We asked several current undergraduate and graduate students about their experiences. Listen to what they had to say.
Are you interested in.....
Pictish stones, old languages, the Isle of Man, Norse mythology, early medieval history, Irish sagas, medieval heroes and heroines, the Cornish language, Viking-Age history, Northumbria, coin hoards, Brian Boru, Old Norse sagas, medieval manuscripts, Mabinogi, Viking poetry, medieval sea-kings, Y Gododdin, historical linguistics, Ogham inscriptions, saints, King Arthur, Icelandic sagas, Somerled, Beowulf, medieval coins, Strathclyde, medieval Irish, Sigurd and the dragon, the origins of English, King Alfred, pagan gods and goddesses, Anglo-Saxon poetry, Tolkien, Celtic mythology, the Breton language, runes and rune-stones, Middle Earth, the Book of Kells, Viking warriors, Cumbria, the early Germanic languages, Dafydd ap Gwilym?
Then a degree in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic could be the course for you! Learn to read the actual sources in their original languages and understand the historical context in which they were produced.
A unique degree
No other university course offers the range of options available in the BA in Anglo-Saxon Norse and Celtic at Cambridge: in your first year you can freely choose six options from among Anglo-Saxon History; Old English language and literature; Medieval Scandinavian History; Old Norse language and literature; the history of the Brittonic-speaking peoples; Medieval Welsh language and literature; the history of the Gaelic-speaking peoples; Medieval Irish language and literature; Insular Latin language and literature; and Palaeography.
Our degree allows students to place the emphasis of their studies where they please. Most will select a combination of historical and literary options. In this way, budding historians will learn to handle the various kinds of evidence at their disposal and to read primary sources in the original languages; and students whose primary interest lies in language and literature will be able to place the literature of their choice in its historical context and to study it against its cultural background and in comparison with other literatures. It is also possible, however, to select a range of mainly historical or mainly literary and linguistic courses, or to concentrate on either the 'Celtic' or 'Germanic' peoples.
Prepare to stretch yourself
A few students may come to Cambridge with some knowledge of medieval history, or of Welsh or Latin, but in general no previous knowledge of the subjects studied is expected or required, and all the subjects are (or can be) approached from scratch. Evidence for real ability in humanities subjects and enthusiasm as well as motivation for the academic study of our subject area is all that is required.
Applying for ASNC
Students who have not already taken a university degree apply for the undergraduate course, which leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. For further information about the course, and about the application process,look at our 'Applying for ASNC' web pages. Full details of the course, with associated documentation, including an introductory reading list, can be found elsewhere on this website, under Current Students.
Applications to the University of Cambridge are made to a college, either directly or through the Cambridge Admissions Office. Full details are available from:
Why read ASNC?
It is no longer enough for us to say that a degree in ASNC stimulates the mind and satisfies an intellectual curiosity. You, and your parents, will want to know what happens next.
Like any other degree course in the Humanities (such as English, History, or Classics) we aim to provide a further extension of your education which you will enjoy, and an intellectual training which will equip you with useful skills (Transferable Skills). You may wish to apply and develop these skills in further academic work (MPhil and PhD); but, after three years of student life, many will be well satisfied with their education, and will be eager to put their education to good use in their chosen profession, whatever it might be.
Our students move on into a very wide a range of interesting professions. Those who chose to stay for graduate work often pursue academic careers. Others are to be found in publishing, in banking, in teaching, in information technology, in the film industry, in marketing, in public relations, in journalism, in law, in business, and, frankly, in almost anything else. We hear stories from our alumni that interviewers tend to latch on to 'ASNC' in their CV, regarding it as an interesting talking-point, and as a sign of an enquiring and original mind. Read about what some former students are doing here.