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The Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Tripos
Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic refers to both the subject and department of ASNC within the University of Cambridge. Available as an undergraduate and postgraduate degree, the ASNC tripos is concerned with the history, languages, literatures and material culture of the various peoples who inhabited Britain, Ireland and the extended Scandinavian world in the early middle ages; from the fifth century to the twelfth.
Students of ASNC choose from a wide range of papers and options, spanning across various disciplines. Students of ASNC will have the opportunity to try their hand at areas of art history, archaeology, numismatics, toponymy, philosophy and theology connected with the early medieval civilisations.
Here's a selection of the papers available for Part I of the tripos. In Part II students have the opportunity to specialise further.
Historical and Cultural Papers: Anglo-Saxon History, Brittonic History, Scandinavian History in the Viking Age, Gaelic History.
Language and Literature Papers: Old English language and literature, Insular Latin language and literature, Medieval Welsh language and literature, Medieval Irish language and literature, Old Norse language and literature. A paper in Palaeography and Codicology is also available at undergraduate level.
Requirements for study
No specific A-Level requirements, however a lot of students go to read ASNC with A-Levels in the English or History, or modern or ancient languages.
ASNC students usually have an hour supervision a week, and then an hour lecture for each of the history papers and two hours a week for the language options; usually meaning a total of about 9 or 10 hours per week.
How useful is this degree?
The ASNC tripos inculcates its students with the same transferable skills as other humanities and arts degrees such as History, English, Classics and MML, with the added bonus of being more inter-disciplinary than a lot of Cambridge triposes. The ASNC degree is also often taken as a sign of originality, individuality and intellectual curisosity - and definitely a good conversation starter in an interview!
ASNaC graduates can be found in a wide range of careers - not only in academia but also in the arts, in law, in politics, in journalism and in teaching.
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