BA Scandinavian Studies

UCAS Code: R600

This degree provides the opportunity to specialise in the Danish, Norwegian or Swedish language, and to develop an in-depth appreciation of Scandinavian culture. You will have access to state-of-the-art language teaching facilities and the largest and oldest Scandinavian library in the UK, and will spend a year in a Scandinavian country.


Degree benefits

  • This degree programme gives you the opportunity to learn a Scandinavian language of which you have no prior knowledge and attain a near-native competence by the time you graduate.
  • You will spend a year abroad in Scandinavia, studying at one of our partner universities in the country where your main target language is spoken.
  • UCL Scandinavian Studies has specialists across the areas of language, politics, history, medieval studies, literature and film.
  • You will have access to the largest and oldest Scandinavian library in the country, as well as state-of-the-art facilities within the UCL Language Space.

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits each, adding up to a total of 120 credits each year. The range of modules available to students varies from programme to programme and year to year.

ELCS modules are humanities-based modules which complement the language-specific teaching and are open to students from all SELCS languages. The range of topics typically includes literature, film linguistics and history with a predominantly European focus.

Year One

  • Core compulsory modules in your chosen language.
  • Choose from a range of cultural, literature, history, film and linguistics first-year modules related to your chosen language.
  • Choose from a range of first-year ELCS modules.

Year Two

  • Core compulsory modules in your chosen language.
  • Choose from a range of cultural, literature, history, film and linguistics intermediate second-year modules related to your chosen language.
  • Choose from a range of intermediate ELCS modules.

Year Three

  • You spend your Year Abroad in a country where your target language is spoken. 

Final Year

  • Core compulsory advanced modules in your chosen language.
  • Choose from a range of cultural, literature, history, film and linguistics advanced modules related to your chosen language or including ELCS modules.  
Click here for a full list of all UG (BA) modules in SELCS.

A Levels

Foreign language preferred.
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, click here for further details.

IB Diploma

A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects, preferably including a foreign language, with no score lower than 5.

International and Alternative UK Qualifications

For entry requirements with international and other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, please see the entry requirements on the Prospective Student website.

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


Upon graduation you will be fluent in your chosen language and have a reading knowledge of other Scandinavian languages. The historical and literary parts of the degree will develop your cultural awareness. You will be trained in the organisation, presentation and interpretation of complex information, written and oral communication, and 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 Scandinavian companies. Recent graduates have also entered translating, publishing and teaching.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of this programme at UCL include:

  • Library Assistant, University of Warwick
  • Full-time student, MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at UCL
  • Full-time student, MPhil in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge

*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 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.


Your application

Your personal statement should reflect your interests and goals, especially with respect to your proposed degree. Some knowledge or experience of Scandinavian culture is expected, as well as an explanation of how this has motivated you to learn more. 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.

Application deadline: 15 January


If your application demonstrates that your academic ability and motivation make you well suited to our degree and you receive an offer, we shall invite you to a post-offer open day. There, you will be able to experience the sort of teaching we offer and life in SELCS.

Our admissions process aims to assess your linguistic abilities and attainments as well as your cultural awareness, motivation for study and intellectual potential. We may interview candidates by telephone in order to establish a level of language ability.

Students who have not decided between Danish, Norwegian or Swedish are encouraged to contact the SELCS Admissions Office. Students who wish to take Icelandic as part of this programme should also contact the SELCS Admissions Office.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.