Arctic Survival and Safety

The course is intended for students with little or no prior experience of life in the high Arctic. The course focuses on conditions and risks you can expect to meet in Svalbard, and provides a thorough theoretical basis within several topics. It includes hands-on practice in a range of vital safety and survival skills.


The course is only offered to enrolled spring semester students at UNIS and is mandatory for these students.

The following topics are covered:

Risk scenarios in Svalbard – general safety precautions
Use of rifles and pyrotechnic flares to scare away polar bears
First aid, especially treatment and prevention of frost injuries
Navigation in Svalbard by map reading and compass, assisted by GPS
Use of communications systems including VHF radio, satellite phone and emergency beacons
Emergency equipment and setting up emergency camps
Sea ice behavior and rescue techniques
Glacier behavior and rescue techniques
Avalanche scenarios and rescue techniques
Laboratory and HSE (Health, safety and environment) matters

This course is part of the educational offerings of the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Safety and Security.

Course details

Academic level(s)Bachelor, Master, PhD
CountryNorway
Language of instructionEnglish
InstitutionUniversity Centre in Svalbard
Begin date-
End date-
Registration deadline-
ECTS credits3.0
Field schoolNo
Fields of studyOccupational health and safety
Teaching placeLongyearbyen, Svalbard
Teaching term
Tagssafety
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