The course will cover the "historical, sociological and psychological perspectives of dog sledding", the university said on its website. It will also train students in practical dog sledding skills, such as mushing techniques and dog hitching systems. Teaching will take place at the university's campus in Alta, the most northerly city in the world.
"We want to strengthen dog sledding as a part of our educational programme, because we want to reflect our regional and national character,” said Rune Waaler, the associate professor developing the programme. “And if you’re going to have dog sledding as a subject, it is clear that Alta is the place to do it."
The 10-credit course will be part of the university's three-year programme in arctic outdoor recreation, but will also be available as a stand-alone course for students of other disciplines.
The course will include two weeks of hand-on experience, with all students taking part in the Finnmarksløpet, an annual dog-sled race around Alta.
Participants will be graded on the basis of one paper and one oral exam.
Svanhild Pedersen who organises the Finnmarksløpet race, praised the university's "innovative approach".
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“It’s awesome, it really supports this sport. It helps to raise the status of dog sledding as a sport, but also as a type of outdoor activity," she said in a statement to the university.