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Scandinavian Studies: Language, Culture and History - MA/PGDip/PGCert

Course Description

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.

Degree information

Option 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, filmmaking, 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 module (30 credits), three optional modules (90 credits), dissertation (60 credits). Research: one core 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.

Core module - Language, Culture and History. This core module permits research into two areas of major contemporary interest; for example, topics explored during the current year include the following: Trauma; Memory; Visual Culture; Queer(y)ing Sexuality

Optional modules - students take a choice of optional modules on topics such as the following:
-Advanced Scandinavian Translation
-Nordic Cinema: Contextualising Dreyer, Bergman and Dogme 95
-Introduction to Old Norse
-Crime and Small Communities in Nordic Literature
-Advanced Old Icelandic Literature
-Sources for the Viking Age

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.


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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.

Visit the Scandinavian Studies: Language, Culture and History - MA/PGDip/PGCert page on the University College London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Jean Orr Scholarship - Single Award

£7,000 per annum, for one academic year only. This will be applied to the cost of tuition fees for the year, and any additional amount (if relevant) will be paid to the recipient as maintenance.

Value of Scholarship(s)



One scholarship for a postgraduate Master's student studying in one or more of the following Departments – History, French, Italian and Dutch – awarded on the basis of academic merit.

Application Procedure

Candidates will be selected by academic departments on the basis of the admission application form.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in a relevant discipline.

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