The Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Akureyri offers a three year study leading to a B.A. degree in social studies and economic development.
Studies for the B.A. degree in social studies and economic development rest on the theoretical and methodological foundation of the social sciences with emphasis on the causes and consequences of rapid social changes in Icelandic society, in other societies in the northern hemisphere and in the developing countries. Students acquire a sound preparatory basis for work in the fields of society and developmental issues domestically and abroad and also for advanced studies in the various branches of the social sciences.
Through their studies students gain an insight into the characteristics of different societies and the issues and controversies that face them. Among the topics dealt with are the principal theories and research conducted in the sector of society development, methodology of statistics and field studies, the characteristics of the natural and human environment, the structure of Icelandic society and international politics. Students receive training in the organizing and implementation of research and the presentation of research conclusions for both laymen and scholars.
Structure of the Study Programme
The social studies and economic development programmes consists of B.A. degree studies amounting to 180 ECTS credits that full time students can accomplish in three years. Evaluation of studies in most courses is based on continuous appraisal that makes it possible for students constantly to gauge their progress throughout the semester.
During the first year a general foundation is laid for studies in the social sciences and economic development theory. The Industrial Revolution and its consequences throughout the world are dealt with and also the principal theories in sociology, trends and currents in western thought in the 20th century. Students simultaneously acquire a good foundation in the methodology of the social sciences.
In the 2nd and 3rd year of study, sociology, anthropology, economics and political science are treated as supportive branches of social studies and economic development theory, students become familiar with the main features of developmental matters, gain knowledge of Icelandic society and of issues pertaining to other societies in the northern hemisphere and international politics. Simultaneously students receive training in applying the methodology of the social sciences in solving research assignments.
Elective options of students increase substantially as they proceed in their studies and they have the opportunity to tailor their studies to their fields of interest. In addition to mandatory courses on gender studies and criminology, students can simultaneously select specialized courses of various kinds within the faculty or outside its domain and in addition they have the opportunity to work on independent research projects, field trips abroad and job training. The studies are completed by writing a B.A. thesis requiring students to apply their theoretical, methodological and material knowledge by focusing on a specific topic. The subject of the B.A. thesis is selected in consultation with permanent staff members of the faculty.
On Completion of Studies
Experience has shown that students completing their B.A. studies in the social sciences are sought after in the job market. Such a B.A. examination does not bestow any specific professional certification but it lays the foundation for work in various fields of endeavour. There is a demand for people with a well rounded basic knowledge of society, proficiency in methodology and discipline in their work procedures and training in a critical, objective analysis of specific projects.
B.A. degree studies in the social sciences and economic development offer preparation for work in the general work market that is similar to that of other B.A. degree studies in the social sciences. At the same time, students who have graduated acquire special preparation for a variety of jobs linked to development issues both domestically and abroad.
B.A. studies in the social sciences and economic development are also a sound basis for advanced studies in the social sciences domestically and abroad, e.g. in sociology, anthropology, political science or multi-vocational advanced studies of various kinds. Teachers in social sciences and economic development have substantial and strong links with various universities in Iceland, Europe and North America.
See Curriculum and Course Catalog.