University Centre of the Westfjords

University Centre of the Westfjords

The University Centre is a distance learning centre that serves about 100 distance learning students; it operates a master’s program in Coastal and Marine Management for around 40 students, and also offers a small individualised program of study at the master’s level in Marine Innovation. The University Centre also offers a variety of summer courses.

Top reasons to study here

  • Through distance learning, Westfjords residents can access education without having to move away from home.
  • The University Centre focuses on academic quality and follows the Bologna requirements for European universities.
  • The University Centre is the largest organization in Ísafjörður’s Vestrahús building and is a leading agency in the co-operation among the Westfjords innovation

Master's Programmes

Environmental Studies & Earth Sciences (2)



The University Centre of the Westfjords is a small higher educational organization, which was established in 2005 and began operations in January 2006.


  • The master's program in Coastal and Marine Management was launched in September 2008 in the presence of the Minister of Education and the master’s program in Coastal Communities and Regional Development was launched in 2018. Students graduate from the University of Akureyri but all teaching takes place at UW in Ísafjörður. 
  • The programs are international, interdisciplinary, and taught in modules. All modules are open to participants from local and foreign universities, and the business community. There are currently around 40 first year master’s students enrolled in the program in addition to a similar number of second year students.


  • The University Centre of the Westfjords works closely with research centres in and outside the Westfjords. Although there are no researchers at the Centre, students from the Master's program in Coastal and Marine Management contribute further knowledge with the completion of their theses. 
  • Branches of the Marine Research Institute and the Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D, the Research Centre of the University of Iceland, and the Nature Centre of the Westfjords, including many other organisations in the Westfjords, all work on diverse research relating to the fisheries industry, its projects and the environment of the sea and the coastline. 


  • The University Centre itself employs an average of six people, plus teachers employed freelance. The University Centre building is home to more than 50 people in research, teaching and services in various organizations and companies.

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Student services

Though University Centre services are largely focused on students attending classes through teleconferencing facilities, it is strongly emphasised that the University Centre is there for all university distance learning students.

Housing services

Please note that participants need to reserve accommodation on their own. Participants are encouraged not to wait too long to book their accommodation as the summer months are usually busy.

  • Við Fjörðinn is a guesthouse situated in the centre of Þingeyri. It has ten rooms and offers accommodation for groups, families and single persons. One room can accommodate up to four people. Access to fully equipped kitchen and bath is included. 
  • Hotel Sandafell is a hotel situated in the centre of Þingeyri. It offers 8 rooms, incl. 2 family rooms. All the rooms are big and with a beautiful view. All rooms have TV, and guests have free access to wireless internet. 

Library services

The University Centre has a small library with a collection of books and other media.  The largest part of our resources are acquired for the master study programmes Coastal and Marine Management, and Coastal Communities and Regional Development. It is therefore a highly specialized library, but also balanced, in accordance with the diverse topics taught on the programmes.

ICT services

The University Centre of the Westfjords offers students access to wireless internet. It is anticipated that students have laptop computers with wireless internet cards, though it is possible to set up wired internet connections for students in exceptional circumstances. The wireless connection requires a password to access which you receive from the staff.

Student Life

Campus life

  • The University Centre of the Westfjords offers excellent facilities for distance learning students of universities across Iceland. There are six teaching rooms at the Centre, two of which have teleconferencing facilities. 
  • The rooms are intended for teaching, but are also used as reading and working rooms for students when there is no teaching in progress. The Centre’s main corridor also houses reading and group work areas, as well as lockers for student use. There are further reading rooms on the ground floor which students can use for quiet private work.

Ísafjörður, Westfjords, Iceland


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