Is studying about Scandinavia becoming more popular?

One of the more exciting facts about being a Viking in London, is that you can take a degree within the Scandinavian Studies department at University College London. So the Vikings were wondering, as Denmark and Scandinavia as a whole is currently riding a wave of popularity in London at the moment: have the undergraduate admissions figures for courses seen any changes?

Well the Vikings in London got in contact with UCL and here’s what we found out!

Number of Admissions for Sca



Number of Admissions for Sca (1)

Number of Admissions for Vik

Most excitingly the number of admissions for Vikings studies, has had a significant increase!

Overall Number of Admissions

Overall the number of undergraduate student admissions to the Scandinavian Studies department at UCL is at an all-time high in 2013 at 62, if Icelandic Studies are included. We can’t know for sure why this is, but this increase does coincide with one the biggest increases in the popularity of Scandinavian culture seen for a long time including the huge successes of The Killing and Borgen. Speaking to Dr Claire Thomson, the head of the Scandinavian Studies department at UCL, the increase in student admissions is nothing compared to outside interest they’ve had aimed at their subject.

“We’ve seen a dramatic change in the audiences we engage with over the last 2-3 years. For example, we established the Nordic Noir Crime Fiction Book Club in 2011 to bring together Nordic crime fiction and television fans, and we run events providing cultural background briefings and other discussions. We also publish English translations of Nordic literature via Norvik Press, and the department is also home to the Viking Society for Northern Research. Most of our events attract 50-80 members of the public who are very well informed and passionate about Scandinavian culture, but have no intention of undertaking a Scandinavian Studies degree – but we see this kind of public engagement as a core part of our mission.”

The Scandinavian Studies department has clearly taken great steps to embrace the current popularity in Scandinavian culture, going the extra mile to involve the wider community in London, as well as students. If you’d like to find out more about the department, visit:

*All data was obtained from the Department of Scandinavian Studies at UCL. The graphs were made using infogram.

This entry was published on May 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Is studying about Scandinavia becoming more popular?

  1. carissayeboah on said:

    Really interesting piece! Definitely agree with Dr Claire Thomson – the rise of Scandinavian crime novels that have been adapted for TV audiences has really increased an interest in Scandinavia. But for me, my interest comes from the Scandinavian people that I know (who i’ve met in London) and having visited Copenhagen a couple of times, absolutely loved it. It’s just a beautiful part of the world with probably the best education system and some of the kindest people i’ve met 🙂

  2. Hi Carissa,
    Thank you for the lovely comment. The Vikings in London agree with you about Copenhagen. You’re right, that there is a variety of reasons why people love Denmark/Scandinavia. We hope you’re enjoying our blog! 🙂

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