Reference work entry

Structure of Higher Education System


While pre-primary and compulsory education is the responsibility of municipalities, central government is responsible for the operation of upper secondary schools and higher education institutions. Although education in Iceland has traditionally been provided by the public sector, a certain number of private institutions are in operation today, primarily at the pre-primary, upper-secondary and higher education levels.

Stages of studies

University level first stage

Diploma/ Bachelor's degree

The first cycle of higher education includes 2 stages leading to (1) the Diploma (1 semester to 2 years' study) and (2) the Bachelor's degree (3 to 4 years' study).

University level second stage

Qualification at Master level/ Master's degree

The second cycle of higher education includes two stages leading to a qualification at Master level (1 semester to 2 years's study) and the Master´s degree (1 1/2 to 2 years' study).

University level third stage


Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2019

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