PINS9530 Well-being and Sustainability Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Well-being and Sustainability
PhD Programme in Innovation for Sustainability
5 stp.


The course will address sustainability from an individual perspective. Studies in well-being involves physical, social, cultural, ethnic, gender-related and ethical areas of investigation. The course will explore the interrelation between technologies, particularly computer science, materials, human actions and the environment. The course has a broad and critical perspective on health, such as public health, quality of life and daily functioning from a critical perspective. It will address human interaction with the environment and the issue of change and disruption in a socio-material perspective. The course will introduce innovative approaches for developing products, services, and systems to enhance well-being, to make them accessible to all regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or ability. Digital technology is becoming an increasing part of our everyday life in work, education, health, and leisure. From this perspective, the course will introduce the candidates to the discourse of sustainable technology innovation, including understanding the diversity of individuals and their experiences with technology, engaging individuals in technology design, development and evaluation, contributing to sustainable changes in lifestyle. The syllabus may be abbreviated and adapted to fit the interest of the participants of the course in cooperation with the supervisors.

The course will address the following, non-exclusive themes:

  • The interplay between health and well-being in a salutogenic context
  • Diversity and equality
  • The impact of universal design
  • Material engagement supported by various technologies
  • Aesthetic awareness, perceptions, and sense of coherence
  • Transformation of traditions, technologies, and artefacts


Completed Master’s degree (120 ECTS credits) or equivalent education level.


Upon completing the course, the candidates are expected to have gained the following learning outcomes (knowledge, skills, and general competence).


The candidate:

  • can contribute to the development of new knowledge, new theories, methods, interpretations and forms of documentation in how social frameworks and traditions influence individual practices
  • can evaluate the expediency and application of different methods and processes that involve human interactions and interaction between people, artefacts, and technologies
  • has in-depth knowledge of the challenges that individuals face in everyday technology



The candidate:

  • can formulate problems, plan and carry out research with innovative technology and engage individuals in the process
  • is able to use multiple perceptions in explorative and systematic processes
  • has developed aesthetic awareness, in order to discover and utilize existing surroundings for physical and mental activation
  • can evaluate environmental contributors to sense of coherence such as comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness
  • can manage complex interdisciplinary digital and physical tools and processes, separately and in combination
  • can solicit requirements of people to enhance their well-being by ways of transdisciplinarity and co-design

General Competence

The candidate:

  • can identify new relevant ethical issues
  • can solicit and evaluate innovative technological solutions
  • is able to analyse how institutions, traditions and individual approaches can enable change and sustainability
  • can communicate research about Sustainability and Well-being through recognized Norwegian and international channels

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Lectures and workshops, both theoretical and practical.

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

Active participation in the seminars is necessary to adequately understand the course material and themes. Participation is therefore mandatory, and candidates are expected to attend all days of teaching and required to attend at least 80 percent of teaching days. In special cases of documented illness, the course leader may accept exceptions to this requirement. In these cases, lack of participation can be substituted with alternative arrangements such as active reading of the relevant syllabus literature. Course requirements are assessed as confirmed or not confirmed. The course requirement must be completed and confirmed within the given deadline in order to have the right to submit the final exam.

The course requirements are:

  • Each candidate will arrange a practical workshop relevant to the PhD project, alone or in collaboration with other candidates. In addition, participation in a number of the other workshops is mandatory.
  • 80 % attendance is required. 

Vurdering og eksamen

Confirmed participation in the course and accepted portfolio exam.

Portfolio exam:

  • Documentation of the development and execution of a practical workshop arranged by the candidate, alone or in collaboration with other candidates.
  • An individual reflection note (3000-4000 words) discussing experiences and reflections drawn from the workshop and the syllabus, relevant to the candidate’s PhD project. Cover page, illustrations, and list of references come in addition.

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

All examination support material is allowed as long as source reference and quotation technique requirements are applied.


Assessment is pass/fail. If an essay is graded fail, the candidate has one opportunity resubmit a revised essay within a given time-period.


The final exam is assessed by the course lecturer and one other examinator. External examinators will be used regularly. The assessment is based on the learning outcomes for the course.


The course is primarily for PhD candidates. Unfilled places may be opened to applicants with a relevant Master’s degree or equivalent . Applicants must submit a summary (approximately one A4- sized page) containing information on their PhD project. The summary must be submitted before the deadline for Applications.