The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) is the world’s northernmost higher education institution, located in Longyearbyen at 78 degrees north. UNIS offers high-quality courses at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level in Arctic Biology, Arctic Geology, Arctic Geophysics and Arctic Technology.
UNIS is a share-holding company, owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. It was established in 1993 to provide university-level education in Arctic studies, to carry out high-quality research, and to contribute to the development of Svalbard as an international research platform. UNIS’ geographical position gives it a unique advantage, enabling students and faculty to use nature as a laboratory and arena for observation and data collection. About 500 students from all over the world take one or more courses every year at UNIS. The student body consist of approximately 50 % Norwegian and 50 % international students, and English is the official language at UNIS. There is affordable student accommodation in “Nybyen”. UNIS’ faculty is made up by 50 % Norwegians and 50 % international staff and consists currently of ca. 20 full-time professors, 21 assistant professors and 170 guest lecturers who specialize in Arctic issues. UNIS researchers work in collaboration with Norwegian and foreign research institutions and are actively involved in a large number of joint research projects.
UNIS offers courses at the Bachelor, Master and PhD levels in four fields: Arctic Biology (AB), Arctic Geology (AG), Arctic Geophysics (AGF) and Arctic Technology (AT). Full semester studies are available at the bachelor level (200-level). At the master and PhD level (300 and 800-level) UNIS offer more intensive courses from a few weeks up to a semester. Courses are offered in close collaboration with the Norwegian universities and credits are officially granted from a Norwegian university.
Facts and figures
|Number of Academic Staff||30|
|Number of Students||500|
|Fields of Study Offered||Life science (others)
Physical science (broad programmes)
Engineering and engineering trades (broad programmes)
Environmental protection (broad programmes)
- Bachelor Arctic Technology
- Bachelor Arctic Biology
- Bachelor Arctic Geology
- Bachelor Arctic Geophysics
- Master Permafrost and Periglacial Environments
- Bachelor International Bachelor Permafrost Summer Field School
- Master Techniques for the Detection of Organo-Chemical Pollutants in the Arctic Environment
- Master Advanced Rock Mechanics and Engineering Geology
- Master Arctic Offshore Engineering - Fieldwork
- Master Arctic Infrastructures in a Changing Climate
- Bachelor Rock Mechanics and Engineering Geology
- Bachelor Ice Mechanics, Loads on Structures and Instrumentation
- Bachelor Arctic Environmental Pollution
- Bachelor Arctic Hydrology and Climate Change