Masters degrees in Finnish Society & Culture offer advanced study of the social and cultural institutions, movements and traditions originating from, or associated with, Finland.
Related postgraduate specialisms include Scandinavian Studies and Nordic Studies. Entry requirements normally include an appropriate undergraduate degree, such as Modern Languages, Literature, or Cultural Studies.
Courses in this field allow you to scrutinise a range of sociocultural, political and economic practices in Finland, and how prior occupations of the area have influenced their formation.
For example, you may explore how Finland’s fairly recent recognition as an independent state (1906), has had an impact on the concept of Finnish national identity, and the rise of Fennomania.
Similarly, you might observe the country’s adherence to the so-called ‘Nordic model’, whereby the welfare state is aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy and promoting social mobility.
Careers in this field may include roles in the public or private sectors, such as policy-making on behalf of Finnish government departments and regulatory bodies, academia and publishing, journalism, and or 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.
Understanding Europe today requires much more than understanding the process of European integration. The tensions, challenges and possibilities that are manifesting themselves today have their roots in a longer political, social and cultural history.
This programme takes you to these roots. A multidisciplinary study path introduces you to various aspects of European society, culture and politics. Along the way, it draws from the strengths of Nordic research on Europe, with its strong focus on regional cooperation, diversity, identities, institutions, culture and the politics of history and memory. You will get to know the Nordic countries from a European perspective and Europe from a Nordic perspective.
Studying the ways in which Europeans cooperate, how European states and societies are interconnected, and how they are governed, forms an important part of the programme. Besides looking at the processes of integration and the evolution and functioning of the European Union, the programme highlights the significance of regional cooperation in the Nordic context, the EU’s relations with its neighbours and its place in the global system.
At the end of your studies, you will have gained a broad understanding of European issues and acquired advanced research skills. You will be ready to work in a wide range of expert positions that require independent and creative thinking, in both the public and private sectors.
The programme consists of joint courses and specialisation studies. One of the available options is to specialise in Nordic Studies. ENS is the only Nordic Studies programme taught in English in the Nordic countries.
The Master's Programme in European and Nordic Studies is offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Arts.
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website: http://www.helsinki.fi/en/programmes/master/european-and-nordic-studies
The programme consists of a multidisciplinary selection of courses that introduce you to various aspects of Europe, the Nordic countries, and the Baltic Sea Region.
The topics addressed in the joint courses include, for example, contemporary European politics, cooperation and conflict in European history, Nordic societies and cultures, and institutions, ideologies and identities in Europe. You will also learn about nations and nationalism, political and social protest, (Nordic) welfare models, the European Union and Nordic cooperation, European legal traditions, and the politics of memory.
The programme involves substantial interaction between you and your teachers. You will complete several writing assignments and research papers along the way, culminating in a Master’s thesis in your second year. Some courses use active learning or flipped classroom pedagogy.
The content of your studies also depends on your own choices. In addition to core courses that provide you with a deep multidisciplinary understanding of Europe, the degree includes specialisation studies of your own choosing.
If you specialise in Nordic studies, you will have access to some courses taught at the programme for Nordic Literature and the Kultur och Kommunikation Master’s programme.
You also have plenty of other options. The University of Helsinki is a large research university. As a student in ENS you will have access to a rich variety of specialised courses in many faculties and schools. Check the section on research focus to see what we are particularly good at in Helsinki.