Iceland Academy of the Arts
Department of Design & Architecture
Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland Academy of the Arts
Department of Design & Architecture
Office of the Department of Design and Architect
105 Reykjavík

N 64° 8' 25.63'', E 64° 8' 25.63''

t: +354 5524000
Ragnarsson Hjalmar H.
Academy rector
Degree programmes
Faculty profile

Architectural studies are only taught at
one institution in Iceland, i.e. the Iceland
Academy of the Arts (IAA). The Iceland
Academy of the Arts is an independent,
self-governing, government funded and
accredited institution, founded in 1999.
It is the only institution in Iceland offering
university level education in the arts. At
present, the Academy offers instruction
on a bachelor level in four departments:
the Department of Fine Arts, the Department
of Design and Architecture, the
Department of Drama and the Department
of Music.

The Department of Design and Architecture is situated downtown Reykjavik, approximately 500 meters from the central bus station and the downtown shopping district.

Student Activities

An active student association is in the department.


Foreign students are offered help in finding private accomodation.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have completed a university entrance diploma (stúdentspróf: matriculation examination) or comparable course of study, preferrably including 30 credits from a secondary school art program. The selection is partly based on the applicants' achievement in this course of study, but primarily on the quality of the applicant's artistic portfolio.

Tuition fees

3000 Euros per year

Application Deadline


Bachelor, Bachelor programmes, 2-year programme, Bachelor,

Bachelor of Arts, 3-year(six semesters) programme
Bachelor of Arts in Architecture degree, gives access to masters and Ph.D (second cycle) studies.
Title: BA degree in Architecture
Number of students in the architecture program: 40 students, 21 women and 19 men

The Academy’s architecture program is
taught within the Department of Design
and Architecture. It is organized as
3-year, 180 ECTS program, which concludes
with a fi nal project (graduation
exhibition) and a written thesis. Each
semester is divided into three fi veweek
study periods. The Architecture
Program consists of practical training
in workshops /studios (108 ECTS),
techniques and methods (18 ECTS) and
theoretical courses (54 ECTS). Upon
completion of all coursework, projects
and examinations, the student receives
a BA degree.
The IAA architectural program was
established in the fall of 2002 and the
fi rst students receiving a bachelor’s
degree in architecture graduated in the
spring of 2005. During the school year
2005-2006, 40 students are enrolled in
program. The architectural bachelor degree
awarded at the IAA is a non-professional
The IAA Architecture Program is an
active member of the following organizations:
EAAE- European Association for
Architectural Education; and NORDARK
– the Nordic Academy of Architecture;
and participates in the activities of Cirrus
(a team of 20 universities from all
corners of Nordic and Baltic countries
founded in 1990) and Cumulus (the European
Association of Universities and
Colleges of Art, Design and Media).

The policy of the Department of Design
and Architecture is to teach methods of
solution-seeking based on a multidisciplinary
ideology and progressive technology.
The goal of the department is to be
a leading force in Icelandic society in the
fast-growing fi elds of information technology
and creativity.
The Department of Design and Architecture
strives to present students with a
methodology based on enquiry and critical
analysis which initiates reactions from
them and utilizes forms and materials appealing
to society. The goal is to educate
capable designers who are prepared to
accept a range of tasks using innovative
and critical approaches. The department
aims to provide students with a sound
knowledge and overview of a variety of
subject areas, techniques, norms and
media. The program challenges students
to develop organizational skills and artistic
insight, broaden their artistic perspectives,
and critically question traditional
Instruction in the fi rst year focuses on the
sharpening of the students’ creative and
organizational abilities. Students work
on a number of projects in the studios
with the purpose being to increase their
understanding of the two basic principles
of design: technique and theory.
Instruction in the second year is based on
the student’s ability to clearly and quickly
present his/her thoughts. Students should
have now adopted the designer’s way
of thinking, which entails continuously
looking for new answers to fundamental
questions and following the idea that there
are no answers or solutions which cannot
be questioned.
Most of the projects during the 2nd and
3rd years are specifi c and closely defi ned
so that students can apply specialized
techniques and methods in fi nding their
solutions. The program of study concludes
with a thesis and fi nal projects presented
at the graduation exhibition.
Instruction in the department is basically
divided into 2 parts; ½ formal teaching
and ½ hands-on project work in the studio.
Studio work is a central part of the study
program. The needs of the course determine
whether work in the studio is done
individually or in groups.

At present, no second cycle (MA, PhD)
architectural programs are offered in
Iceland. Thus, in order to receive a
professional degree, Icelandic students of
architecture must complete their studies in another country.

There is no PhD programme at this time.