The Secret of the Nordic Model and Future European Challenges


This course aims to increase knowledge and understanding of historical roots and backgrounds of the Nordic countries' modern welfare structures. The focus will be on the Nordic collaboration's role in handling the large social challenges which a globalised world entails. The course is based on the Nordic model – the combination of a developed welfare system and market economy structures.

Admission requirements

General Entry requirements + English B, and at least 60 credits within a Major subject in the field of Social Sciences or Humanities, or the equivalent.


Applicants are selected in order according to precedence from submitted two-part supporting document.


Syllabus for students spring 2015

Course Code:
ES410L revision 1
Swedish name:
Hemligheten bakom den Nordiska Modellen och framtida Europeiska utmaningar
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
No main fields
Date of ratification:
17 December 2014
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
01 June 2015

Entry requirements

General Entry requirements + English B, and at least 60 credits within a Major subject in the field of Social Sciences or Humanities, or the equivalent.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

Not part of a Major Subject.


The main aim of this course is to develop the students’ knowledge and understanding for the historical roots to, and the development of, modern welfare regimes in the Nordic countries, the role of Nordic cooperation in this development, and the major societal challenges facing both the so called Nordic Model and the wider European cooperation in a globalized world. Another aim is to create a meeting point for students from different parts of the world and politicians, institutions, companies and the civic society from Nordic countries.


The course include three parts where the first is a self-study period of the basic course literature in order to create a knowledge base and to introduce theoretical and conceptual perspectives relevant for the course. The second part is situated in the city of Hässleholm in the very south of Sweden in connection with the annual national event Europaforum. This part is concentrated on seminars related to the earlier read literature, and more in-depth studies and discussions related to Nordic societal development over time, the cooperation between the Nordic states in the Nordic Council and in EU, and political, legal and cultural perspectives on the Nordic countries and EU. During this part students also do a study visit at the Representation of the Nordic Council in Copenhagen. The third part includes active participation with interviews and observations at Europaforum in Hässleholm, and a final course paper based on those studies and

Learning outcomes

To pass the course the student shall show:

  1. Basic knowledge and understanding of similarities and differences in the Nordic countries historical development and Welfare Regimes
  2. Basic knowledge and understanding of the role of Nordic cooperation for development and security after 1945
  3. Basic knowledge and understanding of the Nordic Model´s future challenges and potentials in the framework of EU and globalisation
  4. Capacity for active participation in seminars, study visits and events related to the content of the course
  5. Capacity to develop and produce a minor study, and write a report where the result of, and critical reflections on, the study are presented

Learning activities

The course is built on individual literature studies, seminars, lectures, study visits, presentations, preparations and participation during Europaforum Hässleholm, field work and the production of a written report.


Evaluation of students achievement is done through a portfolio where Learning outcome 1-3 are evaluated based on presentations and seminar activity, Learning outcome 4 based on active participation in seminars, study visits, and other common activities and Learning outcome is evaluated based on the written report.
Re-exam for the written report is done in the same way as at the first examination opportunity. Seminars, study visits and presentations are re-examined based on individual instructions from the examinator.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

  • Nordic Model of Welfare: A Historical Reappraisal by Christiansen, Niels (Editor); Edling, Nils (Editor); Haave, Per (Editor); Petersen, Klaus (Editor), 2006
  • Labour Market Mobility in Nordic Welfare States, Nordiska Ministerrådet, 2010
  • The Nordic countries and the European Security and Defence Policy / edited by Alyson J. K. Bailes, Gunilla Herolf and Bengt Sundelius. Imprint Oxford Univ. Press; Solna, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute [Stockholms internationella fredsforskningsinstitut] (SIPRI), 2006
+ Chapters, Articles and reports relevant for the course up to 400 pages

Course evaluation

The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).

Interim rules

If a course ceases to be available or has undergone any major changes, the students are to be offered two opportunities to retake the examination during the year following the change for re-examination, based on the syllabus which applied at registration.


The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the Department of Global Political Studies.

Further information

Inge Eriksson, Course Coordinator
Phone: 040-6657287