Masters degrees in Finnish Literature and Language equip postgraduates with the skills to critically analyse and understand the morphology of and usage of the Finnish language, and its representation in literature.
Related postgraduate specialisms include Scandinavian Studies, and Finnish Society & Culture. Entry requirements usually include an appropriate undergraduate degree such as Modern Languages, Literature or Cultural studies.
Being a relatively ‘young’, country, the Republic of Finland is heavily influenced by other European cultures, including Swedish and Russian. As a result, the country’s lingual and literary developments provide interesting research opportunities.
For example, you might scrutinise issues of authority in Finnish literature written before the 16th century, as works were typically written in Latin or Swedish. On the same hand, you might examine how the bible was a key in the surge of Finnish-written literature after the Bishop’s translation in 1548.
Related to this phenomenon, you might also research what is known as Finland’s ‘language strife’, when Finnish was competing with Swedish as the official language of Finland within the political, educational and cultural realms.
Careers in this field are varied, but may include academia and publishing, translation, or even heritage management.
UCL's Scandinavian Studies MA offers an intellectually exciting and flexible range of options focusing on Nordic culture in a global context. No prior knowledge of a Nordic language is required, though students can opt to consolidate their language or translation skills, or to start Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian or Swedish from scratch.
Optional modules include advanced translation skills, Nordic cinema, Nordic literature in global perspective, the transnational politics of the region, and material cultures as well as modules on Viking and medieval Scandinavia. Assessed modules are supplemented with workshops and a summer school providing opportunities for networking and career development in publishing, translation, film-making, and the heritage and creative sectors.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme offers two pathways: taught and research. Taught: one core cross-language module (30 credits), three optional modules (90 credits), dissertation (60 credits). Research: one core cross-language module (30 credits), two taught modules (60 credits), dissertation (90 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma, one core module (30 credits), three optional modules (90 credits) full-time nine months or part-time two years, is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate, one core module (30 credits), one optional module (30 credits) full-time three months, part-time six months, is offered.
Students choose from a range of optional modules on topics such as the following:
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, lectures and reading and language classes. Student performance is assessed through written examination, coursework, and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Language, Culture and History: Scandinavian Studies MA
An MA in Scandinavian Studies offers prospects for employment in the private as well as in the public sector, whether in Scandinavia or in the English-speaking world. Former graduate students in the department are to be found in a range of challenging careers, which include work in IT and management, museums and university teaching.
In the UK and abroad, the Nordic countries are increasingly recognised for the success of their political and social model, and for their film, literature, food and design. Our MA graduates bring their deep understanding of Scandinavian culture to careers in which knowledge of the region is key: publishing, the arts, commerce and information management. Expertise in Nordic languages is rare in the UK, and employer demand is accordingly high. Our MA allows students to hone their Nordic language skills or to try a new language. Many of our graduates launch careers with translation companies and as freelancers.
UCL Scandinavian Studies is the largest independent Scandinavian department in the UK. Our research and teaching encompasses the languages, literatures, cultures, histories and politics of the entire Nordic region, ranging from the Viking Middle Ages to the present day.
Facilities are excellent: UCL boasts possibly the best Scandinavian Studies library outside Scandinavia, and students also have the outstanding collections of the British Library close at hand. Excellent links with universities in mainland Scandinavia, Iceland and Finland provide further benefits.
The department is home to the Viking Society for Northern Research, a leading publisher of Old Norse texts and monographs on medieval Scandinavia.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: School of European Languages, Culture & Society
74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
As one of the few centres for the study of modern Scandinavian languages in the UK, we offer a programme that can cater to a wide range of research interests, covering all Scandinavian countries.
Our academic staff are able to offer supervision on a broad variety of subjects, including:
In addition, you have the opportunity to undertake interdisciplinary research in areas such as comparative literature, film studies, translation studies, cultural studies and Scottish studies.
Thanks to our place in the diverse School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, we are also able to cater for interdisciplinary research programmes.
In order to encourage immersion in your research, we celebrate the major Scandinavian festivals, screen regular films and generally make the atmosphere as Scandinavian as possible. We are fortunate in being able to attract many Scandinavian visitors and speakers, including prominent authors and academics.
We encourage you to participate in our very active social and cultural life. We collaborate closely with the many Scandinavian bodies active in Edinburgh, such as the Danish Cultural Institute, the Norwegian Consulate General, the Scottish-Swedish Society and the Scottish-Finnish Society.
In addition, we have a partnership with the Georg Brandes International PhD School for Scandinavian Literature, Art and Linguistics, which is affiliated to the Department of Scandinavian Studies and Linguistics at the University of Copenhagen. This collaboration provides funding for our staff and students to attend and contribute to international workshops and seminars at the University of Copenhagen.
The Russian Studies MA draws on the unique area studies expertise at the UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES) to offer a choice of modules unparalleled in depth and breadth, ranging from Russia's medieval history to its contemporary politics, from 19th-century literature to 21st-century film.
Russian culture is explored from a variety of perspectives. Students specialise in literature and culture, social sciences or history, or combine modules into an interdisciplinary programme. They are encouraged to develop their research skills, and many choose to learn Russian, or improve their command of Russian, through a language course.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of one of a choice of three core modules (30 credits), a choice of a Russian language module (30 credits) and/or optional modules (to a total of 90 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).
This is a multidisciplinary programme. Nevertheless, students are required to gain a thorough methodological and theoretical grounding in disciplinary study and hence must choose between one of the following three modules:
90 credits from a range of options, which may include:
All MA students undertake an independent research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, film viewings, tutorials and specialist language courses. Assessment is carried out through unseen examinations, long essays, coursework and the research dissertation.
Detailed module information
AHRC Scholarships may be available.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
With their specialist knowledge and language skills, SSEES Master's graduates can be found in business, finance, the media, international agencies, charities, diplomacy, international security organisations, the law, and academia.
Some graduates advise the Russian, Polish, American, and other governments, and the European Commission.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Russia is one of the most exciting and important countries in the world, and SSEES is the ideal place in which to study it. Students who have successfully completed the programme have progressed to further academic research on the region, or have obtained employment in such organisations as the European Parliament and the Ministry of Defence, as well as roles in business, think tanks, NGOs, or similar, both in Britain and abroad. Networking is facilitated by two major collaborations led by SSEES: CEELBAS and the International Master's (IMESS). Scholarships, internship opportunities and excellent links with other universities in the region provide further benefits.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
SSEES is a world-leading specialist institution, and the largest national centre in the UK, for the study of central, Eastern and south-east Europe and Russia.
Located in Bloomsbury, SSEES offers an ideal location for scholars. The British Library, British Museum, University of London Library and other similar research centres are all close by.
The SSEES Library is unequalled in Britain for the depth and breadth of its collections, the majority of which are on open access in the SSEES building.