Norwegian version of this page

Course pages

Here you will find criteria for how to revise your course description, and input on how to use the course description to develop your teaching.  

The course description is central for both you and the students. A well-designed course description supports your course planning, and helps students find relevant and engaging courses to include in their study plans.  

Read more about the relationship between learning outcomes, exam and course planning

Use EpN to revise your course description together with the administration (in Norwegian)

Course content

Present the course content in one or two short paragraphs. The text should include the major topics and skills that the students will learn in the course. If relevant you can also include a context for the course and how it can be relevant to the students' study program.


  • Write for a student who is not yet familiar with the topic.
  • Use clear and concise language.
  • Refer directly to the readers, using "you" or "students".

Learning outcome

The learning outcome describes what the students are able to do after completing the course, and should include knowledges, skills and general competencies.

The MN Faculty recommends you to structure the learning outcome in this way:

After completing the course, you are able to:

  • describe, explain or outline... (indicates knowledge)
  • discuss or compare... (indicates skill)
  • apply, analyze or evaluate... (indicates skill)
  • present or communicate... (indicates general competency)
  • reflect on... (indicates general competency)

The learning outcome describes the actions and operations students are able to perform after the course. It may be useful for you to determine how the students will use their new knowledge after completing the course.

If you are not familiar with verbs describing learning outcomes, you can use the SOLO-taxonomy to get an overview of simple, intermediate and complex learning outcomes.

Read more about learning outcome and SOLO-taxonomy.     


  • Present the learning outcomes as four to six bullet points.
  • Use clear and concise language, without too many details or examples.
  • Use the verbs in the learning outcomes to plan formative assessments and the exam questions in the course. Test if it is possible to re-write one of the learning outcomes as a question for a seminar, assignment or exam.
  • Use the verbs in the learning outcomes to plan the teaching activities. For example, if you use verbs such as discuss or compare, students can expect to meet for seminars to discuss scientific topics with each other in groups or in writing.

Teaching and exam

Describe the course design, including the number of lectures and seminars, lab/field work and assignments.

Describe the format for the exam and other assessment forms.

Inform the students about how you want them to engage with the course content, for example through problem solving in seminars, written assignments or group presentations. 

Include relevant standard phrases (in EpN) to inform students about the course.

Examples of course pages

A selection of good examples from each of the Departments at the MN Faculty. Get in touch if you have suggestions for aspirational courses that should be on the list.  

Department of Biosciences

Department of Chemistry

Department of Geosciences

Department of Informatics

Department of Mathematics

Department of Physics

Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics

Department of Pharmacy

Department of Technology Systems

Learning outcomes at bachelor, master and PhD level

The National Qualification Framework for Lifelong Learning (NQF) provides guidelines for learning outcomes for education at bachelor-, master-and PhD level. 

Bachelor level

Knowledge: The candidate...

  • has broad knowledge of important topics, theories, issues, processes, tools and methods within the academic field
  • is familiar with research and defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence: development work in the field
  • can update his/her knowledge in the field
  • has knowledge of the history, traditions, distinctive character and place in society of the academic field

Skills: The candidate...

  • can apply academic knowledge and relevant results of research and development work to practical and theoretical problems and make well-founded choices
  • can reflect upon his/her own academic practice and adjust it under supervision
  • can find, evaluate and refer to information and scholarly subject matter and present it in a manner that sheds light on the problem
  • masters relevant scholarly tools, techniques and forms of communication

General competencies: The candidate...

  • has insight into relevant academic and professional ethical issues
  • can plan and carry out varied assignments and projects over time, alone or as part of a group, and in accordance with ethical requirements and principles
  • can communicate important academic subject matters such as theories, problems and solutions, both in writing and orally, as well as through other relevant forms of communication
  • can exchange opinions and experiences with others with a background in the field, thereby contributing to the development of good practice
  • is familiar with new thinking and innovation processes

Master level

Knowledge: The candidate

  • has advanced knowledge within the academic field and specialized insight in a limited area
  • has thorough knowledge of the scholarly or artistic theories and methods in the field
  • can apply knowledge to new areas within the academic field
  • can analyze academic problems on the basis of the history, traditions, distinctive character and place in society of the academic field

Skills: The candidate

  • can analyze and deal critically with various sources of information and use them to structure and formulate scholarly arguments
  • can analyze existing theories, methods and interpretations in the field and work independently on practical and theoretical problems
  • can use relevant methods for research and scholarly and /or artistic development work in an independent manner
  • can carry out an independent, limited research or development project under supervision and in accordance with applicable norms for research ethics

General competencies: The candidate

  • can analyze relevant academic, professional and research ethical problems
  • can apply his/her knowledge and skills in new areas in order to carry out advanced assignments and projects
  • can communicate extensive independent work and masters language and terminology of the academic field 
  • can communicate about academic issues, analyses and conclusions in the field, both with specialists and the general public
  • can contribute to new thinking and innovation processes

PhD level

Knowledge: The candidate

  • is in the forefront of knowledge within his/her academic field and masters the field´s philosophy of science and/or artistic issues and methods
  • can evaluate the expediency and application of different methods and processes in research and scholarly and/or artistic development projects
  • can contribute to the development of new knowledge, new theories, methods, interpretations and forms of documentation in the field

Skills: The candidate

  • can formulate problems, plan and carry out research and scholarly and/or artistic development work
  • can carry out research and scholarly and/or artistic research work of a high international standard
  • can handle complex academic issues and challenge established knowledge and practice in the field

General competencies: The candidate

  • can identify new relevant ethical issues and carry out his/her research with scholarly integrity
  • can manage complex interdisciplinary assignments and projects
  • can communicate research and development work through recognized Norwegian and international channels
  • can participate in debates in the field in international forums
  • can assess the need for, initiate and practice innovation
Published Oct. 6, 2020 11:31 AM - Last modified Nov. 19, 2021 10:54 AM