PDF version of Viking Studies BA


Admissions Officer

Mr Joe Tilley

Email: selcs.admissions@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 3096

Fees and Funding

UK & EU Fee

£9,000 (2013/14)

Overseas Fee

£14,750 (2013/14)

General Funding Notes

Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance

Key Facts

Research Assessment Exercise

Interdisciplinary programme: see contributing departments
(What is the RAE?)

Departmental website

School of European Languages, Culture and Society

Viking Studies BA

UCAS Code: R691

This four-year programme aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the Viking Age through study of the medieval and modern Scandinavian languages, Old Norse literature, and medieval history. The third year is spent abroad at a university in Denmark, Norway or Sweden.

Entry Requirements

A Levels

Grades ABB
Subjects English Literature or History preferred.
AS Levels A pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
GCSEs English Language at grade B, plus Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

Points 34
Subjects A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5. English Literature or History preferred.

Other Qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Selected entry requirements will appear here

International Qualifications

International Qualifications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Selected country's equivalent grades will appear here

University Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The University Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc

English Language Requirements

If English is not your first language you will also need to satisfy UCL's English Language Requirements. A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree Summary

Degree Benefits

  • The opportunity to learn a Scandinavian language of which you have no prior knowledge, and to attain a near-native level of competence by the time you graduate.
  • Spend a year abroad in Scandinavia, benefiting from the department's extensive contacts with universities in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
  • The Department of Scandinavian Studies at UCL is unique in the UK in having specialists across the areas of language, politics, history, medieval studies, literature and film.
  • Access to the largest and oldest Scandinavian library in the country, and the state-of-the-art facilities within the Language Space.

In the first year, you will study a mainland Scandinavian language and Old Norse, together with courses in Scandinavian history, linguistics, and medieval history.

In the second year, you will continue your language studies, with a particular emphasis on Old Norse, and take courses in Viking Age Scandinavia and The Early Middle Ages in Europe.

Your third year is spent abroad at a university in Scandinavia.

Your final year is spent at UCL where you will continue your language studies and take advanced courses including Old Norse, Religion and Mythology, and the Vikings in Europe. A dissertation option is available.

You may also take School of European Languages, Culture and Society (ELCS) courses, which allow students to study literature, film, art and culture from outside their subject area(s), focusing on broad cultural movements, issues and approaches from an interdisciplinary perspective and drawing on the full range of specialisms within the school.

Your Learning

Teaching comprises lectures, classes, seminars, group work and presentations. The modern language elements comprise five taught hours a week for basic language in year one, three hours a week for intermediate language in year two, and two hours a week for advanced language in the final year. Much of your work will be through guided independent study. Language teaching is generally undertaken by native speakers.


Most courses are assessed by a mixture of coursework and written examination. A few are assessed by essays only. Language courses are assessed by a written and an oral examination and coursework. During your year abroad, you will take courses at the host university and will complete a Year Abroad Project.

Degree Structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Year One

Compulsory courses

Basic language course in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish
Histories and Cultures of the Nordic Region
Introduction to Old Norse

Optional courses

One of the following:
Ancient and Medieval History
Introduction to Linguistics and the Scandinavian Languages
Introduction to Literary Studies

You will select 0.5 credits from a wide range of intermediate courses offered by the School of European Languages, Culture and Society, which may include:
Historical Linguistics: Language Birth, Change and Decay
Master and Slave Narratives

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Intermediate language course in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish
Old Norse I
Viking-Age Scandinavia

Optional courses

You will select 1.0 credits of option courses. Options may include:
Introduction to Finnish Society and Culture
Introduction to Scandinavian Literature I
Nordic Cinema
Nordic Landscapes
Reading Finnish Society and Culture
The Nordic Welfare States
ELCS Intermediate Level courses

Year Three

Year abroad

Year Abroad Oral Assessment

Final Year

Compulsory courses

Advanced language course in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish
Old Norse II
The Vikings in Europe

Optional courses

You will select 2.5 credits of optional courses. Options may include:
Advanced Project Work in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish
Dissertation in Scandinavian Studies
Extended Essay in Scandinavian Studies
Introduction to Finnish Society and Culture
Mythology and Religion in Medieval Scandinavia
Nordic Cinema
Nordic Landscapes
Nordic Politics and Society
Scandinavian Social Democracy
The Nordic Welfare States
Translation from the Scandinavian Languages
ELCS Advanced Level courses

Further details available on degree page of subject website:

Your Career

Upon graduation you will be fluent in your chosen language, and have a reading knowledge of other Scandinavian languages. Historical and literary studies will develop cultural awareness, and you will be trained in organising, presenting and interpreting complex information, effective written and oral communication, and in independent and group work.

Many of our graduates find they are able to use their Scandinavian languages in a variety of contexts, such as working for a Scandinavian company. Recent graduates have also entered translating, publishing and teaching.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2009-2011) of this programme, and of related Scandinavian Studies programmes, include:

  • Full-time student, MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at UCL (2011)
  • Full-time student, MA in Viking Studies at UCL (2010)
  • Full-time student, MA in Language, Culture and History: Scandinavian Studies at UCL (2010)
  • IT Analyst, Cyber (2010)
  • Web Producer, BBC (2009)

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:


Your Application

Your personal statement should reflect your interests, hopes and goals, especially as related to your proposed degree. Some knowledge/experience of Scandinavian culture, and an explanation of how this has motivated you to learn more, is expected. We do not necessarily require a language at A level or equivalent, but expect you to demonstrate an enthusiasm and aptitude for language learning.

How to Apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.


If your application demonstrates that your academic ability and motivation make you well-suited to our degree you will be invited to attend an applicant open day where you will meet a member of academic staff. You may also be asked to respond to an admissions questionnaire and/or attend an interview.

For candidates for whom travelling to UCL is difficult, alternative arrangements will be made. Our admissions process aims to assess your linguistic abilities and attainment as well as cultural awareness, motivation for study and intellectual potential.

Page last modified on 19 mar 14 15:02