The Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Akureyri offers a three year study leading to a B.A. degree in social studies.
B.A. degree studies in social studies comprise 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 the social structure, culture, politics and the economy. The study provides substantial training in the methodology of the social sciences. Students are also offered the opportunity of selecting specific subjects from a variety of interesting fields within the framework of sociology. On completion of studies, students have acquired a sound basis for advanced study and work in various sectors of Icelandic society and internationally.
Structure of Studies
At the University of Akureyri sociology is taught as a 180 or 120 ECTS credit major subject of study for the B.A. degree and as a 60 ECTS credit minor subject of study. Full time students can complete the 180 ECTS credit course in three years. On a part-time basis the study can be completed over a longer period of time. Students can take a part of the study abroad or at other universities in Iceland. There are also various possibilities of having studies in other areas and from other universities appraised as credits in sociology.
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.
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 on 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.
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.
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 and they do their utmost to assist students, requesting aid, with the preparations of their applications and other preparations for advanced studies.
See Curriculum and Course Catalog.