University of Iceland

Icelandic Studies for international students

Icelandic Studies for international students


The School of Humanities has a great deal to offer both exchange and regular international students. Among the main attractions is the BA-programme in Icelandic as a second language and the MA-degree in Medieval Icelandic Studies (taught in English).

Icelandic as a Second Language
Icelandic as a second language comprises two main sections: a language component, where students receive instruction and training in writing, speaking and understanding modern Icelandic, and a cultural component, which deals with the language, literature and history of Iceland. In this latter component, students read both medieval and modern Icelandic literature and receive instruction in ancient and modern history as well as studying the morphology, syntax and phonetics of modern Icelandic. Together, the language and the cultural components form a whole in which students see how they have interacted historically as well what influence they continue to exert on one another.

Icelandic as a second langauge is an option available to all international students: Regular students who wish to complete one year, two years or three years of a BA programme, exchange students who wish to study Practical Icelandic during their exchange period in Iceland, or any international students in other academic disciplines who wish to take a course or two in Icelandic language or culture.

MA in Medieval Icelandic Studies 
This programme is run in cooperation with the Manuscript Institute and the Sigurður Nordal Institute. The course is aimed at providing postgraduate students with the necessary tools to study Old/Medieval Icelandic texts in the original and in their manuscript context, with a special emphasis on interdisciplinary study. Classes are taught in English.

The candidates for the MA in Medieval Icelandic Studies are required to have finished the course Icelandic Online, which may be found free of charge online at, or equivalent courses in Icelandic or Old Icelandic, either at their home universities or in Iceland. The candidates will be able to attend courses in Modern Icelandic for international students at the University of Iceland during the academic year, depending on the timetable of the courses.

Courses taught in English
The faculty offers various single courses taught in English

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