The Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Akureyri offers a three year study leading to a B.A. degree in Social Studies.
A B.A. degree in Social Studies comprises general university studies in social science, anthropology and political science. Students acquire an 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. Students are also offered the opportunity of selecting specific subjects from six interesting fields within the framework of social sciences. On completion of studies, students have acquired a sound basis for advanced study and work in various sectors of society both domestically and internationally. The fields of emphasis that students can choose between are: regional studies, tourism, gender studies, arctic studies, youth studies, and general social studies.
Structure of Studies
Most of the courses are taught in Icelandic but students can select a number of courses in English as well. It is possible to do parts of the studies in other universities in accordance with the defined fields of emphasis. In general students complete a number of compulsory courses that amounts to 120 ECTS. In addition 30-60 ECTS are required in one of the defined field of emphasis for a student to graduate from that field.
Social Studies students acquire a sound foundation in the methodology of the social sciences. In addition to formal courses, they receive considerable training in organizing research projects and the presentation of research results for the public and scholars. They also work on independent research projects and can participate in field research and job training domestically and abroad. At the same time a few students every year have the opportunity to work on a salaried basis as assistants in research of the teaching staff of the faculty.
Study evaluation consists of continuous appraisal that makes it possible for students to keep abreast of their performance constantly throughout the semester. The study concludes with the writing of a B.A. degree thesis in which students apply their theoretical, methodological and material knowledge to a specific project. The topic of the B.A. thesis is selected in consultation with permanent teachers of the faculty.
Rescearch and Practical Training
In addition to traditional courses students get considerable training an experience of doing research and presenting research findings both for the public hand for the academic society. Databanks of important domestic and international institutions are at the disposal of students creating many opportunities for participation in international scholarly discourse. The teachers that teach in the Social Studies programme are active in international scholarly discussion and they have published articles in many of the most important international journals in recent years.
On Completion of Studies
Although a degree in Social Studies does not directly entitle a student to a particular vocation, experience has shown a demand for their skills in different parts 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 filed of interest and emphasis can be an excellent preparation for jobs in media, regional development, tourism, public administration and a number of other fields.
See Curriculum and Course Catalog.