The languages, history, politics and culture of the Scandinavian countries have had a considerable impact beyond the Nordic region. You will explore Scandinavian culture, past and present, alongside the study of the Scandinavian languages. The University has an excellent reputation for its research in this area. Regular research seminars and cultural events provide students with opportunities to find out more about the latest developments in Scandinavian culture and research. Whichever of the three main languages - Danish, Norwegian or Swedish - you choose to specialise in, you will also gain a passive knowledge of the other two during the course of your programme. You do not need a previous knowledge of any of the languages as courses are available for beginners. The relatively small class sizes provide an informal and supportive learning environment. Philosophy has been at the core of Western intellectual life for at least 2,500 years and it is central to our understanding of the world and of our place in and interaction with it. Philosophy provides the tools whereby the presuppositions of all areas of intellectual and practical activity may be systematically and critically examined. While there are different approaches that philosophers have taken, characteristic of philosophy is the emphasis on the use of argument, critical enquiry, rigour in reasoning, and clarity of expression, including the making of pertinent distinctions. The University has a strong historic connection to the subject, counting Adam Ferguson and Sir William Hamilton among its former students. Edinburgh has one of the UK's largest philosophy departments and the Philosophy Society attracts high-profile speakers. Our programme is structured in such a way that you will cover the basics of Western philosophy and have the opportunity to specialise in the areas of most interest.