Icelandic BA

Bachelor's degree

In London

£ 9,250 VAT inc.


  • Typology

    Bachelor's degree

  • Location


  • Duration

    4 Years


In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
In your first year, you will embark on an intensive study of modern Icelandic at beginner's level, study a mainland Scandinavian language (Danish, Norwegian or Swedish) as well as Old Norse, and have the option of studying Scandinavian literary studies and linguistics. In your second year you will continue with language studies and select optional modules.
You will spend year three at the University of Iceland, taking a course in Icelandic for foreign students. If you have been given permission to transfer to Icelandic with Danish, Norwegian or Swedish at the end of year one, you will also take a course in your mainland Scandinavian language while at Reykjavik.
The final year is spent at UCL, where you will take advanced modules in modern Icelandic and Old Norse, study Icelandic literature, and take further optional modules. If you have transferred to Icelandic with Danish, Norwegian or Swedish you will also take advanced modules in your mainland Scandinavian language.
The programme involves modules offered by SELCS, allowing students to study literature, film, art and culture from a wider and more interdisciplinary perspective. You will be exposed to broad cultural movements, issues and approaches and be able to draw on the full range of specialisms within the school.




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Gower Street, WC1E 6BT


On request

To take into account

You will spend a year abroad at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. A broad range of optional modules are available, including Viking Studies, Old Norse, modern Scandinavian languages, literary studies, film studies, history, and cultural studies, together with the opportunity to acquire proficiency in a second Scandinavian language. UCL Scandinavian Studies has specialists across the areas of language, politics, history, medieval studies, literature and film. You will have access to the largest and oldest Scandinavian library in the country, as well as state-of-the-art facilities within the UCL Language Space.

Upon graduation you will be fluent in Icelandic and also have knowledge of other medieval and modern Scandinavian languages. The historical and literary parts of the degree will develop your cultural awareness. You will be trained in the organisation, presentation and interpretation of complex information, written and oral communication, and independent and group work. Many of our graduates find they are able to use their Nordic languages in a variety of contexts, such as working for Scandinavian companies. Recent graduates have also entered translating, publishing and teaching.

English Language at grade B or 6, plus Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required.

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  • Swedish
  • Modern Icelandic
  • Norwegian or Swedish
  • Module in Danish
  • Nordic Region
  • Old Norse
  • Icelandic Language
  • Norwegian
  • Swedish Massage
  • Nordic Cinema

Course programme


Core or compulsory module(s)
  • Basic Modern Icelandic
  • Basic language module in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish
  • Histories and Cultures of the Nordic Region
  • Introduction to Old Norse
Optional modules

You will select 15 credits of optional modules from the following (subject to availability):

  • Introduction to Linguistics and the Scandinavian Languages
  • Nordic Storytelling
  • Vikings and Material Culture

You will also choose interdepartmental modules offered by SELCS. Options may include the study of linguistics, film and history.


Core or compulsory module(s)
  • Intermediate Modern Icelandic Language
  • Intermediate Language module in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish
  • Old Norse I
Optional modules

You will select 45 credits of optional modules. Options may include:

  • Nordic Cinema
  • Nordic Landscapes
  • Nordic Politics and Society
  • The Nordic Welfare States
  • Scandinavian Literature in Context
  • Viking-Age Scandinavia
  • Introduction to Finnish Society and Culture

SELCS Interdepartmental Intermediate modules


Year abroad key information

You will spend your Year Abroad at a university in Iceland, studying alongside native speakers, to make the most of your cultural and linguistic immersion.

The experiences and skills developed while abroad further academic and personal development, cultural and social awareness, provide a foundation for further study and enhance career prospects.


Core or compulsory module(s)
  • Degree-level Modern Icelandic
  • Crime and Small Communities in Nordic Literature
  • Advanced Old Norse

Students taking Advanced Danish, Norwegian or Swedish may also take 15 credits of advanced-level modules language and will be able to transfer to BA in Icelandic with Danish/Norwegian/Swedish (subject to academic approval).

Optional modules

You will select 60 credits of optional modules. Options may include:

  • Dissertation in Scandinavian Studies
  • Extended Essay in Scandinavian Studies
  • Nordic Cinema
  • Nordic Landscapes
  • Nordic Literature in a Global World
  • Nordic Politics and Society
  • The Nordic Welfare States
  • Reading Finnish Society and Culture
  • Scandinavian Social Democracy
  • The Vikings in Europe
  • SELCS Interdepartmental Advanced modules

Students taking Icelandic with Danish, Norwegian or Swedish will take 45 credits of optional modules.

Your learning

Teaching consists of a mixture of lectures, classes, seminars, group work and presentations. The language elements comprise four taught hours a week for basic language in year one, four hours a week for intermediate language in year two, and two hours a week for advanced language in the final year. A significant portion of your work will take place in guided independent study.


Most modules are assessed by a mixture of coursework and written examination. Some are assessed by essays only. Language modules are assessed by coursework and written and oral examinations. During your year abroad you will take modules at your host university.

Additional information

Overseas students Fee - £19,390 (2018/19)

Icelandic BA

£ 9,250 VAT inc.