All teaching is conducted in English

Studies in Polar Law address several legal issues applicable to the Arctic and the Antarctic.

The studies first and foremost concern the people living in these areas, what they want and what their rights are. The subjects therefore cover a broad spectrum, including international politics, security matters, constitutional systems, search and rescue work, natural resources, biodiversity and other aspects of political development.

Also offered:

Is Polar Law for you?

  • Are you interested in developments in the Arctic?
  • Are you interested in the rights of indigenous peoples and other inhabitants of the Arctic?
  • Do you find international politics exciting?
  • Do you want to know more about administrative practices in the Antarctic?
  • Do you have good English language skills?
  • Would you like to work in an international environment?
  • Do you want to learn how to argue your opinion?

Emphases in the programmes

Studies in Polar Law revolve around the legal environment and administrative practices of the Arctic and Antarctic, equally in the fields of international law, national law and regional law.

The issues are numerous and relate, for example, to sovereignty issues and boundary disputes on land and sea, the rights of indigenous peoples in the North, self-government and good governance, and land and resource claims in Polar regions.

Much emphasis is placed on international cooperation with other universities. 

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

On completion of studies

Studies in Polar Law prepare students for work in the public and private sectors, with international organisations, the NGO sector, with indigenous peoples in the Arctic, and with universities and research institutions.

The Master’s programmes (LLM and MA) also constitute good preparation for doctoral studies or further research on Polar issues and national law.

Admission requirements

As a general rule, students shall have completed a BA/BS degree or a comparable programme at accredited universities.

How to apply?

Programmes in Polar Law are open for applications every other year through our online application portal.  

If you are from Canada, Russia or the United States, please note that you will require a study permit from the Directorate of Immigration and keep in mind the time necessary to gather the necessary documentation as well as the Directorate’s estimated processing times. The University of Akureyri is not responsible for any decisions or delays at the Directorate.

The next round of applications will be in Spring 2023 for a Fall 2023 start.


The quality of the programme and the mix of courses gives a well-rounded understanding of both legal and economic principles. The teachers were exceptionally good and I was impressed that the professors were active in legal fields in the Polar Regions.

Sune Tamm
Project Developer at Arctic Trucks

Every course was relevant and helped me study the Polar Regions comprehensively and thoroughly and they all were highly relevant regarding contemporary Arctic and Antarctic legal issues. The quality of the teaching was exemplary

Romain Francois R. Chuffart
Doctoral candidate at University of Lapland

The university’s program of Polar Law, could not be better suited to equip and enable people to address genuine issues that are happening in today's circumpolar north. The University of Akureyri is offering a program unparalleled by any other. The professors are specialists in their fields and have assembled here to share their knowledge in a masterful scheme unfolding in intensive, efficient, short duration classes.

It has been a real privilege to have the opportunity to attend the Polar Law Program at the University of Akureyri.

Liza Petenuzzo
MA Polar Law candidate, 2nd year