Department of Fine Art

Application deadline for BA in Fine Art and  Master in  Fine Art was March 21 2014.

Iceland Academy of the Arts - Department of Fine Art, seeks talented and creative individuals with a solid basic education, practical skills, and a fundamental knowledge of art.

Important information for the Master programme in Fine Art

  • Application deadline March 21 2014
  • Interview with applicants middle of May
  • Results of applications end of May
  • Portfolios can be retrieved at the department office in June
  • Application fee is ISK 5000
  • Tution fee is ISK 798.000
  • The Autumn semester begins 25 th of August 2014
  • Teaching languages is English

Admission in the Master  programme in Fine Art

Applicants must have a Baccalaureate in Fine Arts or related disciplines within art and theory. Emphasis is placed on the applicants’ knowledge and competencies for independent art practice with initiative and ability to follow their ideas through.

Study proposal
In their study proposals, applicants must describe their artistic intention and personal aims for professional development within the Master Programme in Fine Arts at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. This proposal can be one to two pages long. The following needs to be addressed in the study proposal:

  • Why the applicants are applying for the Master Programme in Fine Arts at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and what expectations they have in relation to the Master Programme.
  • Methods and mediums that the applicants intend to use in their studies.
  • Analysis of the context of their work; with regard to resources, issues and themes.
  • Which subject areas the applicants intend to explore in their studies.

Portfolios of the applicants’ artistic practice should give a comprehensive overview of their work. This portfolio should either be size A4 or A3. It must contain documentation of up to 20 of the applicants’ works; quality photographs, computer prints or other copies of works. It is important to specify if the project is collaborative. The works may not be older than five years. Each work must be accompanied with a description stating title, size, materials, and year. Video works should also be presented with stills and a short written description. It is also possible to submit a supplementary documentation video and/or sound works on DVD. Please note that the total running time of videos and/or sound works should not exceed ten minutes. If the work in question is longer, a part of the work should be submitted along with information on the total running time.

Information on background, previous studies, previous work experience and anything else relevant to the artistic background of the applicant.

Written references of three individuals who are familiar with the applicant’s artistic work.
A specially appointed admission committee assesses the applications on the basis of submitted material and interviews. Applicants selected for an interview who reside abroad can choose to have the interview conducted via the internet.

Language requirements
The Master Programme in Fine Art is an international programme. English is the main language of instruction but tutoring may be in Icelandic or English. Students must be able to express themselves in spoken and written English. Applicants may be required to pass a TOEFL test.

Application form for the Department of Fine Art

Important information for Bachelor Programme in Fine Art

  • Application deadline March 21st 2014
  • Results of applications end of May
  • Portfolios can be retrieved at the department office in June
  • Application fee is ISK 5000
  • Tution fee is ISK 422.000
  • The Autumn semester begins 25 th of August 2014
  • Teaching languages is Icelandic

Admission process for Bachelor programme in Fine Art
Applications must be filled out electronically. The application automatically obtains a number as soon as an applicant has confirmed it, he /she prints it out and signs it. The application number must be attached to the applicants’ artistic portfolio, which is then sent together with the application and other necessary documentation to the Department of Fine Art.

To qualify for consideration of admission, applicants must meet both general and specific requirements.

General requirements
Basic qualifications for acceptance into the IAA is a secondary school exam (Icelandic: stúdentspróf) or completion of an equivalent programme recognized by the admissions committee and consisting of 140 credits at the secondary level. A certified diploma or transcript must accompany the application. Individuals who do not fulfill these general requirements can request an exemption. A detailed explanation must be enclosed with the application form.

Specific requirements
All applicants to the Department of Fine Art must enclose in their application a portfolio/folder (A4 or A3 size) containing photographs, computer print-out or other replications of their art work (see description below). The portfolio and documentation of previous education are evaluated by an admissions committee. The assessment criteria are artistic ability and knowledge representative of a minimum of 35 credits in Fine Arts from a secondary school (Arts major) or the completion of a preparatory program from an Arts Academy. Applicants not satisfying the specific requirements will only be considered for admission if they can prove unique and extraordinary artistic abilities that may be recognized in place of the academic preparation.

Instruction on the bachelor level at the Iceland Academy of the Arts takes place in Icelandic, with the exception of classes taught in English by foreign teachers.

The application process is in the following steps

  • The electronic application on has to be printed and signed and sent with all enclosed documents and portfolio to the office of the department of fine arts.
  • School transcripts must be certified copies.
  • A portfolio of size A4 or A3, with up to 30 photos of works, shall be sent with the application. Note that the portfolio is evaluated anonymously - it should only be identified with the application number.
  • The admission committee evaluates the application and the portfolio, and chooses individuals for the interviews.
  • Letters will be sent to the applicants with an invitation or not to an interview with the committee.
  • In the interview, applicants must bring 1 or 2 examples of their completed work, as well as a sketchbook.
  • Final conclusion. A total of 26 applicants are offered admission.
  • Applicants who are offered admission must confirm it to the Department Office in the beginning of June by paying the confirmation fee. If it is not paid at that time, the IAA will assume the student has decided not to study at the Iceland Academy of the Arts.

Portfolio/folder and interview
The electronic/written application for study in the Fine Arts department must be received by the IAA before announced deadline. All enclosed documents, e.g. school transcripts, must be certified copies.
The application shall be accompanied by up to 30 photos of works confirming the applicant’s knowledge of the basic subjects of fine arts and of works representing the applicant’s individuality. The photos shall be sent in a portfolio of size A4 or A3.  Audio- and video-work shall be sent in on CDs or DVDs. Digital material must be accompanied by information on its format. In evaluating the portfolio, the main emphasis is on evaluating the applicant’s talent for independent creation of art.

The portfolio shall be two-fold:

a) Basic subjects:
Works that show general artistic abilities of drawing, composition and use of colors; 3-dimensional works demonstrating composition, form and use of material.

b) Individual work:
Examples of visual works, audio-works, written text, design, etc. executed in free choice material. The works must show individual creativity of the applicant and be composed on the applicant’s own terms. The portfolio does not only have to contain fully completed works.  On the contrary, it is important also to include sketches and drawings at various stages of development, photographs, texts, and even drafts of projects. DVDs and CDs are also permissible. In fact, any piece of work or representation of an idea or concept, which the applicant him/herself feels, will portray his/her artistic talent and expressive capability should be a part of the portfolio.

Based on the application and the portfolio, a decision is made whether or not the applicant will be invited to an interview, in which the admissions committee evaluates among other things the applicants’ general interest in fine arts, their views and position towards art creation and understanding of their own artwork. In the interview, applicants must bring 1 or 2 examples of their completed work, as well as a sketchbook.  Applicants who are not in Iceland or for some reasons do not have the opportunity to attend an interview may expect to have a telephone interview with the admissions committee.

If the applicant wishes to have the portfolio returned to him/her, this request must be made in the application. The applicant will have to pay mailing costs.  The Iceland Academy of the Arts does not insure the application material and assumes no responsibility for submitted works. Submitted artwork not retrieved by the end of May will be discarded unless the IAA agrees upon other arrangements in writing.  Please note that the portfolio is reviewed anonymously, and it is therefore essential that it does not include identifying information (name or social security number), only the number of the application.

More about the application procedure in the Department of Fine Art
Rector appoints an admissions committee in consultation with the Dean of the Fine Art Department.  The committee includes department professors and one artist or academic who is unassociated with the Department and the Department Dean, who chairs the committee.  The Admissions committee has the role to select 26 students from the group of eligible applicants, who in the committee’s opinion have the necessary preparation to study at the Department of Fine Arts and meet its demands made with respect to the study of art on a university level.  The Admissions committee evaluates applicants on basis of whether they are likely to be able to take advantage of the education offered by the department.  The committee’s results should therefore not be interpreted as an ultimate judgment of the applicant’s artistic talent in general. The conclusions of the committee are final.

Letters with the results of the committee will be mailed to the applicants at the end of May.
Applicants who are offered admission must confirm it to the Department Office in the beginning of June 2012 by paying the confirmation fee. This fee is non refundable.

Language of Instruction
Please, notice that the instruction on the Bachelor level at the Iceland Academy of the Arts takes place in ICELANDIC, with the exception of classes taught by foreign guest teachers.

Further information: Department of Fine Art