The guiding light of graphic design is communication. Graphic designers communicate information, text, images and a range of other content in the purpose of facilitating understanding. At the Iceland University of the Arts, studies in visual communication aim to both strengthen the wider profession, as well as encourage students to take care of their environment and society – looking towards the future. To achieve this, students make use of both modern and historical technology. They explore a range of media and are advised to be conscious of the context within which they work. Students are pushed to think creatively and encouraged to understand their subject, to not become stuck in technical limitations or traditions.

Graphic design is built on an ancient foundation of writing, type, illustration and print but in the 20th century these elements have entered a diverse interplay of creative and organised approaches to communicating messages. Academic practice is of the essence in all work within the academy, both for staff and students, in order to promote professional practice and clearer communication of content, ideas and thoughts.

The aim is for students to be able to easily adapt to, and catalyse, change. To be capable of solving complex design problems and managing both ambitious and small-scale projects. To be capable in communicating their own ideas and research, as well as communicating the ideas of others. It is important that students, and all graphic designers, develop a keen eye for information and form. Furthermore, it is important that they are able to work independently, collaboratively or in a cross-disciplinary context, that they share their expertise and that they have a specific vision to offer for the different projects and challenges they encounter.

Visual communication may be described as a subject that influences society and is constantly developing, just like its surroundings. The changes and development currently taking place in the world at large, are framed in the context of the programme in order to raise students’ awareness of themselves as designers and participants in a dynamic society.

Students can only apply for a single semester’s exchange to this programme.

The application should consist of:
  • Electronic application
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Portfolio: print-outs or digital portfolio (pdf or link to a website). CDs are not accepted.
  • Short letter of motivation
  • C.V.

Applicants upload the required documents to the electronic application.

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.

15 October for the spring semester.

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