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Design & New Environments MA

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The two-year MA Design & New Environments program addresses contemporary environmental and societal challenges through advanced design methods and innovative technologies. 

  • Opnað fyrir umsóknir

    9. janúar 2024

  • Umsóknarfrestur

    12. apríl 2024

  • Umsóknum svarað

    Maí / júní 2023

  • Skrásetningargjald

    Skoða nánar

  • Nafn námsleiðar

    Design & New Environments MA

  • Nafn gráðu


  • Einingar

    120 ETC

  • Lengd náms

    4 annir – 2 ár

Upplýsingar um nám eru á ensku hjá námsleiðum þar sem kennslutungumál er enska.

About the study program

From the outset, the program plunges students into dynamic, immersive learning experiences. Through fieldwork and case studies, they delve into and analyze specific environments, gaining deep insights into real-world issues. Interdisciplinary seminars and guest lectures explore modern approaches and critical discourses across related fields, focusing on environment transformation, climate change adaptation, and shifts in food and energy systems. Concurrently, hands-on design and media studio courses, along with workshops, support students in crafting and conveying innovative solutions to environmental, social, and systemic challenges. The curriculum emphasises collaborative and experimental design, interdisciplinary dialogue, and the development of persuasive narratives to drive change. 

Program structure

The two-year MA Design & New Environments program, encompassing 120 ECTS credits, adopts a student-driven approach. Students pursue projects aligning with their interests and capabilities, receiving guidance through lectures, workshops, and a residency, with a strong focus on dialogue, interpretation, and contextualization. Assessment is primarily via written reports. The first year is dedicated to field research, design and science seminars, and a creative residency. The second year culminates in a final project or thesis, offering a choice between a practice-based track or a theory-based track. 

Year 1: 

 – Autumn: Engage in field research and attend design & science seminars in partnership with other universities, focusing on site-specific case studies. 

– Spring: Participate in a creative residency with one of our partners in Iceland, benefiting from a unique network of environmental innovation stakeholders. 

Year 2: 

– Finalize your MA through a choice between two tracks: a Practice-based track, implementing a professional design project, or a Theory-based track, culminating in an MA thesis and an individual publication. 

After graduation

Graduates are well-prepared for careers in design, both in the public and private sectors, and in roles that include advanced research, design consultancy, environmental advocacy, social entrepreneurship, among other related fields. 

Application Process

IUA employs a standard electronic application form.

The application process is in two steps, first submit the application and then pay the application fee. Please note: It is possible to save the application while working on it.

Opnað fyrir umsóknir

9. janúar 2024


12. apríl 2024

Umsóknum svarað

Maí / júní 2023


Skoða nánar

The Application

An application is not valid until the applicant has submitted the application and paid the application fee. Applicants must submit the following documents:

  • 1. Certified copy of degree certificate(s) and programme / course transcript(s) (PDF)


    Applicants should submit a detailed record of higher education up to the present, including programmes of study taken and grades achieved. This may be submitted in Icelandic or English.

  • 2. References from two referees (PDF)


    Applicants must submit references from two referees, at least one academic reference. Each reference should not exceed one page. The references may be submitted in Icelandic or English.

    Applicants add two referees (names and emails) in the application form. When applicants have submitted the application, the referees will receive an email from the IUA asking them to submit a reference for the applicant.

    Applicants will receive a confirmation when the referees have submitted the reference.

  • 3. Statement (PDF)


    Applicants for the MA Design must write a short explanation about their decision to apply for this specific programme, and this place, Iceland, and how they see the programme’s emphasis tie in with their aims towards a future professional role as designers. The Statement should be written in English.

  • 4. Curriculum Vitae (PDF/URL)


    Applicants must submit a CV of relevant education and professional experience, language proficiency, and general information about the applicant. The CV should be written in English.

  • 5. Portfolio of works (PDF/URL)


    Applicants for the MA Design must gather prime examples of their work into a digital portfolio, which they submit with their formal application. This can include a PDF document or links to external websites, videos, audio, images etc. The submitted work should reflect the applicant’s character, shed light on main interests, demonstrate skills and competences, and make it accessible to comprehensively read the applicant’s ability for original creation and communication of ideas.

Admission Process

In assessing applications, applicants‘ work experience is taken into consideration along with submitted original material (portfolio).

Furthermore, interviews are conducted with applicants where attention is paid to how well the relevant individual is likely to absorb the teaching and the methodology of design.

A specially appointed admission committee assesses the applications on the grounds of assessment of submitted material and interviews. If the applicant is considered for acceptance the required documents will be discussed, in English, with the applicant in an interview following review by the application committee.

Admission Requirements

Applicants will have completed BA/BS Degree or equivalent. Applicants should have a strong interest in the environment; however we welcome applicants from different disciplinary and interdisciplinary backgrounds.

Language Requirements

The MA Design is an international programme conducted in English.

Students must be proficient in spoken and written English in the academic context. If there is doubt concerning language skills, applicants may be required to submit evidence of English proficiency.


The Master D.N.E trains critical designers, who can collaborate with peers from other disciplines and engage with complex challenges. The design and media studios focus on sharpening professional skills, – to propose and implement projects with a positive impact on the environment, in line with UN goals for sustainable development.

Thomas Pausz, MA Design Programme Director on behalf of the Design Department at Iceland University of the Arts (LHI).


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