as reflecting on how this competence can be translated into their own local contexts.

Entry requirements


Teaching methods

Teaching methods

This course’s teaching and working methods alternate between lectures, project- and group work, oral presentations, and supervision.

Compulsory learning activities

Compulsory learning activity

Work requirement: Three short texts (800 - 1200 words) prepared between the sessions.

Coursework requirement One literature seminar: Work in groups with a joint article and presentation in plenary at the seminar

Coursework requirements: All must be passed to take the exam.



An assignment that deals with educational policy issues or challenges, and where the student uses relevant theories and concepts from the course. The assignment can be solved individually or in groups of up to two students. For individual assignments, the scope is 4,000 words; in groups, the scope is 6,000 words.

Letter grade A - F, F-"not passed".

In the event of failing, there is a possibility to hand in a reworked assignment in the following semester. If you wish to improve your grade, the revised text can be submitted the next time the exam is held.

Examination support material

Examination support material

All support material is allowed

More about examination support material

Course reductions

  • SA6-409 - Politikk, styring og endring i helse- og velferdssektoren - Reduction: 10.5 studypoints
  • SA6-410 - Politikk, styring og endring i utdanningssektoren - Reduction: 10.5 studypoints
  • SA6-408 - Utdanningspolitikk - Reduction: 15 studypoints