The Department of Music offers a 180 ECTS specialised programme leading to a B.Mus- degree in instrumental/vocal performance, and a general music program leading to a BA degree in which students can choose to specialise in composition (branches into general composition, new media, film music, stage music and production), music education, or church music.

The goal of the Department of Music is that students learn to work independently, increase their knowledge and ability and develop as free-thinking artists. The programme shall meet international demands and reflect the wide range of opportunities for musicians in musical performance, music creation, and music education. The programme shall exhibit professionalism and creative thought. Graduates of the Department of Music shall be a source of enrichment for society.

The academic year is divided into two 15 week terms, which are broken down into shorter periods of instruction. This creates flexibility in the programme and opportunities for inviting foreign guest teachers for special projects. It also allows students to take elective courses at other departments and facilitates cooperation among students in the IUA's four departments. The department emphasises that music has no borders and it is therefore its role to educate musicians for a wide range of jobs in music.

All students receive private instruction in their main subject area, as well as group instruction and master classes. The Department prides itself in getting both domestic and internationally renowned guest musicians.

Participation in ensemble groups of various sizes is an important part of the education provided by the department. These can be traditional chamber music ensembles, orchestras, or improvisation of various natures. In addition, students are encouraged to create their own ensembles. Students are expected to perform in concert at least once every semester. All of the Department’s concerts are recorded and pod-casted on the IUA's website.


IUA only accepts applications in the online application system EASY. IUA does not accept applications through email or regular post.
When applying online, make sure to double check that you have chosen the correct home institution. 
Prepare the following before starting your online application. Your application may be discarded if you fail to provide the required documents and files:

  • List of subjects for the online study plan
  • Letter of Motivation
  • Audition Recording
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Photocopy of passport

You will find the application here.

If you are unable to apply to IUA from your home institution in the online application system, please have your local international coordinator contact IUA's International Office at

Language of Instruction

The official language of instruction at the IUA is Icelandic. Incoming students must be prepared to meet this challenge. Most of the teachers, students and staff have a good command of English. The IUA receives a number of guest teachers from abroad every semester who teach in English. Exams and final projects can be delivered in English. Exchange students are therefore expected to have a good command of English.

Deadlines for incoming applications

16  April for the autumn semester, spring semester, or whole year.

15 October for the spring semester only.

The application can be accessed two months prior to the deadline.