As a historical term, Scandinavia referred to the Scandinavian peninsula of Northern Europe and, depending on the definition used, this includes the modern sovereignties of Norway, Sweden. Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Officially this area is now referred to as the Nordic region and is described as such due to the political and cultural similarities between these countries.
Courses in Scandinavian studies offer an interdisciplinary syllabus covering subjects relating to language, history, society and culture, and you can expect to find yourself exploring areas as diverse as the archaeological evidence of the Viking age to contemporary Danish culture. Whilst all courses place a strong emphasis on language learning and will expect all students to graduate with a level of fluency in at least one of the Scandinavian languages, no prior knowledge of these languages is needed as all courses offer language studies from a beginners' level.
On graduating from Scandinavian studies you can expect to have a working knowledge of all Scandinavian languages and fluency in your Scandinavian language of choice. You will also develop an in-depth cultural awareness with historical and literary studies promoting excellent analytical and critical skills.
A range of language-learning aids are employed throughout all courses alongside other teaching methods such as lectures, seminars, group work and presentations. Assessment tends to be mainly by assessed essay and examination with coursework and presentations/oral exams making up a smaller portion of your final grade.
Most courses offer time abroad ranging from short placements (for example for the length of one term) to a full-year placement in a partner university in the Scandinavian region. This is also supported by a great deal of social and cultural activities which are offered by most institutions offering Scandinavian studies; these can range from celebrating the major Scandinavian festivals to holding Scandinavian film evenings.
Example Areas of Study
You will need to check with your preferred institution directly to find out the exact subjects you will be studying; however, typical subjects covered by social enterprise include:
- Danish language
- Norwegian language
- Swedish language
- Written language
- Scandinavian history
- Scandinavian culture
- Contemporary Scandinavia
- Modern Icelandic
- Aspects of Scandinavian linguistics
- Old Icelandic language and literature
- Historical and archaeological evidence of the Viking age
- The Viking age
- Old Norse
- Scandinavian film
- Politics in Scandinavia
- Scandinavian place-name studies
- The Enlightenment in Scandinavia
- History of the Scandinavian novel
- Ibsen, Brandes and Strindberg
- Modernism in Scandinavian poetry
- The Proletarian authors
- Ingmar Bergman and cinema
- Scandinavian literature for children
Some Career Possibilities
Unlike some other courses a language course will not prepare you for one particular job or industry sector; however as a graduate of Scandinavian studies you can expect to be able to utilise your skills in a number of areas. Graduates will often find that, unless being employed directly into a Scandinavian company, they will not use their language skills for the first couple of years of employment, but that these skills will set them apart as their career progresses. Scandinavian studies graduates can be found employed in areas such as commercial management, translation work, shipping, journalism, banking and the civil service, in addition to which there are also a number of opportunities to move into teaching or indeed for further study within a range of Scandinavian specialist subjects offered at the master's or doctoral levels.
What do I need to get on a Course?
Entry requirements vary from course to course so you will need to check with your preferred institution to get up-to-date information on the requirements they have for entry. To give you a general idea of what is expected please see below:
- UCAS Tariff: 280-300 points
- A Levels: BBC-BBB
- SQA Higher: BBBB
- SQA Advanced Higher: CC
- Irish leaving: BBBBC
- International baccalaureate: 30-34
- BTEC: MMM
- European Baccalaureate: 70%
- Mature Entry: considered on an individual basis
- Interview: candidates will be interviewed where distance permits
For Your Application or Interview, the following may be useful:
To find out more about the typical subjects you will study, potential career paths and further information useful for your application log-on to Course Discover at www.coursediscoveronline.co.uk*
*NB: Your school or college will need a subscription to Course Discover in order for you to gain access, for further information go to:www.coursediscover.co.uk