Study Opportunities

At The Directorate of Labour, job seekers registered as unemployed can go in various directions when it comes to studies. You can receive advice on shorter courses, study resources, vocational rehabilitation as well as information on work-related programs. 

Upper secondary and university studies are not permitted to be pursued unless special conditions are met. Further information on when such studies may be pursued alongside unemployment benefits can be found in the relevant categories below. 

Upper-secondary and University Studies Up to 12 credits per semester

You may pursue up to 12 ECTS credits at university level or 12 credits at upper secondary level without impacting your unemployment benefit entitlement. 


Conditions:

  • Maximum of 12 ECTS credits at university level. 
  • Maximum of 12 credits at upper-secondary level. 
  • The studies must not fulfil The Icelandic Student Loan Funds conditions of eligibility for a student loan. 

Conditions while studying:

  • Be actively seeking employment and prepared to accept offered employment 
  • Confirm job search each month. 
  • Attend meetings, interviews, and other programs that The Directorate of Labour may request attendance. 

What are you required to do to be able to study?

A confirmation regarding the scope of the studies must be submitted via ‘My pages’ to be permitted to pursue studies alongside the payment of unemployment benefits. 

Where can I find the regulations?

Regulations regarding upper secondary and university studies alongside unemployment benefits can be found in Article 52 of Act no. 54/2006 on Unemployment Insurance. The legislation can be found here:  

https://www.government.is/media/velferdarraduneyti-media/media/acrobat-enskar_sidur/Unemployment-Insurance-Act-No-54-2006-as-amended_14032016.pdf  


More than 12 credits per semester

You are not permitted to pursue studies beyond 12 credits, i.e., 13 credits or more at upper secondary or university level alongside unemployment benefits, except with the approval of The Directorate of Labour. 

If it is approved that you are permitted to pursue such extensive studies alongside unemployment benefits, your benefit payments will be reduced in proportion with the scope of your studies, from 43% up to 67%. 


Conditions:

  • Maximum 20 ECTS credits at university level. 
  • Maximum 20 credits at upper secondary level. 
  • The studies must not fulfil The Icelandic Student Loan Fund’s conditions of eligibility for a student loan. 
  • Special circumstances must be present, and The Directorate of Labour must provide approval in advance to pursue the studies. 

Conditions while studying:

  • Be actively seeking employment and prepared to accept offered employment. 
  • Confirm job search each month. 
  • Attend meetings, interviews, and other programs that The Directorate of Labour may request attendance. 

What are you required to do to be able to study?

A confirmation regarding the scope of the studies must be submitted via ‘My pages’ and apply for a study contract regarding the studies. 

Where can I find the regulations?

Regulations regarding upper secondary and university studies alongside unemployment benefits can be found in Article 52 of Act no. 54/2006 on Unemployment Insurance. The legislation can be found here:  

https://www.government.is/media/velferdarraduneyti-media/media/acrobat-enskar_sidur/Unemployment-Insurance-Act-No-54-2006-as-amended_14032016.pdf  


Complete the current semester

If you apply for unemployment benefits after your studies commence, i.e., your employment is terminated of which you study alongside, you can complete the semester that has begun without it impacting your rights to unemployment benefits.  


Conditions:

  • That the semester has commenced before you apply for unemployment benefits. 

Conditions while studying:

  • Be actively seeking employment and prepared to accept offered employment. 
  • Confirm job search each month. 
  • Attend meetings, interviews, and other programs that The Directorate of Labour may request attendance. 

What are you required to do to be able to study?

  • A confirmation regarding the scope of the studies must be submitted via ‘My pages’ and apply for a study contract regarding the studies

Where can I find the regulations?

Regulations regarding upper secondary and university studies alongside unemployment benefits can be found in Article 52 of Act no. 54/2006 on Unemployment Insurance. The legislation can be found here:  

https://www.government.is/media/velferdarraduneyti-media/media/acrobat-enskar_sidur/Unemployment-Insurance-Act-No-54-2006-as-amended_14032016.pdf  


Certified study programs at further education providers

You are permitted to pursue studies that are available within further education providers, i.e., primary and lower secondary education, educational institutions and other certified study programs without impacting your right to unemployment benefits. 


Conditions:

  • Your application for unemployment benefits has been approved 
  • The studies are a recognised and certified study program. 

Conditions while studying:

  • Be actively seeking employment and prepared to accept offered employment. 
  • Confirm job search each month. 
  • Attend meetings, interviews, and other programs that The Directorate of Labour may request attendance. 

What are you required to do to be able to study?

  • A confirmation regarding the scope of the studies must be submitted via ‘My pages’ and apply for a study contract regarding the studies. 

Where can I find a list of study programs that fall under this category?


Opportunity in Education

If you have been registered as unemployed for six months or longer, you may be entitled to pursue full-time study at an upper secondary school or university level providing the studies fall within the scope of the Opportunity in Education campaign. 

Further information about Opportunity in Education can be found here, among other things, about which studies fall within the scope of the campaign. 

Studies alongside employment

If studies at upper secondary or university level are defined as studies alongside employment, they may be pursued alongside the payment of unemployment benefits without impacting your unemployment benefit entitlement. 


Conditions:

  • The studies are defined as studies alongside employment by the relevant educational institution. 
  • The studies must not fulfil The Icelandic Student Loan Fund’s conditions of eligibility for a student loan. 

Conditions while studying:

  • Be actively seeking employment and prepared to accept offered employment. 
  • Confirm job search each month. 
  • Attend meetings, interviews, and other programs that The Directorate of Labour may request attendance. 

What are you required to do to be able to study?

  • A confirmation regarding the scope of the studies must be submitted via ‘My pages’ and apply for a study contract regarding the studies. 

Where can I find the regulations?

  • Regulations regarding upper secondary and university studies alongside unemployment benefits can be found in Article 52 of Act no. 54/2006 on Unemployment Insurance. The legislation can be found here:  

https://www.government.is/media/velferdarraduneyti-media/media/acrobat-enskar_sidur/Unemployment-Insurance-Act-No-54-2006-as-amended_14032016.pdf  


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