Short Course Economics and Policy

University Centre of the West Fjords | safjrur, Iceland
This course gives an overview over environmental and resource management and public policy tools and instruments - in the context of management of coastal and marine environments and stustainable development (SD). It introduces elements of standard economic analysis (neo-classical economics) as well as other approaches, such as ecological economics.

Description of Economics and Policy


  • 27.04.15 - 22.05.15

Various incentives, policies and management initiatives are used to influence human behaviour and to promote sustainable development.

This course gives an overview of environmental and resource management and public policy tools and instruments - in the context of management of coastal and marine environments and sustainable development (SD). It introduces elements of standard economic analysis (neo-classical economics) as well as other approaches, such as ecological economics. It focuses on how to manage for healthy ecosystems and a healthy economy, and aims at providing students with the necessary tools to assess objectives and to make choices when it comes to environmental and resource management in coastal and marine regions.

The course is broken into three modules:

In the first module we look at neo-classical economics. We discuss economics tools of environmental analysis and valuation both within markets and when markets are absent. Special emphasis will be given to implementation of these tools in practical instances of decision-making concerning use or conservation of the coastal and marine resources.

In the second module we focus on relevant, international instruments (conventions, declarations etc.) of environmental governance. We assess the concept of SD from economic, social and environmental perspectives. We compare the concepts of economic growth and SD and ask if the two are compatible. Action plans such as the Rio, Johannesburg, Agenda 21, and initiatives such as the Environmental Kuznets Curve, the Resource curse, the Porter hypothesis, and Sustainability indicators at micro and macro levels will be covered.

In the third module we examine the ideological foundations of environmental and natural resource policies, and assess various policy tools and instruments used in coastal and ocean situations. The main focus will be on instruments, policies and management approaches in selected case studies.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline The registration deadline for each course is one month before the course starts.
Tuition fee
  • EUR 520 Module (Non-EEA)
  • EUR 520 Module (EEA)

Participation costs 10.000 ISK per one ECTS unit (a 6 ECTS course therefore coasts 60.000 ISK).

Registered students at the University of Iceland only pay a low fee, 5.500 ISK for up to two courses and 11.000 ISK for up to five courses, according to a contract between the University of Akureyri and the University of Iceland. Students at UA pay no fee since the courses are a part of the UA curriculum.

Start date May  2016 27.04.15 - 22.05.15
Credits (ECTS) 8 ECTS
Duration full-time 26 days
  • English
Take an IELTS test
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time
Intensity Flexible
Entry Level Bachelor
Skill Disciplines Personal Effectiveness

Course Content

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will:

  • have gained a systematic understanding of the role of policy in the sustainable management of coastal and marine areas
  • be able to discuss and apply theories of environmental economics and various policy instruments
  • be able to determine which research methods in the field of economics are suitable for a given research question dealing with economic aspects of coastal or marine areas
  • be able to develop/plan, draft, revise and complete a research writing project
  • be able to propose a realistic, detailed policy recommendation by using the course concepts
  • be able to share this work effectively in a short presentation.


  • Policy research proposal (due on the first day of week 2) 5%
  • Research paper draft 1 (due on the first day of week 3) 15%
  • Research paper presentation (due on the last day of week 4) 10%
  • Research paper final submission (due on the last day of week 4) 20%
  • Problem sets x 2 (25%)
  • In class quiz (6%)
  • Reading Commentaries (4 in total due at beginning of class, worth 3% each) 12%
  • Position paper (due on the last day of week three) 7%
  • Total 100%



Dr. Sabau currently teaches at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, the western campus of Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. Among her courses are: Principles of Micro and Macroeconomics, Intermediate Macroeconomics, Environmental Economics, Ecological Economics and a senior seminar in Environmental Studies. Her research interests include theoretical aspects of the knowledge society and knowledge-based economy; the theory of choice and moral knowledge; the economics of sustainable development; environmental and natural resource economics; ecological economics and problem-based learning.

Requirements for Economics and Policy

The conditions for admission to any course are the same as for admission to the program as a whole, namely that applicants have completed a university degree, which may be a B.A., B.S., B.Ed. or other comparable degree. All applications for participation in individual courses are subject to the approval of the master's program committee, whose review process can take as long as one week.

It is important that all applicants have a good command of English, as all instruction takes place in English.

Application forms will be accessible both electronically and in PDF form when the admissions process is opened at the beginning of September.

Work Experience for Economics and Policy

No work experience is required.

More Information

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University Centre of the West Fjords, Iceland

Iceland <p>The University Centre of the West Fjords is a non-profit organisation established in March 2005. It has 40 founding members, including all of the country&#039;s institutions of higher education. The Centre began operations in Vestrah&uacute;s in &Iacute;safj&ouml;r&eth;ur in January 2006. The same building houses offices of the Marine Research Institute, the Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories, and the Icelandic Snow Avalanche Research Centre, among others. The West Fjords Regional Development Centre is also located here, and all of the organizations represented in the building share common reception facilities.</p>