Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA German and Scandinavian Studies

UCAS code: RR26

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA German and Scandinavian Studies

More people speak German as their native language than any other in Europe, while the languages and cultures of the Scandinavian countries have had a considerable impact beyond the Nordic region.

This joint programme enables you to study German and one (or more) of either Swedish, Danish or Norwegian in the context of the histories, literatures, and societies of the countries in which they're spoken.

Why Edinburgh

We are the only university in Scotland, and one of only two in the UK, to offer undergraduate programmes in Scandinavian Studies.

We are also unique in Scotland in offering students a full academic year abroad within the four-year honours programme, regardless of whether you spend the year studying or working. You will spend this year in at least two countries:

  • one where German is spoken
  • one in Scandinavia

Our language programmes are extremely flexible. In Years 1 and 2, you will choose option courses from a broad list of disciplines in addition to your core subjects.

One of the most attractive characteristics of this programme is its flexibility.

In Years 1 and 2, you will choose option courses drawn from a wide range of disciplines in addition to your core subjects of German and Scandinavian Studies. This may enable you to change the focus of your programme in Years 3 and 4.

Year 1

German

If you have not studied German before, you will take German 1A, an intensive language course.

If your entry qualification for German is a Scottish Higher, A level, or equivalent, you will take German 1B. This course covers language as well as literature and culture from 1770 to the present day.

As part of German 1B, you will interview a German native speaker working in Edinburgh or Glasgow. This will give you the opportunity to:

  • practise professional communication
  • discover the value of languages in the workplace
  • gain insights into possible career options

Scandinavian Studies

You will take an intensive beginners' language course in either Danish, Norwegian or Swedish. This will allow you to develop spoken and written language skills, and will introduce you to Scandinavian literature and culture.

Over the course of Years 1 & 2, you'll be also encouraged to take one, or both, of two courses in Scandinavian Civilisation. These provide an overview of important trends in the history, society, culture and politics of the Scandinavian and wider Nordic world, from the earliest times to the present.

Option courses

You'll complete your studies with option courses chosen from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh. As well as Scandinavian Civilisation, these include - but aren’t limited to - courses in business, politics, social policy, informatics and economics, and in history (including art and architectural history), classics, archaeology, philosophy, linguistics, and divinity.

Year 2

German

In Year 2 you will develop your oral language skills further. You will also practise translation, grammar, and writing different types of texts in German.

You will continue to study German-language literature and culture, choosing at least two courses from a range of options. These are likely to include:

  • Researching Disability in German Literature and Society
  • Culture, Modernity and the City in the Weimar Republic
  • Reading Antisemitism in Modern German Literature
  • The Contemporary Short Story in German
  • Sexualities on the German Screen (title to be confirmed)
  • Migration in German-Language Discourse

Scandinavian Studies

In Year 2 you will build on the spoken and written language skills you developed in Year 1.

You can opt to develop your skills in understanding all three Scandinavian languages, or choose to learn more about Scandinavian literature.

Option courses

As in Year 1, you will also choose from a range of option courses offered by the University.

These include a great selection in European languages and cultures, allowing you to study literature, film and theatre in themed and comparative contexts.

Current options include, but are not limited to, courses in:

  • Cultural Responses to War
  • Migration, Exile, Diaspora
  • Crime and Detection in Literature
  • Gender and Culture
  • The Coming-of-Age Narrative
  • Introduction to European Cinema
  • Dynamics of Language and Power
  • Languages Beyond University

Year 3

If international travel restrictions allow, you'll spend Year 3 abroad, dividing your 30 weeks between a country in which German is spoken and either Sweden, Norway or Denmark.

You will spend at least eight weeks in each country, either studying or completing a work/teaching placement.

Whether studying or working, our graduates have told us how much the year abroad has benefited their broader life experience and skills, as well as their understanding of German-language and Scandinavian cultures.

During your year abroad, we'll aim to ensure your experience is as beneficial as possible to your final year, as well as to your wider language learning, cultural awareness and skills development.

For example, you'll take e-learning courses which will count as part of your Year 3 mark and prepare you for your Year 4 language courses.

If international travel is not possible, you will be offered an alternative means of engaging with your subjects, enabling you to meet your learning outcomes and preparing you for your final year.

Year 4

You will develop your advanced language skills.

You will also choose specialist German and Scandinavian Studies courses on topics such as film and literature, history, language and politics.

Dissertation

You will complete a dissertation or a long essay in either German, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area, where we have excellent:

  • computing and audiovisual resources
  • support services
  • social spaces

Events and activities

You can join student societies for German and Scandinavian Studies, or contribute creative writing in German, Swedish, Danish, or Norwegian to our online magazine, Babble. We also stage an annual German play.

We contribute actively to the local cultural scene. You will be able to attend film screenings, performances and talks organised by members of staff for the wider public.

Edinburgh also hosts the Northern Scholars programme, which encourages scholars of Nordic countries, Baltic countries, and Scotland to come together. It hosts events such as public lectures and workshops, and involves visiting guests in teaching and learning activities.

The city

As the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh has excellent links with the Nordic nations. It is also a world-leading festival city filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections. These include outstanding German holdings in the National Library of Scotland.

Study abroad

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 abroad. You will divide your 30 weeks between a country in which German is spoken and either Norway, Sweden or Denmark. You will spend at least eight weeks in a country relevant to each of your two chosen languages.

This is your chance to immerse yourself in German-language and Scandinavian culture. It will allow you to develop broader life experience and skills that you can use after university.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Language teaching involves developing professional speaking and writing skills, as well as an introduction to professional translation techniques.

Experienced lecturers and language instructors will teach through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • computer-assisted learning

You will often work in independent learning groups with the guidance of experienced staff, and will have the opportunity to discuss the latest research of world-leading scholars.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a combination of:

  • exams
  • coursework
  • class participation

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2021/22)

Studying languages to degree level, especially when you spend a year abroad, gives you a set of skills and life experiences highly prized by employers.

With a qualification in German and Scandinavian Studies, you will understand a major language of international communication.

You will also be one of very few graduates from the UK specialising in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish. Speaking one of these languages will make you widely understood in all Scandinavian countries.

Sectors

Our employment statistics for language graduates are impressive. Our graduates can be found in every sector, especially those that require disciplined and imaginative thinking.

Many of our former students are working in roles where language skills are of special value, such as:

  • journalism
  • translation
  • marketing
  • finance
  • teaching
  • publishing

Further study

There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level. Year 4 will help you to develop the research skills needed if you choose this path.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA-AABB by end of S5 or AAAA-AAAB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAA - ABB.
  • IB: 37 points with 666 at HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: German at B. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: German at B. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: German or one of the Scandinavian languages at 5. SL: English at 5.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

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.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

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

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA German and Scandinavian Studies

Additional costs

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 abroad. Your costs will depend on where you decide to go, and how you spend your time.

Universities may charge you a fee for courses, but we will reimburse you for this as long as the course has been approved. You will be informed of the costs as you plan your year abroad, during Year 2.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding