A Master’s Programme in Arts Education
Teaching- Communication-Project Management

The arts education study programme focuses on training artists as educators and developing their skills and theoretical framework to communicate their knowledge in diverse situations. The programme is eclectic and is based on courses on pedagogy, psychology, philosophy and sociology, as well as teacher training within the field of arts education and field assignments, both within and without the schoolsystem.

Emphasis is placed on students acquiring understanding and knowledge of the teaching profession, both in theory and practice. Learning outcomes include students being able to organize courses and units of study based on current curriculum requirements and choosing the appropriate teaching resources, tools and assessment methods. Teaching and knowledge-sharing practices are also explored in a larger context and students are encouraged to present their own vision and ideas of arts education and its availability within the community.

The Department of Arts Education draws on the strengths of professionals from all fields of the arts with the aim of engaging with and adopting new methods in arts education based on the broadest social and idological references possible.


Core Objectives

To provide the highest quality educational experience for future arts educators, based on the premises and working methods of the different fields of art.

To meet the urgent need for dynamic and well educated art educators at all levels of the school system.

To contribute to the development of new teaching methods in the field of arts education.

To support wide ranging literacy, sustainability and creativity in arts education.

To contribute to equal access for all to education and human rights by ensuring that all students have access to an appropriate educational environment and assignments, regardless of their background, field of interest or philosophy of life.


A Student Centered Master´s Programme

The study programme at the Department of Arts Education is Student Centered and completed with a master´s degree in arts education. In essence, the programme aims to

support and develop leadership in arts education, enabling artists from diverse fields of the arts to collaborate and work alongside one another in the resolution of pedagogical issues. Emphasis is placed on developing students´ personal skills, and using consistent training methods to set personal and professional objectives that test students’ independence and endurance, as well as their communication skills.

While students focus on their area of specialization, they engage in continuous dialogue and collaboration with other fields of the arts, allowing for new possibilities for progress to emerge in the field of arts education.



To begin studies at the department students must have completed a bachelor’s degree or any other equivalent course of university or diploma study in arts or design.

The study programme is based on 60-180 ECTs being completed on location. The study period is based on students’ former education and experience. A full course of study requires 30 ECTs per semester, or 60 ECTs for the academic year, but the possibility exists of extending the study period by taking fewer ECTs a year. The course of study must, however, be completed within a maximum period of double the normal period of study.

Students graduate with either an M.Art.Ed degree or an MA (a research-based degree).

In addition to the general certificate granted by the master’s degree for further study or professional activities, students will be granted an licence for general teaching at the elementary level and are entitled to a certificate for teaching in design and the arts at the secondary level.

Graduation Projects

During the study programme students work on an individual assignment that can take the form of a scholarly treatise, new teaching resource, the organization of an art event or a work of art or artistic creation using the methods of artistic research or other research approaches. All the projects must connect in one way or another with teaching and communication. Emphasis is placed on independent, professional working methods, a creative approach, critical thinking, self reflection and assessment, and developing the student’s individual professional theory.

Independent projects: 4 - 10 ECTs.

Final projects vary in scope, between 10 and 30 ECTs. Assessment is the responsibility of an expert, external examiner.

The department aims to connect students’ work with real life projects outside the academy. Such graduation projects, for example, have been carried out in collaboration with different elementary or secondary schools as well as specialized schools. The projects have also been executed in collaboration with art museums, art festivals, companies, and cultural centers

as well as independent artists. Students at the department regularly participate in the annual Children’s Cultural Festival.


Learning outcomes

By the end of her/ his studies, the student possesses knowledge and is able to apply the methods and procedures of arts education. The student is also able to apply her/ his knowledge and skills in a practical way in her/ his profession and/or further studies.

This entails that students should be able to:


• Communicate the theories, frameworks, concepts and methods of arts education, both in oral and written expression.

• Complete lesson and project plans appropriate to each situation and current educational policy and support their implementation with scholarly arguments.

• Transpose her professional, artistic kowledge to the context of educational theory and use it in the field.

• Professionally approach questions and concerns that arise during the preparation and execution of teaching sessions.

• Refer to the most important research methods and studies in the field of arts education.

• Refer to and build on the most important methods in the field of artistic creation.

• Demonstrate personal skill in the creation, development and utilization of ideas in arts education and transmission.

• Reflect on, and evaluate, his own performance from a professional perspective.

• Apply the technology and hands-on knowledge demanded by teaching in this field.

• Document general results, as well as the execution and results of projects and artistic events.

• Participate in a collaboration in an active manner.

• Transmit her skills, ideas and knowledge in the field of the arts to different groups and in different circumstances.

• Initiate and direct projects in the field of arts education and communication and take responsibility for both individual and team work.

• Demonstrate the work habits and study skills required by a research-based arts education course at the graduate or postgraduate level.

• Communicate the results of scholarly projects or research within the academic community and to the public at large.


The study programme at the Department of Arts Education is location-based and taught on the department’s premises on Laugarnesvegur 91.

The teaching language is Icelandic unless the course is taught by international guest lecturers. The course materials are either in Icelandic or English. The teaching hours are normally between 9.20 and 17.00. Some elective courses, however, are taught at other times or on weekends.