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Scandinavian Studies: Language, Culture and History MA

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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£9,840 (FT) £4,970 (PT)
£20,540 (FT) £10,430 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

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.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Scandinavian Studies: Language, Culture and History MA


Applicants for this programme may be eligible for a number of funding opportunities, including: the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Postgraduate Studentships and UCL Graduate scholarships.

For details of scholarships available to MA students in SELCS, please refer to the MA Scholarships webpage.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Jean Orr Scholarship

£7,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


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.

Department: School of European Languages, Culture & Society

Student / staff numbers › 52 staff including 1 postdocs › 30 taught students › 52 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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
80% 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.

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

This MA can serve as a stepping stone between undergraduate studies and PhD research for students specialising in Nordic Studies. It is also ideal as a one-year professional development opportunity for those working in a field in which knowledge of Scandinavian culture is important: for example, design, publishing, politics or commerce.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

If you are planning to apply for funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, you need to submit your application for the degree programme no later than 1 February for the year of entry. Applicants intending to apply for funding from UCL Doctoral School also need to submit their application for the degree programme in good time.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Scandinavian Studies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Scandinavian Studies at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging programme
  • what you expect to get out of the programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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