UCL's four-year Icelandic BA is the only degree programme of its kind outside Iceland. The programme aims to develop your interest in, and knowledge and understanding of Iceland and the Nordic world, in areas including other Scandinavian languages, literature, culture and history. Your third year is spent abroad at the University of Iceland.
- Degree Programme
- Icelandic BA
- UCAS code
- 4 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2016
- Foreign language preferred.
- AS Levels
- For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
- 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
- A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects, preferably including a foreign language, with no score lower than 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme
Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 28 credits awarded with Merit in the Level 3 units.
D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Foreign Language preferred.
ABB at Advanced Highers (or AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher). Foreign Language preferred.
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma, plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AB. Foreign Language preferred.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.
The Undergraduate 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: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.
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. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Advanced
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
- Spend a year abroad at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik.
- A broad range of course options, including Viking Studies, Old Norse, modern Scandinavian languages, literary studies, film studies, history, and cultural studies, together with the possibility to acquire proficiency in a second Scandinavian language.
- 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 UCL Language Space.
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).
In your first year, you will embark on an intensive study of modern Icelandic language at beginner's level, and study a mainland Scandinavian language (normally Danish), Old Norse, literary studies and linguistics. In your second year, you will continue with language studies, begin the study of Icelandic literature, and select optional courses.
You spend year three at the University of Iceland, taking a course in Icelandic for foreign students. If you have chosen to transfer to Icelandic with Danish, Norwegian or Swedish at the end of year one, you will take a course in your mainland Scandinavian language while at Reykjavik also.
The final year is spent at UCL, where you will take advanced courses in Modern Icelandic and Old Norse, continue your studies in Icelandic Literature and take further course options. If you have transferred to Icelandic with Danish, Norwegian or Swedish you will take advanced courses in your mainland Scandinavian language also,
You will also take School of European Languages, Culture & 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.
Basic Modern Icelandic
Basic language course in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish
Histories and Cultures of the Nordic Region
Introduction to Old Norse
You will select 0.5 credits of optional courses from the following:
Introduction to Linguistics and the Scandinavian Languages
Vikings and Material Culture
You will also select 0.5 credits from a wide range of intermediate courses offered by the School of European Languages, Culture and Society, which may include:
Fairy Tales: Their Origin and Evolution
From the Picaresque to the Detective Novel
Minority Languages, Policy and Power in Europe
Intermediate Language course in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish
Intermediate Modern Icelandic Language
Old Norse I
You will select 1.5 credits of optional courses. Options may include:
Nordic Politics and Society
The Nordic Welfare States
Scandinavian Literature in Context
Introduction to Finnish Society and Culture
ELCS Intermediate Level courses
Year abroad in Iceland
Students will complete a 6,000-word Year Abroad Project in the target language, and:
Any assessment required by a host university (if participating in a university exchange), or:
A British Council Assistantship or work placement abroad.
Degree-level Modern Icelandic
Modern Icelandic Literature: Special Topics
Old Norse II
Students taking Icelandic with Danish, Norwegian or Swedish will take 0.5 credits of advanced-level courses in their mainland Scandinavian language also.
You will select 2.0 credits of optional courses. Options may include:
Dissertation in Scandinavian Studies
Extended Essay in Scandinavian Studies
Nordic Literature in a Global World
Nordic Politics and Society
The Nordic Welfare States
Reading Finnish Society and Culture
Scandinavian Social Democracy
The Vikings in Europe
ELCS Advanced Level courses
Students taking Icelandic with Danish, Norwegian or Swedish will take 1.5 credits of optional courses.
Teaching consists of a mixture of lectures, classes, seminars, group work and presentations. Language elements comprise four taught hours a week for basic language in year one, four 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 coursework, a written and an oral examination. During your year abroad, you will take courses at the host university and will complete a Year Abroad Project.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Icelandic BA.
Upon graduation you will be fluent in Modern Icelandic, and also have knowledge of other medieval and modern Scandinavian languages. Historical and literary studies will develop cultural awareness, and you will be trained in organising, presenting and interpreting complex information, in effective written and oral communication, and in independent and group work.
Many of our graduates find they are able to use their Nordic 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 (2010-2013) of this programme, and of related Scandinavian Studies programmes, include:
- Computer Repair Specialist, Apple (2013)
- Full-time student, MA Theoretical And Applied Linguistics at the University of Cambridge (2012)
- Full-time student, MPhil in Anglo Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge (2011)
*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.
Fees and funding
- UK & EU fee
- £9,000 (2015/16)
- Overseas fee
- £15,660 (2015/16)
Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance
Scholarships listed below are relevant to the department. Please read the details carefully to check they are relevant to the degree and your own circumstances.
- UK, EU
- Based on academic merit
- UK, EU
The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.