The University of Akureyri offers the following studies in Polar Law: a 120 ECTS programme leading to an MA degree; a 90 ECTS programme leading to a LLM degree; a 60 ECTS study at master level leading to a Graduate diploma; and individual courses in Polar law leading to a certificate. All courses in Polar Law are taught in English.
The University of Akureyri's established Polar Law masters programmes are now offered in cooperation with four other Universities within the West Nordic Studies, Governance and Sustainable Management interdisciplinary masters programme. Students from all the affiliated masters programmes will attend a joint first course, Introduction to Circumpolar Studies, in Akureyri in August 2015. Students continue their studies at their home institution but those following the West Nordic Studies study line will take at least one term's coursework from a partner university. In addition to the coursework, all students complete a substantial thesis.
The programme provides a unique focus on Polar law. It comes about in a timely fashion, when climate changes are having a dramatic effect on the Arctic and Antarctic, when the opening of new shipping routes is becoming probable, when current and potential boundary disputes on land and sea remain unresolved, when issues and questions of national and local governance are moving forward on national and international agendas, and, last but not least, when multiple threats to the environment are sending serious danger-signals and calling for urgent measures. One of the interesting areas of study to which this program can contribute concerns possible lessons that the legal regime for Antarctica could provide for solutions in the Arctic.
Polar Law describes the legal regimes applicable to the Arctic and the Antarctic. It is interdisciplinary, placing emphasis on relevant areas of public international law and social sciences. Subject areas include: environmental law; the law of the sea; sovereignty issues and boundary disputes on land and sea; natural resources governance; the rights of indigenous peoples in the North; self-government and good governance; economic development; Arctic security and Arctic strategies; and land and resource claims in Polar regions.
Every effort is made to ensure that all courses in this programme are gender-sensitive.
Students who have not yet completed an introductory course in public international law do so during their first semester of study.
Courses are taught by Guðmundur Alfreðsson, Alyson Bailes, Tom Barry, Giorgio Baruchello, Kees Bastmeijer, Joan Nymand Larsen, Erik Franckx, Soffía Guðmundsdóttir, Lassi Heininen, Jón Haukur Ingimundarson, Julia Jabour, Rachael Lorna Johnstone, Joan Larsen, Peter Ørebech and other leading academics and practitioners in the field of Polar law.
New students are admitted into the program in odd-number years. The application process will next be activated in January 2015. The deadline for the submission of applications is April 1, 2015 for residents outside the EU/EEA. June 5, 2015 for EU/EEA residents.
The Faculty recognises the diversity of backgrounds of the Polar Law students and is keen to offer a flexible study environment in which students can make the most of their study opportunity at the University of Akureyri. For that reason, a student may be exempted from otherwise mandatory courses if s/he can demonstrate that s/he has satisfactory competence from previous study or occupation or will obtain such competence during the study period in an alternative course.
Where an exemption is granted, the student should seek an alternative course or courses with relevance to Polar Law, either within the University of Akureyri or from another university, and ensure that s/he at all times has adequate academic credits to fulfil the obligations of the study line.
All such requests must be sent to the Curriculum and Credit-transfer Committee which will assess each on its merits, taking particular account of the stated learning outcomes for the Polar Law study line in question and the skills and competences demonstrable by the applicant or to be acquired in an alternative course (e.g. from a previous academic transcript or a current course description). In no case may the Curriculum and Credit-transfer Committee endorse such a change if the result would be that any learning outcome for the study line would not be achieved.
More info here.
Application Form here.