Scandinavian Studies (BA)

What is the degree programme about?

In Scandinavian Studies, you study the languages, literature and culture of the North European and North Atlantic-Arctic countries Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Sami native region. If you are interested in these regions, Scandinavian Studies is the right degree programme for you. As your main language you choose either Norwegian, Danish or Swedish which you learn from scratch during the first four semesters. You can then go on to advanced studies in that language or choose the other language as a second language. Icelandic is currently only available as second language.

You will learn how to read and understand the basics of the other Scandinavian languages because all of them are related. The Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic and Faroese share a common heritage and can all understand 'Scandinavian' language thanks to the linguistic similarities.

Scandinavian Studies at FAU will focuses on modern Scandinavian studies. You will read literature from Scandinavian countries, covering the period from approximately 1550 to the present. An in-depth training in literary studies and corresponding skills will enable you to thoroughly understand and interpret these texts using literary theories and academic research methods. You will learn that there were once close links between the literature and culture of Germany and Scandinavia and what an impact such a literary and cultural exchange has in the light of globalisation.

In classes, we discuss current affairs such as political developments, the terror attacks in Oslo and Stockholm, the advantages and disadvantages of the models of the scandinavian welfare state, the developments of the scandinavian book market und the movie business.

As you can see, Scandinavian Studies is highly topical.

What can I do with this degree?

With a Bachelor's degree in Scandinavian Studies you have a range of career opportunities. Your second subject and specialisation determine the areas you can work in later. Practice-oriented placements during the degree programme are recommended – such placements and similar work experience can be accredited. You can also plan a stay at a Scandinavian university. This means you are free to shape your own profile and prepare for the career path of your choice. Make the best of this freedom and choose the subjects according to your interests.

Graduates of Scandinavian studies can work in the following areas:

  • publishers and agencies: translation, proof-reading, editing
  • book trade: sales and marketing of literature and media
  • literature and media administration: libraries, archives, IT-based document conservation, digitalisation
  • public relations: press, journalism, information services
  • tourism and tourism management: travel organisation, professional tour guides
  • politics and society: German Federal Foreign Office, international political institutions, embassies
  • culture: museums, trusts, event management
  • business: various companies with subsidiaries and collaborations in Northern Europe
  • education: adult education, language teaching in Germany, or teaching German as a foreign language in Scandinavia

To work in research at universities and research institutions you need a very good Bachelor's degree and must do a four-semester Master's degree. At FAU, the following Master's degree programmes with a focus on Scandinavian studies are available:

  • German Language and Literature (MA) [module 'Variation – Sprachkontakt – Vergleichende Linguistik der germanischen Sprachen' (language variation – language contact – comparative linguistics of Germanic languages)]
  • Literary Studies – Intermedial and Interkulturell (MA) [core module 'Nordische Philologie' (Scandinavian Studies)]
What qualities and skills do I need?

If you liked languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Latin or Greek) at school and you had good or very good grades in them, you will like Scandinavian Studies as well and enjoy the degree programme.

You should

  • have reading enthusiasm
  • be interested in the language, literature and culture of the Scandinavian countries and in the historical period from the Middle Ages to the present
  • be prepared to work academically. You have to prepare written assignments, express yourself orally and read academic texts
  • be interested in analysing, comparing and interpreting literary texts
  • enjoy reflecting on literary, cultural and media theories in a critical and logical manner
Good reasons for choosing to study at FAU
  • In comparative linguistics, Scandinavian Studies is a small subject which provides a good working environment. The students know each other and it is easy to get in touch with lecturers who are always glad to provide support.
  • In addition to excellent teaching, you will receive individual feedback on your achievements. You can contact lecturers personally, they will provide advice and assistance for your course work.
  • We regularly organise author readings and Scandinavian holiday celebrations such as St. Lucia and Midsommar celebrations, where you can get an insight into the culture and traditions of the Scandinavian countries.
Potential challenges

You like Pippi Longstocking, IKEA, swedish summer cottages and Scandinavian Metal? Or Medieval festivals, Gothic fiction and runic magic? These are nice hobbies but have very little to do with the literary, cultural degree programme Scandinavian Studies. Therefore, you should think carefully about whether you really want to invest a lot of effort into studying Scandinavia.

Combinable degree programs

Can be combined*

Archaeological Sciences (BA), Book Studies (BA), English and American Studies (BA), French Studies (BA), German Language and Literature (BA), History (BA), Greek Philology (BA), Hispanic Studies (BA), Indo-European and Indo-Iranian Studies (BA), Islamic-Religious Studies (BA), Italian Studies (BA), Japanese Studies (BA), Cultural History of Christianity (BA), Art History (BA), Medieval Latin and Neo-Latin (BA), Business and Economics (BA), Oriental Studies (BA), Education (BA), Philosophy (BA), Chinese Studies (BA), Sociology (BA), Theatre and Media Studies (BA)

*These courses are scheduled in such a way that the subjects can usually be combined without overlapping.

Can be combined after consulting a study advisor*

Computational Linguistics (BA), Digital Humanities and Social Sciences (BA), Cultural Geography (BA), Latin Philology (BA), Political Science (BA)

As it is not guaranteed that there will be no overlap between teaching times in this combination, you will be required to submit proof of consultation with a study advisor when enrolling. Please contact the Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) or the Student Service Centre of the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology.

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Degree program start date and application deadlines

The FAU website provides an overview of the current application deadlines as well as information on the selection process and how to apply.

Start date of degree program: Winter Term

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Degree type: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Type of study: Two subject Bachelor's degree programme
Location: Erlangen
Standard duration of study: 6 Semester
Start date of degree program: Winter Term
Size: (currently 1-50 Students)
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology
Admission: No Admissions Restrictions