In the BA programme in Composition, students can study conventional composition or new media, where emphasis is placed on the use of electronic and computer technology to create music. Students also have the option of combining the two tracks, as well as taking elective courses in film music, theatre music, and recording engineering.

The programme emphasises providing students with broad-based knowledge of music creation and giving them the tools needed to use it. Students have the opportunity to compose for various combinations of conventional instruments, including solo instruments, chamber ensembles, orchestra, and the IAA choir. They learn to use digital media for music creation and to combine conventional and avant garde performance practices. The new media track focuses on introductory studies in sound design, acoustics, and interactive music, as well as integration of art/video and music.

Composition studies take place in private lessons and in group lessons focusing on compositional methodology, as well as master classes where students are introduced to a wide range of professional composers and scholars.

Students have the possibility of working on projects in collaboration with the Icelandic Film School, the IAA Theatre Department, the Ungfónía youth orchestra, the Caput chamber ensemble, and various smaller chamber groups as needed.




Programme: Composition
Degree: BA
Units: 180 ECTS
Study length: 6 terms – 3 years

The composition programme at the Iceland Arts University is excellent. The academic staff consists of great people, composers, artists and scholars. It is immensely valuable to have such good role models that go to great lengths to help students to develop their own methods and finding their own tone.  

Hilma Kristín Sveinsdóttir, composer

Studying composition at the IUA has been really helpful. I have learned a whole lot and developed my art. This has been a great process and the people I have met will be my lifelong friends. Both teachers and other students.


Magni Freyr Þórisson, composer

”No education has been as precious for me as the education I got at the Iceland University of the Aets. The teachers are world-class and make every effort to bring their knowledge and wisdom towards students. What I appreciated the most was the attitude of the faculty - taking students as they are and supporting them in finding their own ways to develop, prosper and discover their individual voice."

Bára Gíslasdóttir, composer

"It's a misconception that studying composition is only about notes, harmony or counterpoint. At the Iceland University of the Arts, teachers  come from different directions and help you shape your ideas, whether they are solo works for piano, chamber works, multichannel electronic works, sound sculptures or performance pieces. You have a lot of freedom and a great opportunity to get your music performed. You learn to view music from many angles and apply critical thinking, both in ideological and practical work. Studying composition is an ideal opportunity for all musicians to express and develop their ideas about music and turn them into amazing compositions."

Pétur Eggertsson, studying composition

Programme Director Note