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Small State Studies


Small State Studies: Small States in the International System

30 ECTS - Postgraduate Diploma

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The Faculty of Political Science and the Centre for Small States at the University of Iceland offer a graduate diploma (30 ECTS) in Small-State Studies with a special focus on small states in Europe.

The diploma is open to all students who have completed their undergraduate studies

About the studies

The diploma offers a detailed study of small state theories based on the literature on the state and the international system. It also emphasizes the opportunities and constraints facing small states in Europe, i.e. how they are affected by and have responded to the process of European integration, new security threats, globalization and other challenges.


Special attention is devoted to the Nordic states and their reactions to European integration. Another particular focus will be on Iceland's position - as a small state - in the international system. A detailed study of small states in Europe and internationally has never been so important. A vast majority of member states in today's European Union are most often categorised as small states.

Admission requirements

Graduate studies

BA, B.Ed., BS degree or equivalent qualification. All international applicants, whose native language is not English, are required to provide results of the TOEFL (79) or IELTS (6.5) tests as evidence of English proficiency.

See what it is all about

Students' comments

Tatiana Solovyeva
Small States Studies

The Small States Studies Graduate Diploma attracted me because it offers a unique opportunity to enter into the field which is both overarching and specific. This concise programme welcomes students with academic background in a variety of fields and focuses on the concept of smallness, and on the importance of small states being given a particular attention in the 21st century landscape with its ever-growing complexity and the new security threats. The program encourages each student to focus on particular area(s) of interest and explore in-depth a variety of gains and pains faced by small European states both domestically and internationally.

Yue Ma
Small States Studies

Small States Studies helps you understand the world from a totally different perspective.

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Learning Outcomes

At the end of the diploma students should have a solid knowledge of the position of small European states in the international system and in the context of ongoing European integration; a clear picture of the opportunities and constraints which small states face both domestically and internationally; and an understanding of how the European small states have responded to international challenges.

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Social Life

Students at the Faculty of Political Science run strong student associations that protect the students' interests and organise various events during the academic year. is a website containing useful information for students at the University.

Contact us

Student and Teaching Service at the School of Social

Gimli, Sæmundargata
102 Reykjavík, Iceland
Open weekdays 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Tel. +354 525 4500