The Centre offers a variety of study opportunities, from undergraduate courses to postgraduate research programmes. The tabs below provide more information about what is available.

Sustained Studies

The Centre offers a two year course in Scandinavian Language. This may be taken as part of the Sustained Study requirement for any undergraduate degree programme.


The Centre offers a number of courses which are available across undergraduate programmes for those interested in specialist work in Scandinavian Studies, particularly interdisciplinary studies of early Scandinavia.

MLitt Scandinavian Studies

A one-year taught MLitt (or two years part-time) in Scandinavian Studies started in September 2007. The MLitt will appeal to students interested in the history, language and culture of Scandinavia, and particularly to those who wish to gain an interdisciplinary insight to this field of research. The programme offers training and thematic courses as well as specialist supervision for a 18,000 word dissertation of the students' own choice. It is suited for students seeking to continue with postgraduate study as well as those simply interested to learn more. 

Relevant topics include:

  • Approaches to Scandinavian Studies (Brink)
  • Old Norse Language & Literature (Burrows)
  • Runes and Place Names (Brink)
  • Paganism and Christianisation (Brink)
  • Trolls, Druids and the Walking Dead (O'Connor)

Students may also undertake courses from the Medieval, Celtic, English and History programmes.

Basic Training courses offer training on research theories and methodology. Language and Literature Courses provide training in specialist skills. Thematic courses enable students to pursue individual topics in depth. The taught component of the degree (worth 115 credits) takes place in half session one and two. You are then required to write a 18,000 word dissertation (worth 75 credits) during the summer. This will be supervised by the member of staff who is best equipped to advise on your chosen dissertation topic.

This programme is also offered as a masters by research, which does not include compulsory course attendance. This MLitt will appeal to those who wish to conduct a research project on a special subject in the broad field of Scandinavian Studies, or prepare for a PhD project. For more information about this option, please visit our information page.

PhD Research

Students with normally a first or upper second-class Honours degree from a UK university or the equivalent (undergraduate exam) from a recognised overseas institution are welcome to apply for our PhD programme. Applicants from the USA are expected to have a minimum GPA of 3.3/4.0. A Master's (postgraduate MA/MLitt) qualification is desirable, but not essential. All students are initially registered for the MPhil but can transfer retrospectively to the PhD, subject to formal approval and if the scope of the project warrants this.

Students propose their topic themselves, or together with the supervisor. The topic is approved by the student's supervisor.

The Centre for Scandinavian Studies functions as a kind of a Research School, where PhD students take part in everyday life at the Centre, forming a tight and informal research community, therefore students receive continuous feedback from supervisors and other staff at the Centre. It is expected that PhD students take part in the Centre's seminars and workshops.

Students are expected to have at least one Scandinavian language. Students generally also spend some time on field or archival research in Scandinavia. Grants for this can be obtained.

A MPhil is examined by a thesis of 80,000 words and a PhD is examined by a thesis of 100,000 words.

The Centre supervises PhD and MLitt projects in any area of research related to the Centre’s activities, including:

  • The society and culture of early Scandinavia
  • The language and literature of early Scandinavia
  • Germanic place-names
  • Runes and runology
  • Landscape history
  • Viking slavery
  • The post-medieval reception of medieval Scandinavian literature and culture
  • Textual editing and philology
  • Medieval laws

If you are interested in applying for a postgraduate research programme, please contact Stefan Brink for further information.

Further Information

For more information about the programmes on offer, please visit the Online Prospectus.

You can also contact the centre staff below if you have any questions:

Dr Hannah Burrows
School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, 
King’s College, Old Aberdeen, 
AB24 3FX 
Tel: +44 (0)1224 272411

Professor Stefan Brink
School of Divinity, History and Philosophy
King’s College, Old Aberdeen
AB24 3FX