Media studies examines the dynamics of the media and their position and influence in society. The programme takes into account developments in this field in major universities in Europe. Efforts are made to integrate professional knowledge taught in journalism schools and academic knowledge and methodology taught in traditional university education. Such interweaving is desirable in this kind of study and is intended to make students more capable of dealing with social changes accompanying the information technology revolution and the ever-expanding level of general education. In addition to media studies, the programme offers Icelandic as a Second Language, providing students with a solid foundation in Icelandic grammar, vocabulary, and syntax, as well as an understanding of Icelandic society and culture.

Students participate in the production of various types of media content in print and broadcast media. It is of particular note that many of our graduates have found work in the media or in media-related fields.

The University of Akureyri is the only university in the country that offers this programme for a BA degree.

Is this the programme for you?

  • Do you enjoy writing?
  • Are you interested in people?
  • Are you a curious type of person?
  • Do you enjoy understanding complex issues and digging beneath the surface?
  • Do you want to be able to make an impact in society?
  • Are you passionate about Icelandic social issues?
  • Do you want to improve your Icelandic to be able to pursue studies in this language?

Areas of emphasis in Icelandic as second language

The emphasis on Icelandic as a second language is designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding and proficiency in the Icelandic language. The programme covers various aspects of the language, including grammar, vocabulary, listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

You can expect to develop strong oral and written communication skills in Icelandic, along with a solid foundation in grammar, vocabulary, and syntax.

The programme focuses on improving speaking abilities and reading comprehension skills, enabling you to engage confidently in discussions and enhancing your understanding of a wide range of Icelandic texts.

Students need to attend to electronically four mornings or afternoons each week for 2 hours.

You can view the organisation of the programme further down the page and in Ugla, the university's teaching website.

Areas of emphasis in Media Studies

The media studies programme at the University of Akureyri is based on academic knowledge. You will receive training in writing texts and work with radio, television and social media. The emphasis is on teaching you to place the media in the context of society. Answers to legal and ethical questions related to the daily work of media personnel are sought. This discipline is constantly evolving, new media are emerging, and the programme takes this into account.

The programme is designed to include knowledge of Icelandic so you can learn the relevant vocabulary to be able to discuss media in Icelandic.

You can view the organisation of the programme further down the page and in Ugla, the university's teaching website.

Opportunities after graduation

Do you want to work as a reporter for radio or television? Many graduate students in media studies have done that and succeeded. You can start your own online media or write for newspapers and magazines. The media experts from HA have found jobs as media representatives of companies and institutions. The possibilities are endless. The programme is also a good foundation for further research, both in Iceland and abroad, for example in the fields of media and communication, marketing, political studies or gender studies.

The knowledge of Icelandic acquired in during the programme will allow you to improve your chances of finding suitable employment in the labour market.

Social life

Social life is an important part of university education and the social life of students at HA is lively and robust.

All students at the university are members of the Student Association of the University of Akureyri (SHA), but each department also has its own student organization. Kumpáni is an association of social science students; you may wish to consult Facebook for further details on this.

Admission requirements

The general requirement is that applicants have completed a matriculation examination or equivalent, a final examination from a secondary school at the third qualification level, an equivalent foreign examination or 60 ECTS credits from a recognized university – or, alternatively, other academic prerequisites the Faculty of Social Sciences deems satisfactory.

All applicants must also pass a special entrance examination in Icelandic on June 12th at 13:00. The Icelandic test can be taken at test centres located around Iceland (at the cost of 4000 ISK), at the University of Akureyri or the University of Iceland. Proficiency in basic Icelandic is assessed through reading comprehension and listening skills. Here you can find sample examination tasks:

All applicants whose native language is not English, are required to provide proof of English proficiency. The minimum score for English proficiency is TOEFL 79, IELTS 6.5 or PTE academic 58.

Prioritisation of applications due to number restrictions

We would like to point out that if the number of applicants who meet the general admission requirements exceeds the number criteria, applications will be prioritised as follows:

  • Meet general admission requirements, 100 points
  • Number of units completed, 0-80 points
  • Applicant´s letter of motivation, 0-10 points
  • Gender ratio in the department, 10 points
  • Result of the Icelandic test, 10 points

Applicants will then be ranked according to the sum of these factors and admitted in that order.


Applications that do not meet the general admission requirements are evaluated independently. It is important, therefore, that applicants submit a letter of introduction together with information relating to previous studies.

Flexible learning

All undergraduate programmes at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Akureyri are flexible; that is, the department takes equal care of both those students who want to study in real time and be part of the university community, and those who prefer more pliable arrangements. All students adhere to the same curriculum and performance requirements.

However, you have to keep in mind that the Icelandic course will be taught online but in real time, and therefore requires your presence online while the lectures are being delivered.

Students who attend in real time on site or via interactive teleconferencing equipment can participate in teacher-student discussions in the classroom. In individual courses, all students participate in presentations and discussions in real time. Most traditional lectures are recorded and posted on a teaching website. Thus, you can watch lectures when it suits you and as often as you wish.

All distance learning students visit Akureyri several times throughout the school year for short study periods where the main focus is on project work and discussions. Here, you will have the opportunity to meet teachers, fellow students and other university staff and connect even better with your university community.

Exchange studies

All students have the option to take part of their studies at a foreign partner university. You will receive a waiver of the tuition fees of the guest school and pay only the enrolment fee in HA. An international representative assists you in applying for the program, accommodation and student grant.

How to apply?

Applications are submitted electronically our online application portal, with an electronic ID and will be open from beginning of March until June 5th.

Supporting document

  • Secondary school matriculation examination (school leaving examination after three years of secondary school or equivalent)
  • CV
  • Statement of perspective of the studies, 1–2 pages written in English or Icelandic, including:
    • Your motivation for joining the programme
    • Your knowledge or experience relevant to the programme objectives
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Any other considerations you would like to be taken into account
  • Evidence of basic Icelandic competence, as you need to have basic Icelandic knowledge for joining the programme


Media studies is an interesting, diverse and fun programme, combining academic and practical aspects. This academic discipline prepares you well for the future, whether you are planning a job or further studies in the field of media.

Sigurður Þorri Gunnarsson
Music Director of Rás 2