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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).

A student perspective

Tom is in his second year of the Anglo-Saxon Norse and Celtic course, and has written about his experiences, including what attracted him to the course (he originally thought he would apply for History), the advantages of a small faculty, supervisions, and how he prepared for his application. This is 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.  

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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

There are no subject requirements for the ASNC course. Many students find subjects such as English, History, or a modern or ancient language helpful. Further advice is available in our Subject Matters leaflet.

The application process is explained on our how to apply page, which we advise applicants to read thoroughly. Once candidates have applied through UCAS they are normally asked to submit two recent essays written for school/college work and marked by a teacher. We invite most applicants to Cambridge for an interview.

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

Reading, resources, and events

Further information

ASNC dinner

An ASNC Society Social dinner

Subjects | Undergraduate study