autumn 2020
SVF-3554 Marine governance and development - 10 ECTS

Last changed 11.08.2021

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester. Exchange students and Fulbright students: 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

This course is mandatory for the Master's students in International Fisheries Management (IFM).

The course can also be taken as a singular course for students with a relevant background.

Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS) in biology, economics, social sciences, combinations of these, or equivalent qualification.

Application code: 9371

Course content

The course provides an insight into how the management of the fishing and aquaculture industries has evolved and what characterizes today¿s marine governance systems in different parts of the world. Various social science perspectives are introduced, and these are applied to analyze the context, forms and functions of marine governance. The course seeks to clarify the preconditions for effective and legitimate governance of the fishing and aquaculture sectors and the unintended consequences that management measures often have, including when models and blueprints are transferred from Western countries to the fisheries in the developing world.

Objectives of the course

Objective of the course

The main aim is to give the students a social scientific understanding of the fundamentals of governance systems and their modes of operation and to apply this to fisheries management and development. By the end of the course, the students will be able to:


  • Outline various analytical approaches to the study of social institutions and decision-making mechanisms
  • Define key concepts such as organization, institution, management, governance, and regime
  • Clarify how issues become objects of governance and the processes that make them governable
  • Identify and classify alternative governance institutions and instruments
  • Explain how governance regimes are linked to social development
  • Describe the historical development of marine governance systems


  • Apply social scientific approaches and concepts in the analysis of fisheries management and development
  • Provide examples of the interaction between governance regimes and social change
  • Compare and evaluate the objectives, use and effects of different marine governance systems and instruments
  • Clarify the role of science and politics in the construction of governable objects
  • Analyze user interests and power relations in marine governance and development
  • Illustrate the intended and unintended consequences of management measures for fisheries, other marine industries and communities


General competences

  • Reflect upon the ways in which marine spaces, resources and users are governed
  • Discuss the advantages and pitfalls of alternative management solutions
  • Engage in the design, construction and revision of marine governance regimes
  • Write clear and well-structured literature reviews, policy briefs and scientific papers
  • Lead and participate in interdisciplinary teams
  • Assume responsibility both for own work and for joint problem-solving and learning

Language of instruction

The language of instruction is English.

Teaching methods

Lectures, seminars, workshops and games.


Written exam, 5 hours. The grading scale is A - F, where F is fail.

Work requirements

During the course, the students have to complete four assignments on given topics and give feedback to each other on the assignments:

  • A short in-class presentation (5 minutes)
  • A literature review (1500 - 2000 words)
  • A policy brief (500 words)
  • An essay, which can be written individually or two together (2500 - 5000 words)

Deadline for submission of the assignments is two weeks before examination. The assignments and the feedback have to be approved by the teacher before the students can take the final, written exam.  

A re-sit exam will be arranged for the written exam in the next semester for those students who fail the exam.

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: SVF-3554