Summer School

3 weeks, Introductory, 6 ECTS


Dates: 24th July- 11th August, 2017

The three week summer school is an intensive course that provides students with an overview of sustainable technologies, the main issues that drive the demand for sustainable energy, and the factors that may impede or promote meeting that demand. The course is delivered through a combination of lectures and site visits, and students have opportunity to see working systems that utilise sustainable energy.

The course gives an overview of the state of energy matters worldwide using Iceland as an example. Topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Characteristics of energy use
  • Qualitative description of geophysical processes important to sustainable development
  • Growth and sustainability; abundance, distribution and usability of energy resources
  • Environmental concerns; technological and economic development

The summer school was developed to set the stage for MSc studies in sustainable energy and is a mandatory course for both our MSc programmes. The summer school can also be taken as a stand alone course for those interested in gaining an insight into sustainable energy technology.


The total cost for the summer school is 1,900 USD.

This price includes costs associated with the field trips. The cost does not include accommodation costs during your stay (except for one night away from Reykjavik as part of a field trip).  Students will need to budget for accommodation and living costs for their time in Iceland. A budget of 200,000ISK is suggested to adequately cover the costs of staying in Iceland during the summer programme.

For students who are registered in the MSc programme, the summer programme costs are included in the tuition fees.


The course is delivered through a combinations of lectures and site visits.

Course topics

  • Introduction to terms and topics
  • Energy resources
  • Energy conversion basics
  • Using energy
  • Geothermal energy basics
  • Extending the value chain
  • How we live, energy at home and in our communities
  • Policy and strategy
  • Renewable´s and Energy storage
  • Energy in an international context
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental aspects 
  • Electrical power generation 
  • Natural history of Iceland

Site visits
to power plants and areas of environmental and Geo-scientific interest;

  • Hellisheiði geothermal power plant

  •  Landmannalaugar

  • Hengill volcanic area
  •  Þjórsá hydro power complex 
  • Reykjavik district heating system 
  • Gvendarbrunnar, Reykjavik water works 
  • Eldgjá volcanic fissure

  •  Sólheimajökull Glacier  

Reading material: Various articles and reports. A reading list is provided at the start of the course.

Assessment: Essay, class participation and trip diary.

The field trips can vary from year to year depending on the student group, but typically will include visits to geothermal and hydro-power plants, district heating stations, places of geological and environmental interest.



The summer school is open to all applicants and there are no entry requirements specified. The summer school is a mandatory course for the MSc in Sustainable Energy and MSc in Sustainable Energy Engineering.


Application deadline: June 10th

Applicants must fill out the on-line application form.

Accompanying documents

  • Official university transcript/s - electronic version can be uploaded to the on-line application form .
  • CV/résumé - electronic version can be uploaded to the on-line application form .
  • Reference letter
  • You should select a referee who can provide an informed view of your academic or professional ability and suitability for the programme. Please ask the referee to send the reference on institutional, or professional letter-headed paper in a sealed envelope to the following address:

    International Admissions
    Menntavegi 1
    101 Reykjavik

    Alternatively, your referee can send their references to our office directly via email to