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Masters Degrees (Runes)

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Your programme of study

If you are interested in understanding the Old Norse language this programme will provide an answer to questions like what did the early Scandinavians read and write, what was society like, what language did they speak, and how did they live?  You will rapidly become somewhat of an expert in this niche area which probably affected the lives of people across the UK and Europe at one time or another. You will become fluent in all things Scandinavian to provide that knowledge either to future generations in terms of teaching at all levels, in heritage attractions and you can use the essential skills you pick up within many other areas of work. You are taught by internationally renowned experts within Scandinavian Studies at one of the largest research institutes in the UK.

Apart from the strong ties of Aberdeen and the rest of the UK and influences from the Vikings both past and present you are also a ferry ride away from Orkney and Shetland.  Orkney is famed for its Viking archaeology and myths and both Orkney and Shetland was part of Scandinavia for many years until 1468 when Denmark mortgaged the islands to Scotland. Many Norse events still take place throughout the year in Aberdeenshire and the islands.

The MLitt will appeal to students interested in the history, language and culture of the Scandinavian-speaking peoples, and particularly to those who wish to gain an interdisciplinary insight to this field of research. The programme offers training and thematic courses as well as specialist supervision for a 15,000 word dissertation of the students' own choice. It is suited for students seeking to continue with postgraduate study as well as those simply interested to learn more.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Old Norse 1: Language, Literature and Culture


  • Palaeography
  • Special Subject

Semester 2

  • Old Norse 2 Language, Runes and Place Names
  • Research Preparation in Historical Studies

Semester 3

  • Dissertation in Historical Studies

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • The Centre for Scandinavian Studies is the largest Scandinavian research institution in the UK
  • You have a wide choice of careers either within the area of Scandinavian expertise or other areas of work.
  • You study in beautiful old Aberdeen which is situated next to the sea and a ferry ride from Orkney and Shetland

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • September start

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.


View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs 

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The Vikings have been incredibly influential in world history and culture. The Centre for Nordic Studies' team will be using their recognised expertise in this area to create this unique and exciting course on offer to students all over the world and to re-evaluate the Vikings past, present, and future. Read more
The Vikings have been incredibly influential in world history and culture. The Centre for Nordic Studies' team will be using their recognised expertise in this area to create this unique and exciting course on offer to students all over the world and to re-evaluate the Vikings past, present, and future.

Students will be able to critically evaluate key historical, economic, and social developments in the Viking world and analyse the significance and legacy of the cultural history of the Vikings both in isolation and in a wider context temporally and geographically. We'll look at Viking iconography in text and film, the role of women, and the significance of runes among other fascinating topics.

As part of the degree, students will study a set of core modules and also have the opportunity to choose from a range of optional modules, bringing the study of the Viking period into a wider perspective

Special Features

• Loans for tuition fees are available from the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for eligible Scotland domiciled and EU students, and loans for living costs for eligible Scottish students.
• Unique course content not available anywhere else
• You are taught by international experts in the field
• We use video conferencing and a virtual learning environment to deliver the course so you can study from anywhere in the world
• Small class sizes
• You can also choose unique options in palaeography, creative writing and the North Atlantic World
• You can study individual modules for personal or professional development, or work towards the PgCert, PgDip, or full Masters degree

This course has been approved for in-country international delivery. It may also be studied by international students based within the UK.
You will study this course through a combination of video conferenced seminars and learning through the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors and student advisor.
Students, including international students, can study at Orkney College UHI and Lews Castle College UHI in Stornoway, or from their own locations, studying online and by video conference, in real-time or recordings.
An online induction will be offered at the start of your course.



Core modules are: Vikings in the Scottish Islands and the Irish Sea region; Gender in Viking Society; Runology and Old Norse


Core module is: Visualising the Vikings: the Vikings in Popular Culture

You will also choose two option modules which may include: The North Atlantic World; Early Scottish and Norse Literature; The Orkney and Shetland Tongues; Orkney and Shetland Literature; Introduction to Screenwriting; Exploring Creative Writing; Celts and Vikings in the North Atlantic; Picts: Revealing the painted past.


To achieve the award of MLitt Viking Studies you must complete a research dissertation.


This course is available online with support from
Lews Castle College UHI, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS2 0XR
Orkney College UHI, East Road, Kirkwall, KW15 1LX


From 2017, eligible Scotland domiciled students studying full time can access loans up to 10,000 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500. EU students studying full time can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5500.

Part-time students undertaking any taught postgraduate course over two years up to Masters level who meet the residency eligibility can apply for a for a tuition fee loan up to £2,750 per year.

See Scholarships tab below for full details

Top reasons to study at UHI

1. Do something different: our reputation is built on our innovative approach to learning and our distinctive research and curriculum which often reflects the unique environment and culture of our region and closely links to vocational skills required by a range of sectors.
2. Choice of campuses – we have campuses across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Each campus is different from rich cultural life of the islands; the spectacular coasts and mountains; to the bright lights of our city locations.
3. Small class sizes mean that you have a more personal experience of university and receive all the support you need from our expert staff
4. The affordable option - if you already live in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland you don't have to leave home and incur huge debts to go to university; we're right here on your doorstep

How to apply

If you want to apply for this postgraduate programme click on the ‘visit website’ button below which will take you to the relevant course page on our website, from there select the Apply tab to complete our online application.
If you still have any questions please get in touch with our information line by email using the links below or call on 0845 272 3600.

International Students

If you would like to study in a country of outstanding natural beauty, friendly communities, and cities buzzing with social life and activities, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland should be your first choice. We have campuses across the region each one with its own special characteristics from the rich cultural life of the islands to the bright city lights of Perth and Inverness. Some courses are available in one location only, for others you will have a choice; we also have courses that can be studied online from your own home country. http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international

English Language Requirements

Our programmes are taught and examined in English. To make the most of your studies, you must be able to communicate fluently and accurately in spoken and written English and provide certified proof of your competence before starting your course. Please note that English language tests need to have been taken no more than two years prior to the start date of the course. The standard English Language criteria to study at the University of the Highlands and Islands are detailed on our English language requirements page http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international/how-to-apply-to-uhi/english-language-requirements

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