Nature and Environmental Science

The Nature and Environmental Science is a 3 year program of study which aims to give students the basic understanding of nature, natural processes, on a broad, multi-disciplinary basis in biological, geological, and environmental sciences.  Emphasis is made on understanding ecosystems, functions and components.  The graduates should have an intergraded understanding of the fundamentals of living systems and their interactions with the physical environment, and sustainable use of natural resources. 

The Nature and Enviromental Science program has four streams:
Natural History Stream
Natural Resources Stream
National Parks& Protected Areas Stream
Nature & History Stream

Language(s) of instruction/examination
Icelandic, only occasionally in English or Scandinavian languages. Most textbooks are in English or Scandinavian languages.

Level of qualification
Three years at first cycle (level 2) of higher education according to National Qualification Framework for Higher Education in Iceland.

Official length of programme
Full time study for three academic years.

Admission requirements
Icelandic matriculation examination (studentsprof: school leaving examination after four years of secondary school) or another secondary examination which the University board regards as equivalent.

Mode of study
Full time studies - 180 ECTS.

Programme requirements
The Nature and Environmental Science is a 3 year program of study which aims to give a multi-disciplinary basis in biological, geological, and environmental sciences. The Nature and Environmental Science /Natural Resources Stream gives the student a basic understanding of natural resources and sustainable use of these resources. Students develop an inter-disciplinary understanding of fundamental concepts of natural resources, their functions, processes and management. In the studies, the focus is both on Icelandic nature and resources as well as global perspective, to enhance students' knowledge of a wide range of disciplinary perspectives and develop their ability to integrate scientific and management issues. The students are given a broad scientific education, including training in handling and interpretation of quantitative information and the ability to plan and carry out desk, laboratory or field based nature research under supervision. In their studies, students are required to work independently and work with others on special issues in natural resource management, including collecting relevant data, analysis and interpretation and delivering results, written and orally. The study line gives a multi-disciplinary foundation of knowledge, understanding and skills required for further study and research within a broad field of natural sciences. 

180 ECTS credits have to be completed for the qualification or 60 ECTS credits per year. Obligatory courses are 140 ECTS credits, including basic natural science courses (90 ECTS), management courses (30 ECTS) and planning courses (20 ECTS). Optional courses, equivalent to 40 ECTS come already in the 2nd fall to give the students an opportunity take both basic and advanced courses from other programs within AUI during their studies. Students can add either forestry, land reclamation, environmental planning or agricultural production to their natural resource management studies and graduate with special knowledge on one the above listed subjects. Students can also transfer ECTS from other universities to their studies. Students complete their studies with a research project of 10 ECTS credits. The students present the results of their research project in a written thesis.