A degree in Scandinavian Studies will introduce you to the languages, history and culture of this unique region, while offering rigorous academic training in the heart of London.
UCL is one of only two departments in the UK to offer degree-level study of the Nordic region. A degree in Scandinavian Studies, Icelandic, or Viking and Old Norse Studies makes you stand out from the crowd!
UCL Scandinavian Studies is the only university department in England to offer Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Modern Icelandic and Old Norse to Honours level, as well as a wide range of modules on the history and culture of the Nordic region.
Our teaching and research interests encompass history, politics, literature, translation, cinema, material culture, music and language in Scandinavia from medieval times to the present day.
We are home to the Viking Society for Northern Research and Norvik Press, and we organise regular events for students and for the public, on topics ranging from Viking love poetry to Nordic Noir crime fiction.
“I love studying in the Scandinavian Department at UCL because it is so tight-knit, and we can help and support each other in seminars. It means support is always just round the corner." - BA Scandinavian Studies student
- Range of Specialisms and Courses
A truly Nordic department, we teach Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, as well as their medieval precursor, Old Norse. Our cultural, historical and political courses also cover Finland.
We have strong medieval expertise, both historical and literary, and we offer a variety of modules in modern cultural studies, including literature, film, historical topics and politics. Our language courses are intense and engaging, taught in small groups by experienced language pedagogues using a wide range of materials and topics, and our cultural and historical courses are designed to give both broad coverage of disciplines and topics as well as in-depth critical exposure and analysis.
We have dedicated degree programmes in Scandinavian Studies, Viking and Old Norse Studies, and Icelandic (all of which includes study of a main land Scandinavian language), or you can combine study of one of our languages with another language or another subject in SELCS and beyond.
- Innovative Teaching
Research-based learning. The Department's teaching and research staff specialise in a wide range of fields and disciplines. Our strengths include medieval history and literature; modern literature, history and politics; film and media studies; and musicology and cultural studies. We enjoy sharing our research with our students, and we are passionate about helping students develop their own research skills, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The Department runs regular research seminars, conferences and workshops in order to showcase research by staff and students.
Learn three Scandinavian languages for the price of one! Our language tutors work together to teach students of the three mainland Scandinavian languages how to speak to each other in their respective languages. Joint classes in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish ensure that students learn how to communicate across the Scandinavian region.
Learning outside the classroom. We try to take advantage of all the opportunities offered by our London location. As part of our 'Vikings and Material Cultures' module, we take students on study trips to the British Museum, the Museum of London and Senate House Library. We hold language classes in the UCL Art Museum and participate in events at the various Nordic Embassies, including book launches and author visits. We also organise study trips to Norway and Denmark so that students can experience the region first-hand and practice their languages will in advance of the Year Abroad.
- Research Excellence
Research at the Department encompasses a broad range of fields, including literary, linguistic, historical and cultural studies. See our 'Meet the Staff' page for a full list of specialisations.
In the 2016-17 Times Higher Education rankings, University College London came 4th in the world for teaching and research in the Arts and Humanities.
- Connections and Collaborations
Located in the heart of London, UCL is a five-minute walk from the British Museum and ten minutes from the British Library. We are surrounded by world-famous cultural institutions and historic landmarks, as well as a diverse, multicultural population. At UCL, you will meet people from across the UK and around the world.
The Department of Scandinavian Studies has close ties with the Nordic Embassies in London, allowing our students unique access to Embassy events such as author visits, academic conferences and social gatherings.
The Department is also home to Norvik Press, the UK's only press specialising in Nordic literature and culture, and to the Viking Society for Northern Research, the world's foremost learned society in the field of medieval Scandinavian studies.
- Undergraduate Study
Each of our undergraduate degrees combines intensive language learning with modules on the history and culture of this fascinating region. As a student at the UCL Department of Scandinavian Studies, you will spend the first two years of the degree in London before travelling abroad to study at a Scandinavian university.
Spending your third year abroad is the perfect opportunity to get to know the region first-hand, practice the language, and make friends with other, like-minded students.
After a final, fourth year of study back in London, you will have mastered at least one Nordic language and you will graduate with a sophisticated understanding of the Nordic region and its relationship with the rest of the world. You'll also have honed your written and oral communication abilities, and you'll have learned how to develop and carry out independent, academic research.
- Postgraduate Study
UCL is the perfect place to study the Nordic Region at postgraduate level. As part of the School of European Languages, Cultures and Society (SELCS), we offer an MA in Language, Culture and History that can be taken either as a full-time course over one year or a two-year, part-time course. No previous knowledge of the Scandinavian languages is required for this programme.
We provide the teaching across a range of interdisciplinary programmes available in SELCS or Centres within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
We are also home to a small but vibrant PhD student community. If you are interested in working with us, please take a look at our 'Meet the Staff' page to identify a potential supervisor. More information about PhD study can be found on our 'Research' page.
In 2008, Jessica Mulvogue and Ethan Stocks, students of UCL's Film Studies MA, made a short film about the Department of Scandinavian Studies. They were inspired by Jørgen Leth's classic short Det perfekte menneske (The Perfect Human, 1966).