Study Opportunities

Interdisciplinary Research

Scandinavian Studies

Exploring Scandinavian language, history and culture

Study Opportunities

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

The Vikings, alongside tales of the Norse gods, hold perennially popular places in the public imagination. But the history, myths and literature behind the stereotypes are even more fascinating! This one-year programme (two years part-time) will equip you with an understanding of the Old Norse language, and allow you to study the literature, myths, history and society of early Scandinavia in detail (using primary sources in the original language and in English translation). You will rapidly gain expertise in this area, a culture and historical period that has been massively influential for the British Isles and Europe, both in the past and today. You will be taught by specialists in Scandinavian Studies, with opportunities to interact with a close community of peers and attend regular talks from visiting experts.

The MLitt will appeal to students interested in the history, literature, language and culture of Viking and Medieval Scandinavia, and particularly to those who wish to gain an interdisciplinary insight to this field of research. The programme offers skills and thematic courses as well as specialist supervision for an 18,000-word dissertation on a topic of the student’s own choice. It is suitable for students seeking to continue with postgraduate study as well as those simply interested to learn more.               

At the core of the programme are specialist skills training in Old Norse language and thematic courses in Old Norse literature, culture, history and society. Students may also take courses from the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon, English, History, Archaeology and Business programmes, including Palaeography, Latin, Swedish, Viking Archaeology and Business for Arts, among others.

The taught component of the degree (worth 115 credits) takes place in autumn and spring. You will then write an 18,000-word dissertation (worth 75 credits) on a topic of your choice 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

PhD Research

The Centre welcomes applications for PhD projects in any area of research related to the Centre’s activities, including:

  • Old Norse literature and culture, including sagas, myths and poetry
  • The society and history of early Scandinavia
  • Links and comparisons between Old Norse and Celtic literatures
  • The post-medieval reception of Old Norse literature and culture and of Viking Age history
  • Textual editing and philology
  • Medieval laws and legal culture
  • Vikings in the British Isles and Ireland.

Students propose individual topics themselves, or together with the supervisor. You should get in touch with your proposed supervisor to discuss your project in the first instance before applying. If you have a project in mind and are not sure who to approach, you can contact Dr Hannah Burrows.

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 that means 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 (featuring expert invited speakers) and research training workshops. Our students often spend some time on field or archival research in Scandinavia and have had success obtaining grants for this type of activity – we can advise on opportunities and funding.

Our PhD students can normally, by arrangement, take some courses available to our MLitt students (especially skills courses in Old Norse, other medieval languages, modern Swedish, and Palaeography). These courses can simply be audited (meaning you sit in on classes but do not need to undertake assessments), since for-credit taught courses are not required in the UK PhD system, or they can be recognised on your transcript.

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. A PhD is examined by a thesis of 100,000 words. If you are interested in applying for a postgraduate research programme, please contact Dr Hannah Burrows for further information.

Profiles for our current research students may be found here.

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

You can also contact the Centre director on the details below if you have any questions:
Dr Hannah Burrows, Department of History
Crombie Annexe, Meston Walk
AB24 3FX
Tel: +44 (0)1224 272739

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, Philosophy & Art History, 
King’s College, Old Aberdeen, 
AB24 3FX 
Tel: +44 (0)1224 272411