Valmynd Leit

Social Sciences BA

Photo: Auðunn Níelsson.This programme is taught in Icelandic

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Akureyri offers a three-year study programme leading to a BA degree in Social Sciences.

A BA degree in Social Sciences comprises general university studies in social science, social anthropology and political science. Students acquire insight into the nature of human society and the dynamic principles of social structure, culture, politics and economy. The study provides substantial training in the methodology of social sciences. On completion of studies, students will have acquired a sound basis for graduate studies and work in various sectors of society both domestically and internationally. Students are also offered the opportunity of selecting specific subjects from six interesting fields within the framework of social sciences.

The fields of emphasis are:

  • Regional Studies
  • Tourism
  • Gender Studies
  • Arctic Studies
  • Youth Studies
  • General Social Studies

Structure of studies

Most of the courses are taught in Icelandic but students can select a number of elective courses in English as well. It is possible to take parts of the studies at other universities in accordance with the defined fields of emphasis. In general, students complete a number of compulsory courses that amount to 120 ECTS. In addition, 30-60 ECTS in one of the defined fields of emphasis are required for a student to graduate from the chosen path of study.

Research and practical training

Social Sciences students acquire a sound foundation in the methodology of social sciences. In addition to formal courses, they receive considerable training in organising research projects and presenting research results for the public and scholars. They can also work on independent research projects and participate in field research and job training domestically and abroad. A few students have the opportunity every year to work on a salary basis, as assistants in research of the Faculty. Databases linked to important domestic and international research can be at the disposal of students, creating many opportunities for close research cooperation between students and teachers. The Faculty members are internationally active in research and have in recent years published in many of the most important international journals.

Continuous assessment

All courses are continuously assessed, with emphasis on regular assignments and tests instead of a comprehensive exam. This enables students to constantly monitor their own achievement. The study concludes with the writing of a BA degree thesis, in which students apply their theoretical, methodological and material knowledge to a specific project. The topic of the BA thesis is selected in consultation with the Faculty members.

On completion of studies

Although a degree in Social Sciences does not directly entitle a student to a particular vocation, experience has shown a demand for their skills in different areas of the job market. There seems to be a continuous need for people with competence and training in disciplined thought, and knowledge in methodology. In addition, the selected fields of interest and emphasis can be an excellent preparation for jobs in media, regional development, tourism, public administration and a number of other fields.

Graduate studies

The BA degree in Social Sciences is a good basis for graduate studies in several fields of social sciences. Such graduates have the opportunity to embark on a research-based Master's degree programme at the University of Akureyri. The students take one semester of courses at Master's level at the University or other accredited universities, and the programme consists mainly of a large research project, under supervision of experienced researchers.

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University of Akureyri

Nordurslod 2         600 Akureyri, Iceland         unak@unak.is         S. + 354 460 8000 

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