BA Scandinavian Studies and History

Scandinavian Studies and History BA


This four-year BA, taught in conjunction with UCL's School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES), combines study of the languages and culture of Scandinavia with a wide range of optional modules in the history of the Nordic and Baltic regions. Year three is spent 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.
  • History modules are taken in the UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies. SSEES is the largest national centre in the UK for the study of central, Eastern and South-East Europe and Russia. The SSEES library contains over 400,000 books, journals and film resources.

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.

The structure of the degree will comprise of 60 credit SELCS modules and 60 credit modules of your other chosen subject.

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 or ELCS modules. Normally, if ELCS modules are taken in Year One they are not in Year Two and vice-versa.
  • Compulsory core modules and options from your other subject. You will find the full details of these on the other subject's department website.

Year Two

  • Core compulsory modules in your chosen language.
  • Choose from a range of cultural, literature, history, film and linguistics intermediate modules related to your chosen language or ELCS modules (if not taken in Year One).
  • Core compulsory modules and options from your other subject.

Year Three

  • Your Year Abroad is spent in a country where your target language is spoken.

Final Year

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

A Levels

History and 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, History and a language preferred, 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.


Please see first destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) from European Languages, Culture and Society  programmes at UCL for a selection of representative careers.

  • Freelance Filmmaker and Photographer
  • Full-time student, MA in Roads to Democracy at the University of Uppsala

*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 committed 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.

Students who have not yet decided on their chosen language should contact the SELCS Admissions Office.

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.

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