The languages, history, politics and culture of the Scandinavian countries have had a considerable impact beyond the Nordic region. At the University of Edinburgh you will explore Scandinavian culture, past and present, alongside the study of the Scandinavian languages. Edinburgh has an excellent reputation for its research in this area. Regular research seminars and cultural events provide students 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 degree programme. You do not need a previous knowledge of any of the languages (with the exception of the joint honours programme with Business Studies) as courses are available for beginners. The relatively small class sizes provide an informal and supportive learning environment.
Classics is the study of the languages and literatures of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Ancient Greek is the language in which many of the basic concepts underlying Western society to this day found expression for the first time; Latin was the language of the most powerful and durable empire of the classical world and remained the principal language of scholarship, record and much literature for more than a thousand years thereafter. In these two languages highly influential literary works of great intrinsic quality and interest were composed; and the fusion of Greek and Roman culture produced a heritage which is fundamental to later Western civilisation. The study of Classics is not only a valuable pursuit in itself but also informs our views of the world in which we live. The MA in Classics combines both linguistic and philological work as well as the study of two civilisations that utilised what we call the classical languages in a wide range of different contexts (e.g. political, religious, philosophical, etc.) and in different societal niches, i.e. by individuals from different social levels, emphasising the need to appreciate social status and equality in the context of personal and other diversity. To acquire a sound grammatical understanding of both ancient Greek and Latin, a good knowledge of the vocabulary and the different uses of both languages by different authors, and an appreciation of the rapport between the different ancient societies that used these languages as well as these societies’ relationship to their languages and literatures are, thus, the central aims of this programme.