Program Organisation

The program consists of 120 ECTS at the master’s level; this includes 75 ECTS in the form of courses and 45 ECTS in the form of a thesis. All courses are taught in modules. The program starts in the autumn semester and the first year is made up of core courses and elective courses from the teaching schedule.

Teaching Schedule 2021-2022

Teaching Schedule 2020-2021

In order to complete 75 ECTS in one academic year, courses are taught in intensive modules from August through July of the next year. Courses are weighted from 1 ECTS to 6 ECTS and range from one to three weeks in length. Each ECTS is expected to involve approximately 25-30 hours of student work. On average students take 2 ECTS a week which corresponds to no less than a 50 hour workload per week.

After the courses finish, at the end of June/beginning of July, more of the students’ attention moves to the 45 ECTS thesis. According to the above work time calculation, the 45 ECTS should be equivalent to 1.5 semesters’ work. Students are free to choose whether or not they stay in the Westfjords to complete their theses. Theses are submitted for marking and defense at the beginning of the spring semester the next year. In this manner it is possible to complete the whole program in 18 months. No provision for summer holiday is made, however, if this pace of study is chosen. It is also possible to submit theses in April and the program then takes 21 months.

While the program covers a wide arc of geographical and development related areas students can specialise within this sphere through elective courses and with their choice of a topic for their thesis. Students are welcome to take elective courses at other universities, with the Master’s program committee's approval.

Students at the University Centre of the Westfjords are formally enrolled at the University of Akureyri and graduate with a MA (Master of Arts) degree from the University of Akureyri. Studies however are entirely conducted at the University Centre of the Westfjords in Ísafjörður and are wholly supervised by the University Centre of the westfjords