Find a Course Undergraduate Scandinavian Studies

Scandinavian Studies at Aberdeen boasts internationally-known experts and specialises in a range of literature and historical periods in Scandinavia.

Why Aberdeen?

  • The Centre offers a wide range of courses and joint degree programmes, including joint degrees with History, Archaeology, English, German and History of Art.
  • You will have the opportunity to work with some of the main researchers in the field of Scandinavian Studies in small group environments. Scandinavia itself provides a fascinating area of study, with a unique and often advanced literature and history: from the proto-democracy of Viking-Age Iceland, to the social democratic experiment of post-war Sweden; from the Norse sagas to the contemporary crime fiction of modern Scandinavia.
  • Our staff are committed to teaching and research in the field and are dedicated to bringing knowledge of Scandinavia and engagement with it to our students.

Study Abroad

Study abroad information


The Aberdeen Difference

The opportunity to take Enhanced Study options as part of your degree and participate in co-curricular activities. See for more information.

First and Second Year

The core of the degree involves Scandinavian language (most likely Swedish) for the first two years, in addition to your other subjects. You will have classes on language and conversation, developing an increasingly fluent grasp of the language, including reading, writing and oral communication. There are a number of other relevant courses in English, Celtic Studies and History, including Vikings (History) and The Vikings in Scotland (Celtic). Students are encouraged to also do these subjects.

In the course of the degree, you will be encouraged to spend some time in Scandinavia, either on exchange programmes or doing summer schools or work. This will improve your language skills and give you first-hand experience of Scandinavian society and culture. 

Third & Fourth Year (Honours)

The Honours years provide advanced and specialised courses on a variety of topics in Scandinavian Studies. We offer a wide range of options through various departments. To a large extent you can shape your degree programme to suit your particular interests and enthusiasms.

Honours courses offered include:

  • Old Norse Language and Literature
  • Viking Archaeology
  • Back in the Viking Homelands
  • Sex and Violence in Cold Climates
  • Legendary Scandinavia
  • Scandinavia since 1800: War, Peace and Independence
  • The Sagas of Icelanders
  • Beowulf and Old English

You will be encouraged to participate in Erasmus exchanges and/or summer courses in Scandinavia during your degree. Some funding is available for exchanges and courses.

Teaching and Assessment

In the first two years of study, you will be learning a Scandinavian language alongside your other subjects. Language classes are generally small and occupy 3-4 hours per week. There are a number of other courses available through History and Celtic Studies. These involve a combination of large lectures and small tutorial groups. Regular subject discussion and argument in tutorials will help to develop your self- confidence and powers of expression. 

All your classwork counts towards your assessment. The rest of your assessment comes from an end-of-course examination and from performance in tutorials.

At Honours level, most teaching is seminar-based, and students take greater responsibility for introducing ideas and shaping discussion. You may be asked, individually or in a small group, to research a topic and prepare a class presentation, so you will learn not just from your tutor but from all the other members of the seminar as well. Seminars vary in size according to the number of students who enrol. In Junior Honours you may find yourself in a group of 10-20, depending on what you have decided to study. In Senior Honours classes are 5-15 students.

Depending on the particular joint degree, you may be able to do a dissertation of 12,000 words on a subject of your choice as part of your final year assessment, in addition to course assessment.


Thinking further ahead, you will find Scandinavian Studies at Aberdeen an excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers, ranging from teaching and the media to any area with a Scandinavian connection, including the oil industry. What these jobs all have in common is the need for advanced analytical and language skills, which means, amongst other things, the perspective given by an understanding of the past, a firm grasp of the power of language, the ability to develop and present an argument lucidly and confidently, plus oral and written communication skills.

Finding your direction

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success.  The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us – from first to final year – and beyond.

Finding your direction

Whatever stage you are at from first year to final year and beyond, the Careers Service can help you with career planning and offer you guidance on the way. There are many opportunities within the University of Aberdeen to gain experience and build a competitive set of skills. Enhancing your employability during your time with us is essential for your future career success.

Minimum Entrance Requirements

SQA Highers - BBBB
A Levels - BBB
IB - 30 points, 15 points at HL

For further details of entrance requirements click here

Please click on the links below to find out more information on funding in your area.

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Further Information

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
King's College

Tel: +44 (0)1224 272090 / +44 (0)1224 272091
Fax: +44 (0)1224 272576