First Cycle Programmes
All higher education institutions in Iceland accredited by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture under to the Higher Education Institutions Act, follow the National Qualification Framework (NQF) for higher education in Iceland. The National Qualification Framework (NQF) is in accordance with the European Qualification Framework and describes the qualifications graduated students are to master when they finish their studies on the various levels. The NQF for higher education and degrees contains a description of the structure for studies and degrees, where the emphasis is placed on a description of a student’s knowledge and competence at the end of a course of study. The NQF contains clear guidelines on the structure of courses of studies and for the degree the universities will award.
Institutions of higher education vary in the extent to which they engage in research and the number of programmes of study offered. The higher education institutions can also be categorized into four groups according to their specialisation: there are two agricultural institutions, one academy of the arts and four institutions offering wide ranges of studies.
At the first cycle programme level (bachelor level), studies normally take three years to complete (180 – 240 ECTS credits).