Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic

ASNC students

In the ASNC department with manuscript cake!

King's welcomes applications for Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic (ASNC). This page provides an overview of the course, the College environment and Directors of Studies, resources, and information about making an application.

The Cambridge ASNC Tripos (Tripos = course)

ASNC Common Room.jpg

Studying in the ASNC department common room

Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic is a course about the history, culture, languages and literature of the British Isles and Scandinavia from the fifth to eleventh centuries. This is a unique and exciting course which will appeal to students with a wide range of interests in languages and humanities. The range of options is not available in courses at any other university, and ASNC students enjoy the opportunity to discover new areas of interest and the flexibility to place the emphasis of their studies where they please.

Most students 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. 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.

For students with more specific interests, it is also possible to select a range of mainly historical or mainly literary and linguistic courses, or to concentrate on either the 'Celtic' or 'Germanic' peoples.

The ASNC department provides a page which will help you to think more about what you can study as a ASNC student and whether the course suits your interests. For full details of the course and options, see Part I (first and second year) and Part II (third year).

Studying ASNC at King's

Students in a noodle bar

ASNC social at a local noodle bar

Like a number of smaller subjects at Cambridge, ASNC is taught in a department- based manner. Undergraduates work with experts across the University, carefully supported by a Director of Studies who organises supervision teaching and oversees academic progress at College level.

The department is small with about 25 students in each year, and the ASNC community is very friendly and sociable. As no college has many ASNC students, you will quickly make course friends from other colleges. At King's, you will find a lot of students with overlapping interests in College, who may be studying history, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, literature of all kinds and a range of European, Asian and middle eastern languages. The College offers a supportive and stimulating community for students with a very wide range of specialisms.

King's is a central college on the river, with easy access to shops and other colleges. We are conveniently located for ASNC, as the department (on the Sidgwick site) is just a few minutes' walk away, and there is also easy access to the University Library at the back of College, by the Garden Hostels. You might like to look at the map.

ASNC students in fancy dress

There are a lot of social events - this one is fancy dress

The College has a well-equipped 24/7 Computer Room (the Turing Room on E staircase in the Gibbs Building), with a variety of networked computers and workstations. College rooms have high-speed internet connections and there is wi-fi accessible to College members in public areas such as the bar and coffee shop. The college library is available 24/7, and provides many pleasant spaces to work as well as a second small computer room (see the virtual tour).

Student Perspectives


Rebekka (pictured) and Tom have written about their experiences of studying Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, including what attracted them to the course, how supervisions work, and how they prepared to apply.

These accounts are well worth reading to get a sense of what studying ASNC at King's is really like. 

Directors of Studies

Judy Quinn

Judy Quinn is a Senior Lecturer in the ASNC department as well as being Director of Studies at King's. Her research focuses on Old Norse language and literature.  

No photo available

Debby Banham is a Research Associate in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. She is interested in Anglo-Saxon medicine, diet and farming.

Applying to King's for Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic

applying for ASNC

Applying with limited support?

We welcome suitably qualified applicants from all backgrounds, all over the world. Our most common standard offers for candidates in a wide range of examination systems are given on the entrance requirements page.

The application process for all subjects is explained on our how to apply page, which we advise applicants to read thoroughly in combination with the details below about the pre-interview-assessment and interviews for Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic.

Once candidates have applied through UCAS they are normally asked to submit one recent essay written for school/college work and marked by a teacher.

Subject requirements

There are no subject requirements for the ASNC course. Many students find subjects such as English (language or literature), History, a modern or ancient language, or other humanities subjects helpful. Further general advice on subject choices is also available.

pre-interview assessment

All candidates for Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic are required to take the pre-interview admissions assessment for ASNC, which will take place in schools and other assessment centres on 31 October 2018. You must be registered in advance (separately to your UCAS application) to take the assessment. The registration deadline is 15 October 2018 and there is a deadline of 30 September if you normally get exam adjustments for a disability/Specific Learning Difficulty/long-term illness. Your assessment centre must register you for the pre-interview assessment (you can't register yourself).

Brief information about admissions assessments
ASNC assessment format and specimen papers
Important: If you're not registered by 15 October (30 Sept for special arrangements) you won't be able to take the assessment. Unfortunately, this would mean that your application is not valid.

Your performance in the assessment will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.


Most (but not all) King's candidates are invited for an interview, which will take place in early December. You might like to look at the information about interviews

Details of the interview options for international candidates are on the International Students page.

Reading, resources, and events

Further information

ASNC dinner

An ASNC Society Social dinner

Subjects | Undergraduate study