University of Iceland

Environment and Natural Resources

Interdisciplinary graduate programme

Environment and Natural Resources

Academic programmes

Academic programmes

The interdisciplinary Environment and Natural Resources Master's Programme started in 2005, a PhD programme was added in 2011.

Master’s programme 120 ECTS - Organisation of the degree

The Master’s Programme 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, 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.
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 structure 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.


The ENR programme 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 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.
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