Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

MA Scandinavian Studies and Philosophy

UCAS code: RV65

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Scandinavian Studies and Philosophy

The languages, history, politics and culture of the Scandinavian countries have had a considerable impact beyond the Nordic region. You will explore Scandinavian culture, past and present, alongside the study of the Scandinavian languages.

The University has an excellent reputation for its research in this area. Regular research seminars and cultural events provide you with opportunities to find out more about the latest developments in Scandinavian culture and research.

Whichever of the three main languages – Danish, Norwegian or Swedish – you choose to specialise in, you will also gain a passive knowledge of the other two during the course of your programme.

You do not need a previous knowledge of any of the languages as courses are available for beginners. The relatively small class sizes provide an informal and supportive learning environment.

Philosophy has been at the core of Western intellectual life for at least 2,500 years and it is central to our understanding of the world and of our place in and interaction with it. Philosophy provides the tools whereby the presuppositions of all areas of intellectual and practical activity may be systematically and critically examined.

While there are different approaches that philosophers have taken, characteristic of philosophy is the emphasis on the use of argument, critical enquiry, rigour in reasoning, and clarity of expression, including the making of pertinent distinctions.

The University has a strong historic connection to the subject, counting Adam Ferguson and Sir William Hamilton among its former students. Edinburgh has one of the UK’s largest philosophy departments and the Philosophy Society attracts high-profile speakers.

Our programme is structured in such a way that you will cover the basics of Western philosophy and have the opportunity to specialise in the areas of most interest.

Year 1

You will choose one of the three intensive beginners' language courses: Danish 1, Norwegian 1 or Swedish 1. These courses also introduce the culture and literature of the country in question.

Year 1 philosophy courses introduce you to key topics in the history of philosophy, morality and ethics, and the nature of argument.

You will also choose from a range of option courses, including complementary courses in your primary subjects.

Year 2

You will continue with Danish Language 2, Norwegian Language 2 or Swedish Language 2, which build on and develop your linguistic knowledge from Year 1.

You will also take one of:

  • Scandinavian Literature 2, which focuses on Danish, Norwegian and Swedish literature from 1835 to the present day, and covers a wide variety of literary forms, ranging from the fairy tale to crime writing, from drawing-room drama to new urban narratives.

  • Scandinavian Languages 2, which investigates the similarities and differences between the Scandinavian languages past and present, discusses the perspectives and problems of inter-Scandinavian communication and the challenges involved in translating from Scandinavian into English.

You will also take two courses in philosophy: Mind, Matter and Language; and Knowledge and Reality.

In addition, you will choose from a range of option courses, including complementary courses in your primary subjects.

Year 3

You will spend Year 3 studying or working in Denmark, Norway or Sweden and you will complete prescribed work in both philosophy and Scandinavian studies.

Year 4

You will develop advanced spoken and written skills in your chosen Scandinavian language and can choose from a wide range of specialist courses in both Scandinavian studies and philosophy. You will also complete your dissertation or long essay.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on 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 structure (2019/20)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, in the University's Central Area. We are based in a state-of-the-art building, at 50 George Square, which houses computer microlabs, a language resource centre, and social facilities as well as tutors' offices and lecture theatres.

Study abroad

During Year 3, you will spend a minimum of 30 weeks on approved work or study placement in the country/countries relevant to the language/s studied.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and computer-assisted learning. The emphasis throughout is on a blend of activities designed to appeal to different learning styles.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a combination of exams and coursework.

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 (2019/20)

As there are relatively few graduates from UK universities specialising in the Scandinavian languages, there are excellent opportunities for those who do learn Danish, Norwegian or Swedish. This is particularly true since speakers of one language are widely understood in all Scandinavian countries.

Our graduates are to be found in every kind of career, especially those that place a premium on well-honed communication skills and thinking that is both disciplined and imaginative, or where the skills and experiences you will develop during your Year Aboard are highly valued.

There are excellent opportunities in areas such as translation, journalism, tourism, the cultural sector, international relations, industry and marketing, including within the institutions of the European Union (both Swedish and Danish are official working languages of the EU).

There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level, with Year 4 in particular developing the research skills you’ll need if you choose this path.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAB - AABB by end of S5. If you haven't achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'AAAA - AABB'.)
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 37 points (grades 666 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL). (Revised 21/06/2019 from '40 (766 at HL) - 34 (655 at HL)'.)

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5: a language other than English at grade B and English at grade C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: a language other than English at grade B or 6 and English at grade C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: a language other than English at grade 5 and English at grade 5.

Additional requirements

Language requirement

Please note that for degrees that have a subject requirement of a language other than English, students may not use their own native language to meet this requirement. In these instances, English or an alternative language other than native will be acceptable.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

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

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

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 Grade C

  • SQA Standard Grade 3

  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A

  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C

  • GCSE Grade C or 4

  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C

  • IB Standard Level Grade 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 92 or above with 20 in each section

  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component

  • PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section

  • 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 programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

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 Scandinavian Studies and Philosophy

Additional costs

For your compulsory residence abroad in Year 3, we give you a wide range of options. Your costs will depend on where you decide to go and how you spend your time. A placement with an Erasmus+ work grant, for example, could make this the cheapest year of your programme.

Universities outside the EU may charge you a fee for courses, but we will reimburse you for this provided the course has been approved. You will be informed about the cost implications 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