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Masters in Environmental Science

The earth is undergoing environmental changes that are historically unique. Increased levels of greenhouse gases are changing the climate; depletion of harvestable fish species and desertification are threatening food security; and air and water pollution are affecting human and environmental health. Explaining the causes and consequences, reporting on the relevant issues or designing the appropriate counteractive and management methods are well beyond the abilities of a single environmental science graduate programs.


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About The -masters in environmental Science-and natural resources interdisciplinary degree Degree Program

Academic programmes

The interdisciplinary environmental science graduate programs in Environment and Natural Resources  started in 2005, a PhD programme was added in 2011.

Organisation of the environmental science graduate programs 

The Masters in Environmental Science degree program carried out by one of the best school of environmental studies in Europe is a two-year programmes, consisting 120 ECTS, divided between core classes, electives and a research thesis (30 or 60 ECTS). Most courses amount to 6 ECTS, indicating that each student takes approximately 5 courses each semester.
Students are expected to complete courses from different disciplines as fa as they share an interest in the Masters in Environmental Science , fostering a broad understanding of environmental and resource issues, and to complete a research project (final thesis). The research project offers an opportunity to explore a chosen subject in greater depth and acquire research experience.
Most students are expected to have a background in one of six different fields: Engineering, natural or physical science, social science, law, humanities, or economics and business. They are required to broaden their knowledge and understanding by taking courses in at least two additional fields, chosen in consultation with their appointed supervisor.
Due to the interdisciplinary structure of the ENR programme, students graduate from different Faculties within UI and graduating Faculty is dependent on thesis advisor’s home faculty. Research topic and thesis advisor have to be approved by ENR academic staff


Students choose one of five specializations when they apply. See more in Course Catalogue.
  • Environment and Natural Resources.
  • Sustainable Energy and Industrial Systems.
  • Environmental Management, Science and Policy.
  • Natural Resource Management.
  • Renewable Energy – Energy Economics, Policy and Sustainability.

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The masters in environmental science consists of core courses, restrictive electives, electives and a research thesis. Students can choose wether to do a 30 or a 60 ECTS research thesis, 30 ECTS corresponds to one semester of work and 60 ECTS corresponds to two semesters of work. In total students will complete 60 to 90 ECTS in courses, depending on the size of the research thesis. Details about courses can be found in the Course Catalogue.
All students in environmental science graduate program are required to complete the following two mandatory courses and one restrictive elective:
  • Orientation for ENR students 1 ECTS, taught at the beginning of fall semester in last week of August.
  • Science communication and thesis writing 2 ECTS, completed in the second year either in fall semester or spring semester.
  • One research method course as a restrictive elective (5-10 ECTS). Students choose appropriate course in consultation with their thesis advisor and ENR academic staff.
Students in the specializations Environment and Natural Resources, Sustainable Energy and Industrial Systems, Environmental Management, Science and Policy and Natural Resource Management must complete the following courses:
  • Introduction to Environment and Natural Resources 6 ECTS
  • Sustainable Development, Environmental Policy and Resource Management 6 ECTS
  • Environmental Governance 6 ECTS
In addition, those who have not already studied ecology or ethics of the environment at the university level also need to complete courses in these fields. The appropriate courses are:
  • Ecology B 6 ECTS
  • Ethics of Nature 6 ECTS
Students in the specialization Renewable Energy – Energy Economics, Policy and Sustainability are required to complete the following courses:
  • Renewable energy: introduction 6 ECTS
  • Energy economics, energy policy and sustainable development 10 ECTS
  • Interdisciplinary group project within renewable energy 4 ECTS
  • Sustainable energy options 6 ECTS
  • Life-Cycle analysis 6 ECTS

PhD programme 180 ECTS

A three year theoretical and practical research-based postgraduate programme of studies, qualifying for the degree of philosophiae doctor, Ph.D. Admission requirements are a MS or MA degree in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Iceland with a minimum average grade of 7.25, or an equivalent degree from an other University with a minimum grade of 7.25. The doctoral programme is primarily based on the doctoral candidate’s independent research, culminating in the doctoral dissertation.

Admissions criteria

General requirements

Related Online Courses:  Masters in Computer Science

In order to be eligible for the Environment and Natural Resources Master’s Programme, a student must have completed a B.A./B.S. degree at the University of Iceland, or a comparable degree from another University – first class. First class refers to grade point average of at least 7.25 on a scale from 1-10 in Iceland or a grade of 80% in other grading system. This is regardless of the subject of previous degrees.

The ENR Programme Board can require a student to submit information as to the nature and substance of his/her studies if the fulfilment of this requirement is in question.
It should be noted that student permits for entry and/or residence in Iceland, as well as financing, are the responsibility of applicants. For more general information concerning conditions for entry and residence in Iceland, the Directorate of Immigration should be contacted. Please note that the Directorate of Immigration can take up to three months to process residence applications. An application can be sent to the Directorate of Immigration only after the Programme Board has accepted an application.

Competence in English
The language of instruction is English and an adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. Applicants whose first language is a language other than English and who do not hold an undergraduate degree from an institution at which English is the language of instruction must submit scores from official language test score (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.). Applicants may be exempt from providing a TOEFL or IELTS score if certain criteria is met. More information about English proficiency and exemptions.

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Tuition Fee

Students registering at Iceland Universities do not have to pay tuition fees

Application Deadline

1st Feburary Each year

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