Starting to study in Bergen

MA in Theology and Ministry

Dear MATM-student 

We greet you with the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ! 

At NLA University College we are excited to welcome you as a student on the Master in Theology and Ministry program (MATM). Two courses are taught this first semester:                                

  • TAM302 Encountering God through Scripture: Hermeneutical Reflections and exegetical Explorations (15 ECTS), with Assoc. Prof. Tomas Bokedal as Principal lecturer together with a team of teachers.  
  • TAM303 Spirituality and Spiritual formation (15 ECTS), with Assoc. Prof. Peder Solberg as Principal lecturer together with a team of teachers. 

We will encourage you to get hold of all the books for your courses as soon as possible. You will find the complete curriculum, including syllabus/reading list for the different courses via the NLA webpage.

Please note the following: 

The two weeklong learning intensives “on campus” are compulsory. Please note the dates: 

  • Week 35: Mon 30 August–Fri 03 September 
  • The first session will start 30 August at 09:00 am 
  • Week 44: Mon 01 November–Fri 05 November 

Due to corona-related travel restrictions, some of the teachers and students may not be able to travel to Bergen. In these cases, teaching will be broadcasted online via Zoom (links available through Canvas). Students living abroad unable to travel to Bergen for this reason may follow the teaching weeks of the Fall semester digitally from their home countries. 

When you pay the semester fee, you will have access to Canvas – our digital learning platform. So make sure to register as early as possible. Please stay in contact on tel +47 555 40 700 for any question regarding semester start (such as semester fee, Canvas and other services access, etc.). 

  • In Canvas you will find detailed Semester Schedules and other information. 
  • This is also where video lectures are published and coursework assignments are announced. 
  • The very first video lectures and coursework assignments will be available week 34, from 23 Aug.  

For questions regarding the organization of the MA-program, courses, syllabus etc., please send an e-mail to: 

Grethen Schoon Tanis 

Looking forward to seeing you all on the far side of summer  hopefully face to face! 

MA Intercultural Studies

Dear student, 

We are delighted to welcome you to NLA’s Master programme in Intercultural studies. It seems that we also this year will have students from a variety of countries in Africa and Asia as well as from Norway, catering for an exciting and fertile learning environment. The total number of students is likely to be between 15 and 25.  

Some practical details 

The first week will be dedicated to an introductory programme for the international students that will be announced separately. For the international student we have arranged for a coordinator for the introduction week, Åse Mørkve. She will guide you through the week’s program such as the practicalities of registration at school and Norwegian authorities, as well as introducing you to the facilities at the campus. We will organize a special buddy (mentor)-arrangement between international and Norwegian students of the ICS program in order to make you feel welcome and included. 

On Wednesday 18th August at 6 PM, you are all welcome to a social gathering at the NLA building in Amalie Skrams vei 3 in Sandviken, Bergen. We hope to see both international and Norwegian students at this time. For those of you who have not been at NLA’s Sandviken campus in Bergen before, the premises are not that overwhelming, so it should be easy to find your way once you enter the building.  

The structure of the master programme 

There are two courses offered in the first semester (August to December), and two or three courses in the second semester (January to June) in which one is the project design for your master thesis and last preparation for the fieldwork (compulsory), and the other(s) is/are optional and give you opportunity to choose specialisation according to interests and needs. Also the latter depends on what you going to specialize for through your master thesis. Thus, we would already now encourage you to think through what kind of topic you would like to specialize in through your master thesis and fieldwork and to draft a short abstract (e.g. ½ page).  This draft will be helpful, but will of course not be binding for you in any way.  

The work of a Master’s thesis is expected to be one-year full time work. This implies up to 2-3 months´ fieldwork and up to 6-7 months to write up.  

This first semester (“fall” in reference to the season of the year) starts with the course IKF 301 Intercultural theory (starting 23rd August) with exams in November. The course is paralleled by the course IKF 302 Methodology (starting 14th September) with exam in the beginning of December, after which we go into recess. Spring semester starts in the beginning of January 2022, the exact date will be announced later this semester.  

On Monday 23rd August, at 09:35-11:15 AM in Auditorium 2, classes commence. The first sessions will obviously focus on the “nuts and bolts” of the ICSM program. The weekly rhythm will consist of lectures on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays (with some exceptions). We employ various forms of teaching, not just lectures but seminars focussing on student active learning including case -seminars and workshops with opportunities to train oral presentation, communicative and collaborative skills as well as to analyse intercultural cases and suggest solutions to intercultural challenges or dilemmas.  

Course content and pre-reading 

You are welcome to access the NLA homepage or to familiarize yourself with our institution. For specific information about the master in Intercultural Studies. In the curricula for IKF 301 and IKF 302, you should notice that references to books are marked with bold print. For those of you who wish to get an early start, we recommend starting with the books that you can purchase, or borrow from libraries. Some books and articles are available online by accessing the corresponding reference. The remaining texts will be available through an electronic arrangement in itslearning when the semester commences. In the curricula for IKF 301 and IKF 302, you should notice that references to books are marked with bold print. Some books and articles are available online by accessing the corresponding reference. Other books you´ll have to purchase, or borrow from the library. The remaining texts will be available through an electronic arrangement after registration and semester start. We will give you details when you come to Bergen in August. 

If you want to prepare yourself for the study (which we advise everyone to do!), I recommend that you purchase and start reading this book: Piller, I. (2011): Intercultural communication. A critical introduction. Edinburgh University Press. This is one of the core books in the first course, IKF 301. It is available for through Internet bookstores, such as    

An exciting programme 

Lastly, in my role as academic coordinator, I want to highlight that we believe the Master programme in Intercultural studies will be both exciting and personally stimulating for all students. Within two years, if you follow the expected progress, you will have earned an MA degree in an area that opens up for a variety of opportunities, both academically and professionally. Throughout the study, you will meet a spectrum of NLA’s lecturers and co-students with diverse experiences.  

If you have any questions to the practicalities or contents of the programme, do not hesitate to get in touch. 

We look forward to receiving you at NLA in August! 

Semester registration and semester fee 

In order to be registered as a student, you must have paid the semester fee to the Student Welfare Organisation (Studentsamskipnaden). NLA University College will start to send out invoices to new students at the beginning of August. The invoice will contain your student number and PIN code for, among other things, activating a user account. You can also use your PIN code to log into Studentweb. If you have previously studied at NLA University College, you will find the invoice on Studentweb. The tuition fee invoice is published on Studenweb in August. Students in Bergen will receive an invoice stating both their semester fee and tuition fee. 

In addition to paying the semester fee you have to register for the semester on Studentweb.  When registering for the semester, check that your updated address(es) are registered, examine and approve your education plan and register for teaching and assessment. If the registration is successful, the notice that you must register for the semester disappears from the front page of Studentweb. The Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund will now be notified that you are registered as a student at NLA so that your grant and loan can be paid to you, and you will be given access to the subject pages on Canvas for the subjects for which you are registered. 

Canvas is our digital learning platform. So make sure to register as early as possible. In Canvas you will find information about you courses, the calender of this semester and important information you will need to know. We must check Canvas at least once a week, but we recommend you login in every day to stay updated. 
Please stay in contact on tel +47 555 40 700 for any question regarding semester start (such as semester fee, Canvas and other services access, etc.).  

Programme coordinator, master in intercultural studies.