Undergraduate study - 2021 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 long had a considerable impact beyond the Nordic region. Studying Scandinavian Studies and Philosophy, which has been at the core of Western intellectual life for at least 2,500 years, helps us understand the world in which we live now, as well as shedding light on the past.

Edinburgh is the only university in Scotland, and one of only two in the UK, to offer undergraduate honours programmes in Scandinavian Studies, enabling you to learn modern Danish, Swedish or Norwegian in its cultural context and alongside Philosophy. Home of the Northern Scholars programme, the University has an excellent reputation for research and teaching in this area.

Over the course of your four-year programme, you’ll specialise in the modern language of either Denmark, Norway or Sweden but, whichever you choose, you’ll also gain an understanding of the other two, as well as of Scandinavian literature and culture, past and present.

You will spend Year 3 studying, teaching or working in a Scandinavian country.

Studying philosophy, you'll explore and analyse how philosophers past and present have understood the world, and the arts of argument, critical enquiry, reasoning, and clarity of expression. These are essential tools in a variety of careers.

Year 1

You will take an intensive beginners' language course in either Danish, Norwegian or Swedish. Each course also involves studying 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.

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 option courses from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh. These range from courses in business, politics, social policy and economics, to courses in history, classics, psychology and archaeology, as well as in other languages and cultures.

Year 2

You will continue with Danish Language 2, Norwegian Language 2 or Swedish Language 2, building on your linguistic knowledge from Year 1.

You will also take further courses in Scandinavian literature and languages. You can opt, for example, to develop your skills in understanding all three Scandinavian languages.

You will take two courses in Philosophy:

  • Mind, Matter and Language
  • Knowledge and Reality

As in Year 1, you’ll also choose option courses from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh. These include a great selection in European languages and cultures, allowing you to study literature, film and theatre in themed and comparative contexts.

Year 3

You’ll spend your third year in either Denmark, Norway or Sweden, either studying or completing a work/teaching placement. Whether studying or working, our graduates have told us how much the year abroad has benefitted their broader life experience and skills, as well as their understanding of Scandinavian culture.

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.

You'll complete prescribed work in both Philosophy and Scandinavian Studies, for example taking an e-learning language course which will count as part of your Year 3 mark and prepare you for your final year courses in either Danish, Norwegian or Swedish.

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 (2020/21)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area in a world-leading festival city bursting with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections and with a thriving Scandinavian scene.

Scotland has excellent links with the Nordic nations, and Edinburgh hosts the Northern Scholars programme which fosters co-operation between scholars of the Nordic countries, the Baltic countries and Scotland, largely through events such as public lectures, workshops, and the involvement of visiting guests in teaching and learning activities.

The University has excellent computing and audiovisual resources, support services and social spaces, including many in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures and neighbouring School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences.

There’s lots going on in our subject areas, including student-run societies for Scandinavian Studies and Philosophy. Our online magazine for European languages, Babble, is the place to publish your creative writing in Norwegian, Swedish and Danish.

Study abroad

You’ll spend Year 3 abroad (a minimum of 30 weeks), in either Denmark, Sweden or Norway. This is your chance to immerse yourself in Scandinavian culture, and to develop your broader life experience and skills towards life after university.

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.

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 (2020/21)

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, and 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-ABBB by end of S5 or AAAA-AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 39 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: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: a language other than English at B and English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: a language other than English at B or 6 and English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: a language other than English at 5 and English at 5.

Additional requirements

Language requirement

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 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

*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)

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.

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