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Scandinavian Studies (B.A) (2 subjects)


Interdisciplinary and intermedial North European research: Scandinavian Studies at Göttingen cover languages, literature, cultures and the history of the north from the migration period up to the present day. Study programme: the languages Old Norse, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic and Faroese and literature created in these languages – from the Songs of the Skald up to Stieg Larsson's thrillers; the mysterious runes; the innovative Scandinavian music, theatre and art scene; documentaries and films. Close contacts in the area of studies facilitate field trips as well as semesters and internships abroad.

Scandinavian Studies
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) (2 subjects)
Standard period of study:
6 semesters
Only the winter semester
Language of the programme:
open (enrolment without previous application)
Orientation events:
Orientation events are offered

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for prospective students


The core curriculum of the subject “Scandinavian Studies” has been designed for students to acquire comprehensive knowledge in the two sub-subjects of Ancient and Modern Scandinavian Studies in addition to proficiency in Scandinavian languages.

The students choose one of the three Continental Scandinavian languages Danish, Swedish or Norwegian as their main language. Language acquisition constitutes about 38% of the workload calculated for the core curriculum.

Two basic modules introduce students to the two sub-subjects, i.e. Ancient and Modern Scandinavian Studies, their specific themes and methods, simultaneously helping them to understand the unity of the subject by means of an integrative tutorial on Scandinavian cultural history from the Middle Ages to the present.

Elective studies serve to broaden the knowledge about Scandinavian literatures and cultures through studying canonised texts and selected research work, as a supplement to the main topics selected in the other modules.

The basic form of teaching in Scandinavian Studies consists of moderated, prepared, seminar discussions supplemented by various other methods (presentations, group work, project work). Lectures serve primarily to communicate a general overview, tutorials concentrate on language training and practical studies of texts and other cultural artefacts.

The profile of “subject-related in-depth studies” addresses primarily students who intend to continue their Scandinavian Studies with a Master’s degree programme and write a research-oriented Bachelor’s thesis in Scandinavian Studies.

For the professional qualification profile of students engaging in Scandinavian Studies, the acquisition of additional foreign language skills is recommended, or of competencies which can be acquired in other subjects, depending on the targeted occupational field. The curriculum of the subject itself provides language acquisition modules and modules of basic Scandinavian Studies for students of other subjects under this aspect.

Students have the possibility to acquire part of their examination prerequisites abroad, either by studying abroad for one semester or by taking a (summer school) language course in Scandinavia. The language and literature courses and cultural studies are conducted in the target language, scientific teaching generally in German due to its high degree of complexity.

The research profile of the Scandinavian Studies Department of Georg August University Göttingen lies, on the one hand, in the area of modern Scandinavian literatures with the main emphasis on drama, translation, thematic and motif research, "Internationality of National Literatures" (Chair: Prof. Fritz Paul), the 17th/18th centuries, biography research and the intermediality of literature and music, on the other hand in the area of ancient Norse literature and Nordic culture, with the main focus on the medieval literature of Iceland and its reception, and runology. Another main focus of research lies in the history of science and reception. For the Chair and the other research groups, comparative studies of Scandinavian literatures and cultures from an outsider’s perspective can be considered fundamental. The doctoral theses and professorial dissertations written here have played a vital part in shaping the Department’s research profile.

The comparative perspective was initiated, among other things, by a twelve-year participation of the Department in the special research area of "Literary Translation" with several successful, internationally recognised sub-projects, in which numerous Scandinavian contributions to translation research were also made.

The Göttingen Scandinavian Studies Department also contributed several projects special research in the field 529 “Internationality of National Literatures” in the period from 1997 to 2001.

Students are required to select one of the three Continental Scandinavian languages Danish, Swedish or Norwegian as their main language and to acquire profound skills in speaking and writing the language with the aim of fluency as well as correct and suitable language application in various situations. Passive knowledge of the other two languages is also expected.

Graduates holding a Bachelor’s degree in Scandinavian Studies should have extensive knowledge of the languages, literatures and cultures, history and society of Scandinavia, be familiar with basic terminology, theories and methods of literary and cultural studies and be able to apply them correctly. They should be fluent in one modern Scandinavian language and have passive knowledge of two other languages. They should also be able to research, structure and evaluate information about Scandinavia, and to communicate it adequately. In this way, they become qualified for a wide range of occupations in the area of communicating language, literature and culture and, depending on their combination of subjects, for working in museums and libraries as well as business enterprises or political and social institutions, primarily in those connected with Scandinavia.

With this degree programme, the graduates qualify themselves for a wide range of occupations in the communication of language, literature and culture and, depending on their combination of subjects, for working in museums and libraries as well as business enterprises or political and social institutions, primarily in those connected with Scandinavia.


In the two-subject Bachelor's programme, two subjects are studied on equal terms.

A total of 180 credits are earned for the Bachelor's degree Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).

The two subjects each account for 66 credits. The area of professionalisation accounts for 36 credits.

The following credits must be earned for the subject Scandinavian Studies:

  1. Compulsory modules

    Five compulsory modules, totalling 30 credits, must be successfully completed.

    • Introduction to Ancient Scandinavian Studies
    • Introduction to Old Norse
    • Ancient Scandinavian Studies I
    • Introduction to Modern Scandinavian Studies
    • Modern Scandinavian Studies I
  2. Compulsory elective modules

    Compulsory elective modules totalling at least 36 credits must be successfully completed.

Regulations and module directory


Winter semester only
1st subject semester:
open admission (enrolment without previous application)
2nd to 6th subject semester:
open admission (enrolment without previous application)

Non-German citizens without a German educational qualification

Citizen from a non-EU country (or stateless person)

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Study and examination advice Faculty of Humanities

Tina Seufer and Eva Wolff

Humboldtallee 17
DE-37073 Göttingen

Phone: +49 (0)551 39 21888 (Seufer)
Phone: +49 (0)551 39 26713 (Wolff)



Spezifische Fachberatung

Dr. Irene Kupferschmied
Käte-Hamburger-Weg 3
37073 Göttingen

Phone: +49 551 39 25493

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