Regulation on Master's study at the University of Iceland School of Health Sciences, no 60/2019.
with subsequent amendments
Article 1. Scope.
The Regulation on Master's study at the School of Health Sciences is established with consideration of the Regulation for the University of Iceland no. 569/2009. This regulation represents framework rules for the School. Some articles in this Regulation contain working procedures for individual faculties/programmes where relevant. The School of Health Sciences and its faculties shall set their own working procedures for the implementation of these framework rules. The working procedures as well as these framework rules shall appear on the School website. The website also includes related information, for example on Master's programmes with professional recognition.
Article 2. Objective of study.
It is possible to take Master's studies at the School of Health Sciences in those fields for which faculties deem the necessary facilities and expertise to be available. Chapters XI of the Regulation for the University of Iceland no. 569/2009 shall apply concerning subjects and academic titles. The objective of a Master's programme is that students should receive a good overview and insight into research methods in their subject and training in independent working methods and research, as well as a solid preparation for doctoral study and various employment, including in their field of specialisation. Students should also attain the learning outcomes set for their study programme and acquire the appropriate clinical skills where relevant.
The University of Iceland Graduate School shall oversee and follow up established standards and requirements for the quality of postgraduate studies at the University, 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 3. Standing committees.
Special standing committees shall operate within the faculties of the School of Health Sciences (postgraduate study committee, research-based study committee, Master's studies committee or other). A standing committee may serve more than one faculty, on the condition that all faculties in question have representatives on the committee. Departments shall have representatives on the faculty standing committees. Standing committees shall comprise 3-12 members, depending on the size of the faculty, elected by the faculty meeting / faculty council. A standing committee is elected for a two-year term and the majority of members shall be permanent members of teaching staff at the faculty. A standing committee shall handle matters relating to Master's study within the faculty or faculties in question. Its role is to, e.g., oversee the quality of Master's programmes, discuss applications, appoint Master's degree committees, evaluate Master's students' research proposals, evaluate applications for reading courses, approve changes to study plans and appoint external examiners where applicable, as well as performing any other tasks a faculty may assign it. A faculty may assign a department the responsibility of handling a standing committee's tasks in the relevant subject.
Article 4. Application deadline.
Information on application deadlines for Master's programmes shall appear on the websites of the School of Health Sciences and its faculties. The application deadline for Master's programmes is 15 April for domestic students and 1 February for international students. The application deadline is generally 15 October for enrolment in the spring semester, when permitted.
Article 5. Application.
Applications must be submitted to the University of Iceland Student Registration using a special electronic form available on the University website.
The following information must be submitted online with applications:
- A personal statement on the applicant's academic goals and interests.
- A CV and academic record.
- The names of two references, with email addresses and telephone numbers. If the reference is outside the faculty, the applicant must submit a reference letter. Faculties may choose to deviate from this provision.
- A certified transcript of a degree certificate, if the applicant has completed a BS degree at a university other than the University of Iceland.
- Name of prospective administrative supervisor, if relevant.
Faculties shall determine whether any other information must accompany an application.
Nurses who apply for clinical postgraduate studies in nursing or midwifery must also submit proof of a valid Icelandic nursing licence.
When the Student Registration has recorded the relevant information, applications are addressed by the faculty's standing committee. Following the committee's discussion, applicants are informed of its decision and a notification is sent to the Student Registration. Applicants shall generally receive a written response within six weeks following the application deadline. An applicant who fails to meet the faculty's admission requirements will be rejected. Rejections must be well reasoned. The faculty's decision shall be recorded in the Student Registration's electronic system.
Students must register annually for each upcoming academic year, and pay the registration fee. Registration and payment of the registration fee are a precondition for commencing or continuing study.
Article 6. Admission requirements.
Those applying for entrance into a Master's programme must generally have completed a BS degree from the University of Iceland or another university. Generally, a student's undergraduate degree should be in the same subject as the Master's programme. For clinical Master's programmes, an applicant must have an undergraduate degree in the same subject as the Master's programme. Faculties at the School of Health Sciences may offer research-based Master's programmes in interdisciplinary health sciences subjects for students from undergraduate programmes at the School or from other relevant subjects. Students are eligible to commence Master's studies if they have been accepted onto a Master's programme at a specific faculty in the School and have completed a BS degree with the minimum grade or performance stipulated for the Master's programme. The minimum grade is between 6.5 and 7.5, depending on the programme. Deviations may be made from the rule on minimum grades if the applicant has, e.g., demonstrated academic ability and/or ability in independent research.
Prerequisites and minimum grades for acceptance onto Master's programmes at individual faculties.
I. Faculty of Nursing.
- MS in [Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing or Midwifery:]1 Minimum grade: 6.5. Valid Icelandic nursing licence.
- Applicants to the MS in Midwifery must have completed a BS in Nursing from the University of Iceland or a comparable qualification. [Access to the MS in Midwifery with Professional Recognition or the MS in Psychiatric Nursing is subject to special enrolment restrictions approved by the University Council and outlined in the course catalogue.]1
II. Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
- MS in Pharmacy and MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences: Minimum grade: 6.5.
- MS in Clinical Pharmacy: MS in Pharmacy from the University of Iceland or a comparable qualification in pharmacy from another recognised in University. Minimum grade: 7.25. Access to the programme is subject to special enrolment restrictions, as approved by the University Council.
III. Faculty of Medicine.
- MS in Physical Therapy: Minimum grade: 6.5. Access to the programme is subject to special enrolment restrictions, as approved by the University Council. If applicants have completed a BS degree in another subject, the postgraduate study committee shall evaluate the programme and determine whether they should have to complete undergraduate credits before starting the MS and, if so, how many.
- Master's programmes in other subjects at the Faculty of Medicine: Minimum grade: 6.5.
IV. Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition.
- MS in Food Science: Minimum grade: 6.5.
- MS in Nutrition: Minimum grade 7.0. If applicants have completed a BS degree in another subject, the postgraduate study committee shall evaluate the programme and determine whether they should have to complete undergraduate credits before starting the MS and, if so, how many.
V. Faculty of Psychology.
- MS in Psychology: BS degree in psychology or comparable qualification. Minimum grade: 7.25, in general. An application is stronger if the applicant has demonstrated particular skills in research, studies or employment, for example by publishing scientific articles or through academic performance following the BS degree. In such cases the postgraduate study committee is authorised to propose deviation from the absolute admission requirements.
- Before being formally admitted to postgraduate studies in psychology, the student may be obliged to complete BS courses or assignments that are lacking in the opinion of the postgraduate study committee.
- Access to the MS in Applied Psychology is subject to special enrolment restrictions, as approved by the University Council.
VI. Faculty of Odontology.
MS in Odontology: cand. odont. degree or BS degree in the natural sciences or a comparable qualification. Minimum grade: 6.5.
VII. Interdisciplinary programmes with the involvement of faculties at the School of Health Sciences.
Master's programmes in interdisciplinary subjects: Minimum grade: 6.5.
1Amended with Article 1 of Regulation no. 114/2022.
Article 7. Number of credits and length of study.
A Master's programme at the School of Health Sciences is 120 credits, cf. Chapter XI of the Regulation for the University of Iceland no. 569/2009. Clinical Pharmacy is an exception from this rule, being 90 credits, since applicants must have also completed a Master's degree in pharmacy. A Master's thesis may be 30-90 credits. Other credits shall be earned through participation in courses and seminars. All things being equal, a Master's student may not take more than 15 credits in custom reading courses. A reading course may be in a research area which is related to the student's final project, but is not part of the main project. The length of the programme should be two years (four semesters).
The maximum length of time permitted for completing a Master's degree is six semesters from the time of initial registration in the programme in question. Master's students may, however, be registered in part-time study for up to four years. Each academic year, part-time students must complete at least half of the credits required for full-time study, and must complete the programme no later than four years after enrolling. Faculties may establish further rules concerning student progression. Students must be registered and pay the registration fee for the duration of the period of study. Faculty guidelines appear in the working procedures on the School website.
Requirements from individual faculties regarding number of credits and length of study.
I. Faculty of Nursing.
- [A student who has completed a four-years BS degree in Nursing may apply to have up to 30 credits evaluated towards the MS in Nursing and up to 20 credits towards the MS in Psychiatric Nursing.]1 A student may apply to have credits transferred from comparable studies at the Master's level taken outside the Faculty of Nursing. These studies must, however, be connected to the student's area of study.
- Students accepted onto the MS in Midwifery with Professional Recognition may not apply to have credits transferred to the MS programme but must have completed certain elective courses in accordance with the Faculty rules.
II. Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
- Out of the 120 credits making up the Master's programme in pharmacy, 40 are for the research project which shall generally be completed in the second year of the programme and represent at least 20 weeks of full-time work on the student's part.
- The Master's programme in clinical pharmacy is organised as a vocational programme at the Landspítali University Hospital and shall take 3 years for a student in 50% studies. The maximum length of study is five years. The programme is 90 credits.
III. Faculty of Psychology.
- MS in Psychology: Special projects and custom reading courses may account for a maximum of 20 credits. M-courses at the Faculty of Psychology and G-courses outside the Faculty may account for a maximum of 20 credits. All special projects, M and G-courses are dependent on the approval of the postgraduate study committee. The committee may set special requirements regarding minimum grades and credit value.
- MS in Applied Psychology: There are four specialisations on the applied psychology programme.
IV. Faculty of Odontology.
Students who have completed a Candidate's degree in odontology shall have 30 credits transferred to the Master's programme. Students may receive up to 30 extra credits for predefined courses from the odontology programme. The minimum grade for any courses counted towards the Master's programme is 6.0. The length of the Master's programme following completion of a cand. odont. degree is three semesters. Presentations at conferences may account for a maximum of 4 of the 120 credits making up a Master's programme.
1Amended with Article 2 of Regulation no. 114/2022.
Article 8. Composition of study.
Study programmes involve training in scientific working methods and are composed of general and specialised courses, as well as the research project. Courses are either mandatory or elective. If an individual research project, for example a thesis, makes up the majority of a programme (≥60 credits), the student must submit a research proposal using a form available on the faculty/department website. A research proposal shall also be submitted for a smaller research project (>60 credits) where faculty/department rules so require. The research proposal shall include information on the current status of knowledge, scientific and practical value, a clear research question, methodology and organisation of work, a work schedule and the student's role in the project. A research proposal for a project beginning in the autumn must generally be submitted before 15 April, or before 15 October for a project beginning in the spring.
Article 9. Undergraduate courses as part of a Master's programme.
In exceptional circumstances, a faculty may allow a Master's student to take undergraduate courses for a maximum of 20 credits unless the undergraduate programme is more than 180 credits. Thorough reasoning must be provided for such decisions. Minimum grades for undergraduate courses should be a whole grade higher than the stated minimum grade for the course in question.
Article 10. Administrative supervisor and academic supervisor.
Every Master's student shall have an administrative supervisor who is a permanent member of academic staff at the relevant University of Iceland faculty. The administrative supervisor, together with the student, shall submit a plan for the Master's project to be approved by the faculty's standing committee. An academic supervisor shall assist the student with the Master's thesis. The administrative supervisor and the academic supervisor shall generally be the same person. Students may have external academic supervisors if these individuals meet the requirements stipulated in this Regulation. Students can discuss the Master's project and anything else connected to the programme with the academic supervisor and the administrative supervisor. If the administrative supervisor and academic supervisor are not the same person, the administrative supervisor shall be responsible for ensuring that the project conforms with the requirements of the faculty in question. The academic supervisor, along with the administrative supervisor, shall provide the student with guidance on the Master's project. They shall both be members of the Master's degree committee.
Article 11. Requirements of administrative supervisors, academic supervisors and other persons assessing studies and research projects.
An administrative supervisor must always be either a permanent member of academic staff (lecturer, senior lecturer or professor) in the subject in question or a specialist who has passed an appropriate qualifications assessment. Academic supervisors of Master's students must have completed at least a Master's degree or equivalent in the relevant academic field. Care must be taken to ensure that students' projects fall under the specialisations of their academic supervisors. Academic supervisors of Master’s students, whether they are permanent teaching staff at the University of Iceland or not, must be recognised experts in the field in question and have published works connected to the student’s project in an outlet that makes rigorous academic demands.
Article 12. Master's degree committees and external examiners.
A special Master's degree committee shall be appointed for projects worth 60 credits or more, cf. item 11 of Article 69, Regulation for the University of Iceland no. 569/2009, and also for smaller projects (<60 credits) if faculty/department rules so require. This committee shall be composed of 2-3 members: the administrative supervisor, the academic supervisor and another individual, who shall generally be a permanent member of academic staff at the faculty in question. In exceptional circumstances, an external member may sit on the committee, on the condition that this individual holds at least a Master's degree. The faculty standing committee shall appoint the Master’s degree committee. The role of the Master's degree committee is to ensure the academic quality of the research work in accordance with faculty regulation, and also that the student's progression is in line with the study plan. The Master's degree committee shall hold regular meetings with the student and approve progress reports which the student shall submit after every semester, as appropriate.
The School dean shall appoint one or two external examiners having received faculty recommendations. Only those who have completed a Master's degree or equivalent qualification in the subject to be assessed and are recognised in their field may be appointed as external examiners. The role of an external examiner is to assess the Master's thesis. Each faculty shall publish rules or criteria for the assessment of Master's theses and the arrangement of assessment. An external examiner may not be a member of teaching staff at the University of Iceland. If no suitable examiner outside of the University can be found in Iceland who fulfils the aforementioned requirements, the dean is authorised to appoint someone from within the University to the position, having received a recommendation from the faculty.
Article 13. Assessment and Master's examinations.
The minimum grade for courses and the Master's thesis is 6.0 unless the faculty determines otherwise, cf. Article 61 of the Regulation for the University of Iceland no. 569/2009. Where a Master's degree committee has been appointed, it must ensure that students submit an overview of their academic record and completed Master's thesis to the standing committee. The standing committee shall discuss the overview and report and determine whether the project shall proceed to assessment/defence.
Where the project is worth 30 credits, a student is generally permitted to complete a Master's degree without a Master's defence unless the specific faculty rules stipulate otherwise. The academic supervisor shall also award a grade. The grades awarded by the academic supervisor and the external examiner shall be equally weighted in the final grade. In other cases, a Master's defence or public lecture is held. An examination supervisor, appointed by the standing committee, shall preside over a Master's defence / public lecture. At a defence / public lecture, the student is assessed. The external examiner(s) shall, together with the academic supervisor, evaluate the project and the student's performance and award a project grade (0-10) or pass/fail grade.
Further provisions on assessment and Master's degrees from individual faculties.
I. Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
In order to receive an MS in Pharmacy, an MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences or an MS in Clinical Pharmacy, a student must receive a minimum grade of [6.0]1 in each course taken, as well as in all components of individual courses. For further details, see paragraphs 4 and 5, Article 100 of the Regulation for the University of Iceland no. 569/2009. The student's average grade from all courses must not be lower than 6.0.
II. Faculty of Psychology.
- In order to graduate with an MS in Psychology, the student's weighted average grade for all graded courses shall be at least 7.0.
- In order to graduate with an MS in Applied Psychology, the student's weighted average grade for all graded courses shall be at least 7.0.
1Amended with Article 1 of Regulation no. 1127/2020.
Article 14. Submission and format of Master's theses.
Master's theses shall be submitted either in printed or electronic form to the faculty. Faculties shall determine the thesis submission deadline. With regards to the format of Master's theses, students must comply with the guidelines of the faculty from which they will graduate. The student must cover any potential cost of printing the thesis. The student must save an electronic version in the Skemman database. The Master's thesis shall include a detailed introduction outlining the status of research in the field, methods and methodology used, results and discussion. The bibliography shall be in accordance with standard practice in academic journals. If the student has written an article or articles for publication, these may be part of the thesis. The thesis shall mention the institute in which the research was conducted and also identify the administrative supervisor and academic supervisor. It must be clearly indicated that the project was completed at the University of Iceland and any funds that financed the project shall be identified.
Article 15. Academic title.
A Master's degree completed in accordance with these rules confers, as appropriate, the academic title of Magister/Magistra Scientiarum (MS) in: Applied psychology, biomedical science, biostatistics, clinical nutrition, clinical pharmacy, clinical psychology, epidemiology, food science, health informatics, health sciences, medical life sciences, movement sciences, midwifery, midwifery with professional recognition, nursing, nutrition, odontology, pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy, physical therapy, psychology, public health sciences, radiography, speech pathology.
Article 16. Connections with other faculties and other universities.
Students may take part of a Master's programme at another university, a faculty within another University of Iceland school or a recognised research or scientific institute, with the approval of the faculty. A Master's degree may also be jointly awarded with another university or another University of Iceland school or faculty.
Article 17. Entry into force etc.
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. This Regulation has been approved by the faculties and governing board of the School of Health Sciences and by the Graduate School, cf. Articles 66 and 69 of the Regulation for the University of Iceland no. 569/2009. This Regulation enters into force immediately. At the same time, Regulation no. 140/2014 is repealed.
University of Iceland, 11 January 2019.