Postgraduate study

Scandinavian Studies MScR

Awards: MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Scandinavian Studies

A Masters by Research (MScR) programme is ideal if you have a clear idea of the independent research you wish to undertake at masters level. The programme is a good stepping stone to a PhD, but is equally of value as a stand-alone qualification.

As a Masters by Research student, you will be part of a wider masters community while specialising in what most interests you right from the beginning of the programme. This is how it is different to a taught Masters (MSc).

The University of Edinburgh is one of the very few centres for the study of modern Scandinavian languages in the UK. We have been teaching and supervising research in the languages, literatures and cultures of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and other parts of the wider Nordic region since 1987.

In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), our research was submitted in Modern Languages. The results reaffirm Edinburgh’s position as one of the UK’s leading research universities - third in the UK based on the quality and breadth of its research in Modern Languages according to Times Higher Education's REF power ratings.

Join our community and choose one of two MScR pathways:

  • Pathway 1 - complete two research assignments and a 15,000-word dissertation
  • Pathway 2 - write a 30,000-word dissertation

On each pathway you will be guided by an experienced and well-published supervisor.

Our research expertise includes:

  • 19th and 20th century literature
  • cultural relations and transfer
  • language history and dialectology
  • literary translation
  • onomastics
  • place and identity
  • Scottish–Scandinavian historical relations
  • Viking studies

Both pathways on this programme include 40 credits of training on research skills, methods and problems. This training is delivered and assessed over two 20-credit courses.

If you are on Pathway 1, you will also complete:

  • two 40-credit supervised research assignments
  • one 60-credit supervised 15,000 word dissertation

If you are on Pathway 2, in addition to your training, you will complete:

  • one 140-credit supervised 30,000 word dissertation

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScRScandinavian Studies I1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2022/23
MScRScandinavian Studies I2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2022/23
MScRScandinavian Studies II1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2022/23
MScRScandinavian Studies II2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2022/23

This programme includes training on research skills, methods and problems.

Between the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC), the Careers Service and the Institute for Academic Development (IAD), you will find a further range of programmes and resources to help you develop your postgraduate skills.

You will also have access to the University’s fantastic libraries, collections and worldwide strategic partnerships.

Join in

As part of our research community, you will be immersed in a world of knowledge exchange, with lots of opportunities to share ideas, learning and creative work.

Activities include:

  • a regular seminar series in European Languages and Cultures (with talks by staff, research students and visiting speakers)
  • celebration of the major Scandinavian festivals
  • film screenings
  • lectures by visiting Scandinavian authors and academics, including as part of the Northern Scholars series

Find out more about Northern Scholars

Our graduates tell us that they value LLC’s friendliness, the connections they make here and the in-depth guidance they receive from our staff, who are published experts in their field.

On campus

The Main University Library holds academic books, journals and databases, including around 7,500 titles in Swedish, 5,400 in Danish, and 3,600 in Norwegian.

The Library is also the home of the University's Centre for Research Collections which brings together:

  • more than 400,000 rare books
  • six kilometres of archives and manuscripts
  • thousands of works of art, historical musical instruments and other objects

Many of our Special Collections are digitised and available online from our excellent Resource Centre, Computing Labs, and dedicated Masters study space in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC).

In the city

As a research student at Edinburgh, you will be based in a world-leading festival city with fantastic cinemas, theatres, galleries, museums, and collections.

Many of the city’s resources are located close to the University's Central Area, making them very easy to access when you are on campus. For example, both the National Library of Scotland and National Museum of Scotland are both less than one kilometre from our School. The latter has the Lewis Chess Pieces (probably made in the late 12th or early 13th century in Norway) on permanent display.

Edinburgh has excellent links with the Nordic nations, and many Scandinavian shops and cafes. Most of the city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the Old Town retaining many of its medieval buildings and streets.

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

You should have near-native speaker competence in the relevant language(s).

MScR: A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a related subject. Please note, if an MSc project demands access to Scandinavian-language materials, you should have competence in the relevant language(s) at CEFR level C1 or above.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScRScandinavian Studies I1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScRScandinavian Studies I2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScRScandinavian Studies II1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScRScandinavian Studies II2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
11 September 2023 31 July 2023

If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

The online application process involves the completion of a web form and the submission of supporting documents.

For a Masters by Research programme, you should include:

  • a sample of written work of about 3,000 words (this can be a previous piece of work from an undergraduate degree)
  • a research proposal - an outline of your proposed area of study, helping us gain a clearer picture of what you hope to achieve

See our guidance:

Before you apply, you should look at the interests and expertise of our research community on the programme website. This will help you decide if this programme is right for you and your supervision needs.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH