Cross-disciplinary Master’s programme focusing on the fisheries sector with emphasis on fisheries management. The studies enable you to undertake comprehensive projects in the field of fisheries. The programme is taught at the University of Akureyri in collaboration with the University of Iceland.

The Icelandic fisheries sector creates approximately 1 billion ISK in export revenue each workday. This is among the oldest industries of the country and it is characterised by innovation and progressiveness.

At the completion of the programme, students have acquired an overview of existing knowledge in the international fisheries sector and the methodology that has been used in Iceland in fishing, processing, marketing and operations. Special emphasis is placed on the fisheries sector in the Arctic region.

The programme is taught in English and is offered in the form of flexible learning.

The programme is not open for applications for the school year 2023-2024

Is the programme for you?

  • Are you interested in fish stocks and value creation?
  • Do you want to learn about full utilisation of products?
  • Are you interested in the global fisheries sector?
  • Are you interested in working abroad?
  • Are you interested in international business?
  • Have you pondered the effects of climate change on fisheries?
  • Do you want to increase your understanding of ships and fishing gear?

Emphases in the programme

After completing the programme, students are to understand the process in the value chain of the Icelandic fisheries sector; from the ocean environment of the fish to the end product for consumers in foreign markets. In field trips and practical exercises in companies, the main challenges in the field are covered and equipment is furthermore looked at. The aim is for students to be familiar with and able to utilise the latest trends in processing and fishing.

In the programme, an emphasis is placed on students understanding what is needed to maximise the value of ocean resources for the long term. New challenges are constantly arising; environmental affairs are currently prominent due to the warming of the oceans, which has led to changes in the migration patterns of fish stocks between jurisdictions, thus complicating still further fisheries management.

Visits to fishing operators, practical projects from the fishing industry and practical exercises are part of the programme. Students are expected to be familiar with the primary fishing equipment and to be able to utilise the latest trends in jobs in the fisheries sector. The main specialists in their fields from the University of Akureyri, University of Iceland and from industry are involved in the programme.

Students have the possibility of taking one semester abroad, at the University of Iceland, in Coastal and Marine Management at the University Centre of the Westfjords, or corresponding to one semester in Polar Law at UNAK.

You can view the organisation of the studies in Ugla, the intraweb of the University.

Possibilities upon completing the programme

The Icelandic fisheries sector is characterised by innovation and progressiveness. Numerous jobs are at innovation and start-up companies.

The programme is ideal preparation for jobs at international fishing operators, ministries and specialist institutions, municipalities, consulting firms, international institutions, non-governmental organisations, organised interest groups and political parties.

The Master’s degree provides access to Doctoral studies at both domestic and foreign universities.

Admission requirements

As a general rule, students shall have completed a BA/BS degree with a first-class grade.

Applicants from abroad, whose native language is not English, must demonstrate good English language skills (minimum grade TOEFL 85 or IELTS 6.5). Here you can find exemptions from providing a TOEFL or IELTS scores.

All applicants must submit a report in English (500–1,500 words) where they specify why they are interested in the programme, their background and knowledge of the discipline, aims with pursuing the programme and future plans, as well as a possible subject for a Master’s thesis.

An application shall be accompanied by letters of recommendation from 2–3 individuals (teacher/superior) who are familiar with the applicant and can provide the person concerned with a clear reference.

Interviews will be conducted with applicants and selection will be based on academic results, goal setting and interviews.

The minimum number of students is 10 to start teaching in the programme each academic year. A total of 15 students are admitted each academic year.

Flexible learning

The programme is offered in the form of flexible learning, which means that you can reside anywhere in the country, and there is even the possibility of living abroad; there is no difference between being an on-site student or a distance student. Everyone follows the same curriculum and the learning requirements are the same.

Students can attend lectures, watch them live on the internet or access lecture recordings. In this way, you can view lectures when it is convenient for you and as often as you want. You can even slow down or speed up the audio of lectures. Of course, though, we like seeing you in class.

All students must come to Akureyri for one week each semester. During this time, they work on practical exercises and visit companies. In some courses, students work together on assignments or present them. In this way, you get an opportunity to meet with teachers, fellow students and other University staff and develop an even better connection to your academic community.

Here, you can read more about flexible learning.