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Celtic Cross by Adrian Moran/Unsplash

Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic

  • Director of Studies Dr David McCay
  • Faculty Website

Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic is a degree course unique to Cambridge.

The Trumpington Anglo-Saxon Cross in the grave

Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at ҹѰ

Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic (also known as ASNaC) offers a unique opportunity to study the history, languages, literatures and cultures of the different peoples of Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia during the early medieval period. Students can study a balanced combination of literary and historical subjects, or they may choose to specialise mainly in either languages or history.

Available languages are Old English, Old Norse, Insular Latin, Medieval Welsh and Medieval Irish, and all are taught from scratch. The areas covered in the course include Anglo-Saxon England, the Celtic world (Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany) and Viking-Age Scandinavia.

You can find further information about studying Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic on the University's course . Detailed information is also available on the Department's Prospective Undergraduates .

Celtic cross by Adrian Moran/Unsplash

What are we looking for?

We are looking for evidence of general ability in, and enthusiasm for, the kind of things we do in the Tripos: learning new languages, studying literature and analysing historical documents.

We expect candidates to have begun their own exploration of early medieval literature or history. For some this will mean reading medieval texts translated into modern English; for others this will mean reading and exploring medieval history or archaeology; others again might build on their interests in Latin or perhaps linguistics. All of these, if approached thoughtfully and ambitiously, can provide an excellent route into the course.

Entry Requirements

No particular A-level subjects are required and applicants come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Combinations typically include English, History or a foreign language at A-level or equivalent. Please consult the University's  for further information.

Applications

Applications to study ASNaC at ҹѰ are submitted through UCAS. The College additionally requires the submission of written work and an online interview, as detailed below.

Written Work

Applicants will be asked to submit two marked essays or other written work by 2 November. This should be in a related discipline which the candidate is studying or has studied. For the March round, all applicants must submit their written work by 8 March.

Assessment

There is no written assessment.

Interview

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to be interviewed in December (or late March for those who apply in the March round). There will be one or two interviews (in total lasting 40-50 minutes) which will be conducted online via Zoom.

For more information about making an application, please visit our application webpages

You can also find useful information on our Application FAQs page. 

Norwegian house by Torbjorn Sandbakk

Student Perspective: Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at ҹѰ

The ASNaC Course delivers exactly what I had hoped: a uniquely, holistic view of the Anglo-Saxon period of our history. It is much more than history or literature. For this very complex time to be appreciated it does need to be seen in context with what was happening in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and with the Vikings. I have the opportunity to pursue a long-held interest, attend lectures and one-to-one sessions with people who are extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic, to say nothing of enjoying the music, theatre and other facilities available here - what's not to like?

ASNaC undergraduate