University of Iceland

Credit system and grades

Credit system

University Centre visitorsFull-time studies for one academic year at the University of Iceland count as 60 credits (ECTS), 30 credits/ECTS each semester, according to the Higher Education Act no. 63/2006 and the decision of the University Council, 17 January 2008. This credit system was adopted as of the 2008-2009 academic year, which meant that the number of credits for individual courses according to the previous credit system was doubled. A course that previously was worth 3 credits became a 6 credits course, etc. This change in the credit system was in accordance with the Higher Education Act of 2006. UI credits are now equal to ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System).

The total number of course credits for one instructional year is 60. This is not dependent on whether teaching weeks for the year are 26, 30 or more. Courses are assigned credits in accordance with their internal weight and the total of all course credits for the same instructional year is 60, or 30 per semester. The division of credits between semesters can differ in individual circumstances, for instance 28/32 instead of 30/30.

A student is permitted to register for up to 40 ECTS per semester. If a student wishes to register for more than 40 ECTS per semester the student is required to apply especially to the respective faculty. The application must be supported with sound arguments.

In most cases BA and BS degree programmes are now 180 ECTS (3 years). The BS degrees in nursing and physiotherapy, and the BA degree in social work, amount to 240 ECTS (4 years).

See further information on credit assessment and ECTS in the Course Catalogue.


Grades are awarded in whole numbers, or whole and half numbers, from 0-10. The main grade is the weighted average of all final grades and it is calculated to two decimal points. Grades on the scale of 9.00 to 10.00 are First Class with Distinction, 7.25-8.99 are First Class, 6.00-7.24 are Second Class and 5.00-5.99 are Third Class. A student is not considered to have passed a course unless the grade is 5.0. In accordance with the Rules for the University of Iceland faculties are permitted to provide exceptions in individual examinations, which are considered examination parts or examination categories with a special minimum grade. In the same manner faculties are permitted to demand higher or lower minimum grades for specific examinations, examination parts or examination categories. Special faculty provisions for minimum grades higher or lower than 5.0 in specific examinations, examination parts or examination categories are valid only for students of the respective faculty.

Students access their grades in the Ugla intranet, under "My courses". Students can request printed, standardised academic transcripts from the University Center Service Desk and the Student Registration.

Further information regarding assessment, grading and examinations can be found on individual school and faculty chapters in the Course Catalogue.

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