IKF303 Project - Design and Applied Intercultural theories

All versions:
IKF303 (2024—2025)
IKF303 (2023—2024)
IKF303 (2022—2023)
IKF303 (2021—2022)
IKF303 (2020—2021)
IKF303 (2019—2020)
IKF303 (2018—2019)
IKF303 (2017—2018)

Course code: IKF303

Course name: Project - Design and Applied Intercultural theories


Location: Bergen

Academic year: 2018–2019

Language: English

Credits: 15 ECTS Credits

Available for course students: No

Required prerequisite knowledge

Admission to this master course, IKF303 is based upon completed bachelor–s degree/cand. mag. with a minimum of 80 ECTS in Intercultural Studies, in social sciences, cultural studies or religion studies, and with the average grade C or better in this field of study. Master students in ICSM must have followed IKF301 and IKF302 to continue on IKF303

Relevance within study programme

Compulsory course in the ICSM-program

Learning outcomes descriptors


The candidate has

–    knowledge on how to outline a research project.

–    advanced knowledge into the relevant intercultural research discourse of a particular field of praxis or work area.

–    knowledge of relevant white papers / policy papers from the work area.

–    thorough knowledge on the Human Capability Approach


–    advanced knowledge of cultural theory and cultural analysis of glocalisation, development cooperation and North-South relations.

–    advanced knowledge of intercultural challenges in development cooperation and North-South relations


–    advanced knowledge on cultural theory and cultural analysis of glocalisation and migration

–    advanced knowledge on multicultural challenges of social integration and pluralism related to migration and minorities in Norway/Europe.


The candidate

–    can apply cultural theory and cultural analysis to a new field of praxis or work area (either development cooperation and North-South relations, or migration, minorities and integration issues in Norway/Europe)

–    can identify conflicting values and interests and different positions of power and agency, and grasp multi-vocal approaches.

–    can recognise and formulate interesting and relevant research questions.

–    can argue clearly, concisely and correctly for the choice of theoretical and methodological perspectives and tools.

–    can search for relevant and valid information on a particular issue.

General competence

The candidate can demonstrate knowledge of how to outline a research project and is able to apply general intercultural theory to a particular field and issue, and to search for relevant and valid information.


This course expands on the intercultural theories in IKF 301 and is a specialisation in intercultural issues towards a particular selected area of praxis and area of work life. The students should find updated applied intercultural theories and contextual information, and are expected to acquire advanced insights into the status of knowledge on intercultural research in their chosen field of specialisation. The aim of the course is to prepare the student for field work and future jobs, and to enable her/him to apply intercultural knowledge and skills to a particular field of praxis or work area, such as diplomacy, business and development cooperation, administration and management, education, health care, welfare, security and defence, cultural or religious institutions, or NGOs . The focus must be on intercultural communication and interaction within a confined field relevant to the preparation for the master thesis and ethnographic work.

For students aiming to apply their intercultural knowledge within international development cooperation, i.e. South-North relations, it would be relevant to study intercultural communication in development cooperation, poverty reduction and mission, to explore the significance of religion in development, and/or to identify conflicting values and power-relations in development projects. It could also be relevant to study the cultural interpretation and implementation of human rights, or participatory approaches to marginalised people in a particular region.

For students aiming to apply their intercultural knowledge to work with immigrants and the challenges of integration and pluralism in Norway/Europe, it is relevant to study intercultural communication, processes of inclusion and exclusion and diversity management, and/or inter-religious interaction within their area of work. Research on the impacts of tolerance education and recognition of –the Other– is also highly relevant.

It might be fruitful for the student to contact a relevant organisation or corporation and arrange for a one-week pre-field project. Such conversations with- and observations are encouraged but nevertheless voluntary and depend entirely on the individual student–s own initiative. During the one-week pre-field project, the student should carry out participant observation and interviews with an aim to better understand how an organisation works and what intercultural challenges and dilemmas are present. This may stimulate the student to outline a Master-project closer to- and more directly relevant for the field.

The students have to search for relevant literature and white papers, and outline their own research project based on an updated account of the knowledge status of relevant intercultural challenges in their selected empirical field. The choice of place and sector for field work may enhance the chance for future employment. For students who participate in one of our programmes for student exchange in their 2.nd semester, the work requirements for this course have to be met before the student may go abroad. To make this possible, all work requirements, lectures and seminars are allocated at the beginning of the semester. The exam is handed in electronically, and the oral exam may take place via Skype for those students who are on student exchange.

Teaching and learning methods

Varying forms of teaching will be employed, including lectures, seminars and workshops.


450 hours . This includes self-study.

Coursework requirements

  • Participate in at least three seminars.
  • Present a first draft of the project outline of the Master Thesis where the research aims are described and discussed, and suggestions are made for theoretical perspectives (approx. 1000-1500 words).
  • Give prepared comments on a co-student–s first draft to Master Thesis– project outline.
  • An academic text that provides an overview of previous research/current knowledge of the relevant thematic field for the Master Thesis (approx. 2500-3000 words). The portfolio may also include contextual information about the work area addressed and relevant policy papers

Grading, coursework requirements

Approved / Not approved

Final assessment

Individual assessment

  • A project outline that describes the research question and discusses the research aims, the chosen theoretical perspectives, methods, ethics, and the fieldwork (approx. 4000-6000 words).
  • Oral examination

A passing grade is required for the candidate to be allowed to sit for an oral examination. The student must pass the oral examination to get a final grade.

Students on exchange may apply for oral examination via Skype.

Permitted aids under examination

1. All

2. None.

Grading, examination


Assessment language

Scandinavian or English

Progression requirements

The project outline must be given a passing grade in order to continue to fieldwork and writing the master thesis (ICSM_THE)

All projects that deals with personal data require approval by NSD before fieldwork. 



Course evaluation

Annually course evaluation in accordance with the quality assurance system for NLA University College. Students may also give their feedback on the course in the student group/ in class.

Other rules

The student has to follow the requirements from research ethical norms and the Data Protection Official for Research .

Available for Course Students




The syllabus is 1200 pages, from which ca. 300 pages are compulsory, ca. 500 pages should be chosen from recommended reading lists and the last 400 pages is a matter of student´s choice according to field of specialisation.


Aristotle and G. A. Kennedy (2007): On rhetoric : a theory of civic discourse. Aristotle; transl. with introduction, notes, and appendices by G. A. Kennedy. New York, Oxford University Press; 27-51. (25)

Gullestad, M. (2007) Picturing pity: pitfalls and pleasures in crosscultural communication: image and words in a North Cameroon mission. New York, Berghahn; 1-33. (34)

Jensen, I. (2006): The aspect of power in intercultural communication practice. In: Ø. Dahl (ed.): Bridges of understanding: Perspectives on intercultural communication. Oslo, Unipub/Oslo Academic Press; 85-100. (15)

Nygaard, L. P. (2008). Writing for Scholars: A Practical Guide to Making Sense and Being Heard. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. (195)

Sen, A. (2009). The idea of justice. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.; 1-27. (Introduction) (27) .The rest is recommended.

Intercultural issues in South- North relations and development cooperation. A reading list will be developed including:

Banik, D. (2010): Poverty and Elusive Development. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget (277)

Bodely, J. H. (2008): Anthropology and Contemporary Human Problems. Lanham: Altamira Press (310)

Crewe, E. and E. Harrison (2002): Whose Development? An Ethnography of Aid. London: Zed Books (195)

Dervin, F, Gajardo, A. & A. Lavanchy (eds.).( 2011). Politics of Interculturality. Newcastle: CSP

Galtung, J. (2004): Peace by Peaceful Means. Building Peace Through Harmonious Diversity. The security approach and the peace approach & what could peace between Washington and Al Qaeda/Iraq look like? Presented at World Culture Open, UN Meeting Room 1, NYC, 9/10 and 9/11 2004 ttp://emanzipationhumanum.de/english/human/peace.html

Haar, G. ter  & S. Ellis (2006): The Role of Religion in Development: Towards a New Relationship between the European Union and Africa, The European Journal of Development Research Volume 18, Issue 3, 2006; 351-367

Haynes, J. (2007): Religion and development : conflict or cooperation? New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Long, N. (2004): Actors, interfaces and development intervention: meanings, purposes and powers. In T. Kontinen (ed): Development intervention: actor and activity perspectives, Helsinki, University of Helsinki;14-36. (23)

McNeil, D. (2009): What is wrong with aid? What is wrong with Africa? In Forum for development studies Vol. 35 no 1:199-211. (13) 

Melkote, S. R.  and H. L. Steeves (2001): Communication for development in the third world. Theory and practice of empowerment. 2 ed. New Delhi: Sage publications (422)

Peet, R., E. Hartwick, E. R. Hartwick (2009): Theories of Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World. 2. Ed. New York: Guilford Press (324)

Pogge, Thomas W. M. (2008): World Poverty and Human Rights: Cosmopolitan Responsibilities and Reforms. Cambridge: Polity (352)

Sen, A. (1999): Development as Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (366)

Tvedt, T (2007): International Development Aid and Its Impact on a Donor Country: A Case Study of Norway. The European Journal of Development Research Volume 19, Issue 4, 2007: 614 - 635

Transnational migration and the challenges of integration and pluralism in Norway/Europe. A reading list will be developed, including:  

Andersson, Mette (2010): The social imaginary of first generation Europeans, Social Identities vol. 16(1): 3-21.

Blommaert, J.M.E. (2009). Language, asylum and the national order. Current Anthropology, 50(4), 415-441

Brochmann, Grete and Knut Kjeldstadli (2008) A History of Immigration. The Case of Norway 900–2000. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget

Bygnes, Susanne (2010): Making Equality Diverse? Merged Gender Equality and anti-Discrimination Measures in Norway. NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research 18(2): 88-104.

Børhaug, B. F. (2012): How to better combine equality and difference in French and Norwegian anti-racist education? Some reflections from a capability point of view. Journal of Human Development and capabilities. Routledge.

Clausen, L.  (2010): Moving beyond stereotypes in managing cultural difference: Communication in Danish-Japanese corporate relationships. Scandinavian Journal of ManagementVol. 26, no 1, March 2010, P 57-66

Cohen, R. (2006): Migration and its enemies : global capital, migrant labour and the nation-state Aldershot, Ashgate, (242)

Dervin, F, Gajardo, A. & A. Lavanchy (eds.).( 2011). Politics of Interculturality. Newcastle: CSP.

Eriksen, T. H., Alghasi, S. & Ghorashi, H. (2009); Paradoxes of cultural recognition: Perspectives from Northern Europe. Ashgate 303 s.

Eriksen, T.H. (2007):  Complexity in social and cultural integration: Some analytical dimensions. In  Ethnic and Racial Studies vol. 30; 1055-1069

Favell, A. (2008):The New Face of East-West Migration in Europe. In Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies vol. 34 no 5, 2008; 701-716 

Garsten, Christina. 2008. Workplace Vagabonds: Career and Community in Changing Worlds of Work. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Horst, C. (2008) The transnational political engagements of refugees: Remittance sending practices amongst Somalis in Norway Conflict, Security & Development Vol. 8.no 3  317-339

Illman, R. (2012) Art and belief. Artists engaged in Interreligious Dialogue. Equinox Publishing, in the series Cross Cultural theologies

Jacobsen, C. M. (2011): Islamic Traditions and Muslim Youth in Norway. Leiden: Brill.

Jacobsen, Christine M., with Dag Stenvoll (2010): "Muslim women and foreign prostitutes. Victim discourse, subjectivity and governance", Social Politics, International Studies in Gender, State and Society, 17(3): 270-294.

Lien, M. E.  og M. Melhuus (2007) Holding worlds together. The ethnography of knowing and belonging. Berghahn books. Ch.1 and 2.

Lister, Ruth, Fiona Williams, Anneli Anttonen, Jet Bussemaker, Ute Gerard, Jacqeline Heinen, Stina Johansson, Arnlaug Leira, Birte Siim and Constanza Tobio, with Anna Gavanas 2007: Gendering Citizenship in Westerns Europe. New Challenges for Citizenship Research in a Cross-National Context. Bristol: Policy Press

Mouritsen, P. & KE Jørgensen (eds) , Constituting Communities.: Political Solutions to Cultural Conflict Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke and New York,

Schustera, L. (2003) Common sense or racism? The treatment of asylum-seekers in Europe. In Patterns of Prejudice vol. 37, no 3; 233-256

Sicakkan, H G.  & Y. Lithman (eds.) (2006): What Happens When the Society is Diverse? Exploring Multidimensional Identities. New York: Edwin Mellen Press.

Uteng, T. P. & T. Cresswell (2008): Gendered mobilities. Hampshire, Ashgate.

Uteng, T. P. (2006) Mobility: Discourses from the Non-western Immigrant Groups in Norway Mobilities Volume 1, Issue 3, 437-464