1. Bachelor Degree (BS, 180 ECTS)
The Agricultural University of Iceland shall be a research and educational institute at the tertiary level pursuant to Act No. 57/1999 concerning agricultural education, with subsequent amendments. It provides its students with education and scientific training such that they can undertake specialised work in Icelandic agriculture and related fields, and research for the benefit of these fields.
1.2 Entry requirements
An applicant needs to have completed a Matriculation Examination or other secondary level exam which the University Council deems equivalent and approves. Students from other universities can also take part of their studies at the Agricultural University if this is stipulated in a special agreement between the institutions. In order to enrol, a student must pay registration fees on time pursuant to Act No. 57/1999 regarding agricultural education.
1.3 Evaluation of previous studies
1.3.1 Other university studies
Students who have already completed a university subject equivalent to one offered by the Agricultural University of Iceland can receive credit for that subject. This is contingent upon the approval of the Education Committee. Official results for previous studies shall be provided before teaching begins in the subject concerned.
1.3.2 Professional experience
A student can apply to have professional experience in the field of study credited for up to 6 elective units (ECTS). Professional experience constitutes work of at least 2 months standing which is shown to increase the studentís competence or insight into working in her/his field. As a rule, applications to have professional experience replace an elective subject shall be submitted before the elective subject commences and shall include an outline from the prospective employer about what the studentís work will entail, along with comments from the teacher concerned. In order to gain approval from the Education Committee, the student shall provide a brief explanation of the work. In the record of results the units shall thus be listed without a course number but labelled Professional work with a grade of A (appraised). Such applications to have professional work credited shall be addressed to the Education Committee.
1.4 Course organisation
The University offers courses leading to degrees as announced each time. The maximum duration of a university programme is 50% more than the intended programme duration. The Education Committee is authorised to grant exceptions from the determined maximum course duration.
1.5 Subjects and units (ECTS)
AUI subjects are weighted by units and standardised ECTS subject units. 30 units (60 standardised ECTS units typically correspond to a yearís full-time study and reflect studentsí entire coursework. A uniform numbering system is in place for university subjects. According to this, each subject is identified by 6 digits: the first two digits denote the semester in which the subject is taught; the next two digits are the subjectís id number, with introductory subjects numbered 01 to 19, subjects taught jointly across two programmes numbered 20-39, subjects belonging to one programme numbered 40-79, and elective subjects numbered 80-99; and the last two digits show how many standardised units each subject comprises, with each unit corresponding to 50-60 hoursí work. A subject which is two units is numbered .02, a five-unit subject is numbered .05 and so forth.
Example: The subject number for ďThe Co-existence of land and nationĒ is 01.25.04, which shows that the subject is a preliminary subject taught in land-use and agricultural science, and is worth 4 units.
1.6 Teaching arrangements
The academic year is divided into autumn and spring semesters. Each semester may be broken into two terms with exams in the middle. There are 15 weeks of teaching in each semester and exams for two weeks at the end of each semester. There is a summer term in between spring and autumn for occupational education and research students, and for summer courses listed in the curriculum.
Instruction takes the form of lectures, projects, practical work, internships and field trips as per course outlines set in advance. In certain cases a subject may be taken partially or entirely by long-distance. The method of teaching and the assessment of subjects shall be described in the course outline which is determined in consultation with the Academic Coordinator and is made available at the beginning of each teaching period. Attendance is voluntary, but compulsory attendance may be specified in the course outline for parts of a course. Teaching may be offered in Scandinavian languages and English, provided this is mentioned in the course outline.
1.7.1 Exam periods, types of exams
Exams are usually held at the end of each semester. Supplementary exams (due to illness or failure) shall be held in August except when special circumstances require that such an exam be held at another scheduled exam period. All supplementary exams should be completed before the start of the next academic year. As a rule, the exam period shall not be longer than 2 weeks each semester. Before teaching begins, students register for those subjects they intend to take.
By enrolling in a subject a student is registering for the exam to be held at the end of the subject. If a student wishes to withdraw from an exam, this should be done in writing to the Academic Coordinator, no later than seven days before the exam. Exams can be oral, written or practical. Essays, reports and assignments may replace exams, or form part of assessment, and there may be a required minimum grade for each of these components. The Academic Coordinator and the respective teacher shall consult each other about assessment, and the subjectís course outline shall include details for students at the beginning of teaching.
1.7.2 Assessment of exams and right of appeal
Solutions to written exams shall be assessed by the respective teacher. A student has the right to view her/his exam solutions with a teacher and have the assessment explained if s/he requests. As a rule, this request shall be submitted no more than 10 days after the results are announced.
Viewing exams is arranged by agreement between a student and a teacher. If a student wishes to challenge a grade, s/he shall submit written comments to the Academic Coordinator within three working days of viewing the exam. Itís possible to lodge an appeal about assessment with the Education Committee which makes a decision concerning the appeal or nominates a moderator.
1.7.3 Administration of exams
Teachers, in consultation with the Academic Coordinator, are responsible for exams. In written exams, the subject loading determines the length of the exam: typically half an hour per subject unit in a final exam. Students with a certified reading disability and foreign students can request a longer exam time Ė ten minutes for each course unit.
Exam results shall be made available as quickly as possible and no later than on the eleventh business day after the exam. Final grades shall be available in time for graduations. Exam timetables shall be available no later than four weeks prior to the start of the respective exam period. The Education Office is responsible for recording and preserving grades, as well as for grades being provided to students. The Academic Coordinator or her/his deputy shall be available during the exam period.
1.7.4 Rules about sitting exams
a) Students should arrive punctually. A student who arrives more than 15 minutes after an exam has begun may not sit the exam.
b) In composite exams, students shall answer each part of the exam in a separate exam book.
c) No-one may hand in an exam paper before one hour of the scheduled exam time has lapsed. A student, who completes an exam before the scheduled exam time has passed, is permitted to leave the exam room but shall be careful not to disturb those who are still in the exam. At the end of the exam time all students must submit their exam papers immediately.
d) At the end of written exams, the exam questions, answers and loose notes must be handed in to the exam invigilator. Exam questions and answers from periodic exams are then retained at the University Library for 3 years.
e) Students may not have coats, bags, phones or other belongings which are not permissible aids with them at the exam table. All such belongings shall be left outside the exam room. One may not cause a disruption in an exam, e.g. with the consumption of food or beverages.
f) Students are only allowed to leave their exam table before finishing the exam to go to the toilet under the supervision of an attendant.
g) Students are not permitted to finish the exam without submitting an exam book with their name and ID number.
h) A student has the right to seek an explanation of the wording of an exam question. A teacher who holds an exam, or a substitute teacher, shall ordinarily be available during the exam.
i) Students receive their grades individually via the Agricultural Universityís online information network.
j) Students in an exam are not permitted to assist others with their answers or to seek assistance from others. An outsider is not permitted to offer a student assistance in an exam. Students in an exam are not permitted to talk to each other during the exam and they may not have books or papers with them other than those permitted by the teachers who are party to the exam.
k) If a student is found guilty of misconduct in an exam, the exam papers and solutions shall, without further ado, be taken from the student, and the Academic Coordinator or her/his deputy shall be summoned. The studentís case shall then be referred to the Vice Rector of Academicaffairs for a decision.
l) A student who cannot attend an exam due to illness shall notify the University before the exam begins. A medical certificate shall be submitted to the University Administration Office at the first opportunity and no later than five days after the exam was held, or the student will be assumed to have failed the exam. The same applies if a student doesnít attend an exam because of a childís illness.
m) A student shall, if possible, be invited to sit an exam closer to her/his home if an agreement is reached with the Education Office (or another party that the University endorses) in the vicinity. The students concerned are responsible for the costs of such an arrangement.
1.7.5 About grading
The final grade for each subject is between 0.0 and 10.0 with one decimal place. A final grade is a composite of the final exam grade and other assessment cf. 1.7.7 with the final grade calculated as the weighted average of the final exam grade and other grades, both calculated to one decimal place. There may be a required minimum grade for a final exam as per the course outline, otherwise the minimum grade is 5.0. In special cases a subject may give a final grade of pass/fail. This subject is not included when calculating the average grade for the BS degree. The course outline shall make clear when this type of assessment applies.
1.7.6 About re-sitting exams etc.
When a student does not obtain the necessary exam grade or final grade in the university studies, s/he is permitted to resit a final exam twice and calculate this final exam result against other assessment cf. 1.7.7. If a student has obtained the minimum final grade s/he can nevertheless request re-sitting a final exam if there are extenuating circumstances. If the Education Committee authorises this, the exam shall be held the next time a regular exam in the
subject is held, and the grade calculated against the other assessment (e.g. assignments, essays etc.) as before.
Coursework includes those projects, theoretical or practical, including exams during the course, which are given a numerical grade which contributes to the final grade. The weighting of each assignment with respect to the final grade shall be specified in the course outline and together they form a grade which is calculated against a final exam result cf. 1.7.5.
A teacher may demand a minimum grade for an assignment in order for a student to be eligible to sit the exam and likewise can set a minimum return of assignments or attendance in different parts of a course as long as this is specified in the course outline.
1.7.8 BS final projects
Final projects are part of undergraduate studies as stipulated in the Course Catalogue. A student consults one of the university teachers and works on a project under her/his management or supervision according to an agreement made between the parties (a BS final thesis agreement). A student may also work on a final project under the management of a Sessional Instructor. In such cases, the approval of the Education Committee is required, which also nominates a guarantor from the ranks of permanent teachers, and the project agreement is finalised before work on the project begins. The final form of the project (an essay, a design project) shall adhere to more detailed rules about the final research thesis / design project at the institution. A teacher grades a BS thesis in consultation with the BS thesis overseer who is nominated from the faculty and handles reading over all BS final projects and coordinating grades in consultation with teachers.
2 Masterís Degree (MS, 120 ECTS)
2.1 Masterís Degree, arrangement and application
Students can apply for a Masterís, MS, at the completion of a BS or Bachelorís degree. The course consists of subjects and research projects and culminates in the composition of a thesis or theses and/or other original work as applicable. It may also be stipulated that an applicant sit an oral exam in certain subjects and hold a public lecture. The Education Committee and faculties deal with course matters. The role of the Education Committee is to process applications and approve changes to the programme and seek the opinion and approval of faculties.
For an MS by research, a student consults one of the University teachers (principal supervisor cf. 2.8) and works on an MS project under her/his management or supervision according to an agreement made between the parties which is an MS course agreement filled out using a form available at the Education Office. The agreement includes a description of the research, its aim, as well as an overview of those MS subjects which the student is taking as part of the MS programme. The application should also specify how the research is being financed. A student may also work on the MS project under the management of a Sessional Instructor. An application for the Masterís Degree shall accompany the aforementioned agreement about the MS course, as well as curriculum vitś of the supervisor and/or guarantor as appropriate (see 2.8).
The application deadline for Masterís Degrees is typically 15 April and 15 September. In the MS programme organised for those with little research work (30 standard units) students may finalise the research-project agreement after the course has begun. Generally, the agreement shall be finalised no later than the end of the first academic year of the MS course.
2.2 Application process
Applications shall be submitted to the Education Office. Once an application has been processed by the Education Committee it is sent to the faculty. The faculty provides a recommendation to the Education Committee who notifies applicants of the outcome in writing.
Applications submitted before 15 April for enrolment in the autumn semester are processed and answered by 25 May. Applications submitted before 15 October for enrolment in the spring semester are processed and answered by 15 November. If the Education Committee or faculty denies a student entry, it shall explain its decision. Changes to the programme are contingent upon the approval of the Education Committee.
2.3 Entry requirements
In order to enrol in the Masterís programme, an applicant is required to pay a registration fee and to have successfully completed a BS degree from AUI, or an equivalent academic qualification which the faculty recognises, with an average grade of at least 6.5, for the BS. he abovementioned stipulation about minimum grades may be waived if strongly recommended by a supervisor and the Education Committee.
2.4 Number of units and length of studies
A Masterís Degree generally constitutes 120 units, and takes at least two years. The course may take longer than two years. One may assume the degree will take longer than two years, as long as this is in keeping with the agreed study plan. The maximum duration of a Masterís is 50% more than the intended course duration. The Education Committee is authorised to grant exceptions from the determined maximum course duration. On graduating, it must be shown that the student has been registered and paid registration fees throughout the whole period of study.
2.5 Composition of studies
A Masterís course is made up of 30, 60 or 90 units research work, and 90, 60 or 30 units in coursework, seminars and reading courses. A Masterís student may take a maximum of 12 units in reading courses with her/his principal supervisor.
2.6 Interdependence of a Masterís and PhD
A Masterís thesis may not be used again as the backbone for a PhD.
2.7 Undergraduate subjects as a part of graduate studies and grade requirements
Subjects which are accepted in the MS Programme are graduate-level subjects which are clearly marked as such in the Course Catalogue either as a specific MS subject or a BS/MS subject. In AUI BS/MS subjects, requirements for a minimum grade are one grade higher for students who intend to use that subject for credit towards the MS. Up to 20 standard units from the BS undergraduate subjects, at AUI or another university, may be used as part of a Masterís. A student shall earn a grade of 7 or higher in order to have such a course credited as part of the MS.
2.8 Supervisor and guarantor
From the beginning of studies each Masterís student shall have a principal supervisor from among the permanent staff in the relevant field at the Agricultural University of Iceland, with whom s/he consults about the course plan, choice of subjects and anything else related to the course. The principal supervisor supervises the studentís research and ensures that financial responsibility for the research work is clear and well defined. An assistant supervisor shall also
be named who, at the same time, has a seat on the Masterís Committee, cf. 2.10. A faculty can permit a student to have a principal supervisor who is not employed by AUI as long as s/he fulfils the requirements of these rules and regulations and those of the relevant faculty. In this case a student shall also have a guarantor from among the permanent staff at AUI who sits, along with the principal supervisor, on the Masterís Committee.
2.9 Requirements of those who assess the course and the final project
The principal supervisor shall always be an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor in the respective field at AUI, unless a faculty authorises another arrangement. If s/he isnít within the above-mentioned group, s/he needs to at least hold a Masterís Degree in the respective field in order to supervise a Masterís student, and be a recognised expert in that field.
2.10 The Masterís Committee and moderators
The Masterís Committee shall appoint at least two experts and one of these shall be the principal supervisor and the other either an assistant supervisor or guarantor within the University if applicable. A third person may be appointed to the committee, e.g. if the project involves more than one faculty. A faculty appoints the Masterís Committee. Its role is to ensure that studies proceed according to the course plan, to safeguard the professional standard of research and to take care of exams which the student undergoes, if applicable. A faculty nominates moderators who the Vice Rector of Academic affairs appoints, and the moderator assesses the final project with the Masterís Committee. When the thesis is submitted, the studentís official transcript of results shall also be submitted for the Committeeís appraisal.
A Masterís student can refer a dispute with the Masterís Committee to the Education Committee. A Masterís student can refer a dispute with the Education Committee to the Rector.
2.11 Submission and format of MS theses
More detailed instructions about the format of theses are available from the Education Office and the submission deadline for a final thesis shall correspond to the date specified in the course plan. The instructions shall also stipulate the number of copies required of the final thesis, and submission to the Agricultural University Library and the National and University Library of Iceland. It should be clear that the project was undertaken at the Agricultural University of Iceland, who the supervisor was, in which faculty and research centre, if applicable, and it should mention how the project was funded.
2.12 Association with other universities
A Faculty is permitted to decide that part of a Masterís be taken at another university either here or overseas when applicable.
Agreed by the University Council 3 March 2006, effective 1 July 2006