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Regulation no. 351-2017

Regulation on Master's study at the University of Iceland School of Humanities, no. 351/2017.

Authorised translation

Article 1.  Study programmes and objectives.

The School of Humanities offers Master's programmes in the subjects specified in Chapter XII of the Regulation for the University of Iceland no. 569/2009 with subsequent amendments (Articles 109, 111, 113 and 115).

A Master's degree may be a final degree or preparation for doctoral studies. Each faculty shall set learning outcomes for the subjects studied at that faculty.

The University of Iceland Graduate School shall oversee established standards and requirements for the quality of postgraduate studies at the University of Iceland and ensure they are implemented, cf. Article 66 of the Regulation for the University of Iceland, No. 569/2009. Any information requested by the Graduate School must be supplied.

Article 2.  Admission requirements.

Applicants for a Master's programme must have completed a BA degree, conferring access to the second cycle of higher education, in the same subject, or an equivalent qualification from a recognised university with a minimum grade of 7.25 or the equivalent.  Students planning to begin a Master's programme immediately after completing a BA may apply before the end of that programme. However, nobody may formally commence the Master's programme before fully meeting the admission requirements. Admission requirements for individual subjects are outlined in the course catalogue.

Students applying for a Master's programme in a subject other than the one they studied at undergraduate level may lack essential knowledge from the undergraduate programme. The faculty's postgraduate study committee shall determine, based on the recommendations of the department, which courses the student must complete before starting the Master's programme. Prerequisite studies must be specified in the study plan.

Article 3.  Application deadline.

The application deadline for Master's programmes at the School's faculties shall be the same as the University of Iceland sets for postgraduate studies. Students may enrol both in the autumn and spring semester.

Article 4.  Length of study and number of credits.

A Master's programme following a BA degree is generally 120 ECTS, of which the thesis component is 30 or 60 ECTS. 90 ECTS Master's programmes are also offered for some subjects, where the thesis is 30 ECTS. A 120 ECTS programme should take two years (four semesters), and a 90 ECTS programme should take one and a half years (three semesters). Master's students on a 120 ECTS programme must have completed the programme no later than three years (six semesters) after enrolling. Master's students for a 90 ECTS programme must have completed the programme no later than two and a half years (five semesters) after enrolling.

Students may apply to the postgraduate study committee for an extension of one year or study leave. A conditional extension may be granted, obliging the Master's student to meet current requirements for Master's study, despite having enrolled while other rules applied.

Master's students must take at least half of the ECTS for the programme at the faculty at which they are registered.

To graduate from the School's faculties, a student must achieve an average grade of 6.0.

Article 5.  Faculty postgraduate study committees.

Faculty postgraduate study committees are elected at a faculty meeting and serve for two years. The postgraduate study committee manages postgraduate studies at the faculty. Its role is to oversee the quality of Master's programmes, manage the application process and perform any other duties the faculty may assign to it. The postgraduate studies committee comprises three to five representatives of teaching staff, one Master's student representative and one doctoral student representative. The chair of the committee, selected by the faculty head from among the elected members, sits on the School's doctoral studies committee.

Article 6.  Processing of applications.

Applications must be submitted online to Student Registration using a special form available on the University website. The project manager for the faculty at the School of Humanities Office reviews applications and ensures that the required information is enclosed. Applications are then sent to the faculty, department or subject, as applicable, who shall conduct a full assessment before making a recommendation to the postgraduate study committee that they be accepted or rejected. The postgraduate study committee shall process applications under the authority of the faculty after consulting with the head of department or head of faculty as appropriate.

The project manager for the faculty at the School of Humanities office, who is also the secretary for the faculty postgraduate study committee, will contact applicants to inform them of the committee's decision. The faculty's decision shall be recorded in the digital Student Register.

Article 7.  Administrative supervisor and academic supervisor.

Each Master's student shall from the beginning of the programme have an administrative supervisor, who advises the student on the organisation of the programme, course selection, relevant regulations or any other aspects of their studies. An administrative supervisor must always be a permanent member of academic staff at the relevant faculty. The academic supervisor for the thesis is generally a permanent member of staff at the faculty, although the faculty may authorise a student to have an external academic supervisor. An external supervisor must have completed at least a Master's degree and be a recognised specialist in the relevant field.

Article 8.  Master's degree committee.

A Master's degree committee is generally not appointed for a 30 ECTS thesis. However, it is permissible to appoint a Master's degree committee in these circumstances and mandatory if the administrative supervisor and academic supervisor are not the same person. Both supervisors shall then be members of the committee. A Master's degree committee must also be appointed for a 60 ECTS thesis. The committee must contain at least two academic specialists, one of whom shall be the academic supervisor. The role of the Master's degree committee is to guarantee the academic quality of the research. The faculty postgraduate study committee shall appoint the Master's degree committee.

Article 9.  External examiner.

The School dean shall appoint an external examiner, nominated by the faculty postgraduate study committee, to assess Master's theses. External examiners shall generally be external to the University. They must have at least a Master's degree in the relevant field and be recognised specialists in their area of work. The external examiner shall assess the thesis along with the academic supervisor, or the Master's degree committee if one has been appointed. The external examiner must not have any connection to the student's final project.

If there is no eligible examiner in Iceland outside the University, the School dean is authorised to appoint a member of academic staff at the University of Iceland as external examiner. In exceptional circumstances, the dean may appoint an external examiner from within the faculty.

Article 10.  Coursework requirements.

All students must have completed at least 60 ECTS in coursework (including seminars, reading courses and individual projects) in order to graduate with a Master's degree from faculties at the School of Humanities. Available courses, and their division into mandatory and elective courses, are determined by the subject in question, with the approval of the faculty postgraduate study committee. This information is outlined in the course catalogue. Should a student, upon enrolling, have already completed studies comparable to a certain mandatory course, the postgraduate study committee may agree that an elective course be taken in its place. Courses must be postgraduate level at the University of Iceland (M and F courses) or other recognised research universities.

All courses must conclude with appropriate assessment in accordance with the defined study plan. Courses taken at recognised universities other than the University of Iceland must be completed in conformity with the requirements of that university.

In general, undergraduate courses (from BA programmes) cannot be assessed as part of a Master's programme (at the University of Iceland, such courses are marked G). Interdisciplinary research may, however, mean that undergraduate courses at other faculties are deemed an essential part of the programme. Generally, a maximum of 10 ECTS of essential undergraduate coursework may be accumulated towards a Master's degree.

Article 11.  Assessment and Master's examinations.

The academic supervisor (or the Master's degree committee if one has been appointed) and the external examiner grade the thesis independently and these grades are weighted equally. They shall endeavour to come to a shared conclusion.

Students on a 120 ECTS Master's programme shall deliver a lecture on the thesis at an appropriate forum within the faculty. It is permissible to assess this lecture as part of the Master's thesis and examine the student following the lecture. The external examiner and the academic supervisor, or Master's degree committee if one has been appointed, shall assess the thesis.

Article 12.  Master's thesis requirements.

The Master's thesis may be 30 or 60 ECTS. Requirements for thesis credit value are published in the course catalogue and on the School website under the relevant programme.
The Master's thesis must consist of research in a specific, coherent subject area, which is explored thoroughly using academic methodology. The introduction must outline the subject area, research questions and methodology.

Conclusions must be presented in a clear and accessible manner. General requirements for the Master's thesis are that it must conform to recognised academic research methods and represent an independent contribution to the creation of knowledge in the field. The Master's thesis should generally be written in Icelandic or in the usual teaching language for the subject. Every thesis must include an abstract in Icelandic and English.

Article 13.  Submission and format of the Master's thesis.

The Master's thesis shall be delivered to the School of Humanities office in two copies by the deadline set in the academic calendar and course catalogue.

The Master's thesis shall conform to the School’s template for Master's theses.

Requirements for the length and format of the Master's thesis can be found on the School website and in the course catalogue under the relevant programme. The thesis title page shall include the University of Iceland logo and state the name of the supervisor, the subject and date of completion. In the case of joint degrees awarded with another university or universities in accordance with a special agreement, the logos of both or all universities involved must appear on the title page of the thesis. The student shall also submit a digital copy of the thesis to Skemman, the database of the National and University Library.

Students shall format the thesis and handle sources in accordance with standard practices in the subject in which they will graduate, on condition that these practices are consistent with recognised standards in the field of study.

Article 14.  Academic title.

A Master's degree confers the right to the academic title magistra artium or magister artium, and use of the abbreviation MA. A professional certification degree in theology confers the right to the academic title magistra theologiae or magister theologiae, and use of the abbreviation mag. theol.

Article 15.  Entry into force.

This Regulation is established by the University Council in accordance with the authority of paragraph 3, Article 18 of the Act on Public Higher Education Institutions, No. 85/2008, cf. also Article 69 of the Regulation for the University of Iceland, No. 569/2009. This Regulation has been approved by the board of the School of Humanities, after receiving an evaluation from the faculties and the Graduate School, cf. Articles 66 and 69 of the Regulation for the University of Iceland, No. 569/2009. The Regulation shall enter into force 1 July 2017. At the same time Regulation no. 154/2011 on Master's and doctoral studies at the University of Iceland School of Humanities is repealed.

University of Iceland, 7 April 2017.