Department of Culture, Religion and Social Studies
The Department of Culture, Religion and Social Studies (IKRS) is geographically dispersed across five of USN’s campuses. Our activities primarily comprise teaching and research in fields including, but not limited to, the following:
- the social sciences, religion, philosophy and ethics focusing on the department’s teacher training programmes for pre-school, primary and lower/upper secondary school teachers; as well as further and supplementary education programmes for said teachers (on the Drammen, Notodden, Vestfold and Porsgrunn campuses)
- career consultation for individuals and wider society, with an emphasis on work, education and social inclusion (Drammen)
- cross-disciplinary cultural studies focusing on management and the relevance to careers of culture in general, as well as cultural politics and analysis (Bø)
- human rights and multiculturalism (Drammen)
The following research groups are linked to the department:
- Human Rights and Diversities
- Career consultation
- Cultural heritage in use
- Qualitative methods in professional practice
- Research into educational resources
- Didactics in religion, life stance and ethics education
- Social science didactics
A list of the faculty’s publications can be found in the Cristin research database. Here is a list of our publications from 2017.
- BRIDGES (RCN/FINNUT 1.8.2020–31.7.2024).
Bridge-building between the needs experienced in teacher training and schools. Achieved by means of a cross-disciplinary approach to public health and life mastery, democracy, co-citizenship and sustainable development – in collaboration with the University of Tromsø (UiT) and University College Innlandet (HINN).
- Human Rights and Reconciliation in a Post-Conflict Multicultural Society (DIKU/NORPART 1.1.2017–31.12.2021).
Collaboration with the University of Peradeniya (UoP) in Sri Lanka in the field of student and employee mobility and the development of a master’s programme in Human Rights and Multiculturalism at UoP.
- SPICA network (NORDPLUS).
A Nordic network for teacher educators and trainee teachers focusing on sustainability, diversity, democracy and co-citizenship
- JOIN (DIKU/NOTED 2018–2022); Coordinator: Åsmund Aamaas.
Quality in teacher education -– joining forces through internationalization.
- Career advice for users of the benefits system administered by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) (Labour and Welfare Directorate, FOU-NAV 1.1.2016_31.12.2021).
A collaboration between the NAV office at Viken, the consultants Karriere Viken and USN.
- Stage art pop-up camp for students: a creative node designed to boost career relevance (DIKU 2021–2023). Coordinator: Steffen Fagernes Johannessen.
- Head of Department Jørn Varhaug
- Deputy Head of Department Kerstin Bornholdt
- Deputy Head of Department Thor Christian Bjørnstad
The department is represented on the following USN campuses: