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. The Polar Law studies are, for example, part of the West Nordic Studies Master’s Programme, which is an international collaboration of universities on interdisciplinary Master’s studies in West Nordic Studies.

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. The next application deadline is in 2021.


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 reaching was exemplary

Romain Francois R. Chuffart
Doctoral candidate at University of Lapland

The Polar Law programme is not only law. By including materials such as Arctic human development report and Arctic Social indicators, the Polar Law programme has a high relevance in adding to the understanding of the complexity of the region. The quality of the teaching is very high and the study materials is interesting, combining both social and legal materials.

Mikael Lundmark
Asylum Officer for Swedish Immigration

Let’s be honest: coming to Akureyri for these studies feels like the best choice I have ever made for myself. I have never learned so much out of a single program before: the content, the mix and the relevance of the courses have largely met my expectations

Mana Tugend
Current Polar Law candidate, 2nd year