Old Norse Bachelor's Thesis

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

NOFI250 consists of a topic from Old Norse philology. This topic could be about language or literature, or a combination of these two. The topics will change from semester to semester, and the required prerequisites may vary. The lecturer will provide the necessary information about this.

The aim of this course is to offer the students the possibility to specialize in an Old Norse topic, to a further extent than NOFI210. The course is therefore suitable for students who plan to begin an M.A. degree in Old Norse.

Moreover, the course will give the students practice in writing a supervised academic paper. The B.A. thesis provides motivation for further studies at M.A. level.

The course is aimed at both bachelor's and master's students, and several course codes may be included. These have in common that the students must write a home assignment: in NOFI 250 a bachelor thesis, in NOFI210 and NOFI300 a semester assignment, and in NOFI 302 a home exam. In NOFI 303 there is a presentation (20-25 minutes) of a professional topic on the course. The topic is agreed with the subject teacher, who also approves the presentation. Compulsory attendance of at least 75% of the teaching is removed due to the corona situation. Instead, students must submit four short texts on academic topics on the course. Each task should be approx. 500 words.

Topic 2024: Germanic heroic legends

Learning Outcomes


After successfully completing this course, students will have:

- Attained an introduction to academic writing at B.A. level, by preparing and writing the thesis.

- A clear understanding of the specific topic of the course.

- A clear understanding of how to disseminate an Old Norse topic, both in writing and orally.


- The ability to discuss and analyse a subject matter within the field of Old Norse.

- The ability to consciously choose and make use of primary texts.

- The ability to search for and gather necessary secondary literature.

- The ability to cite sources in a clear and correct manner, by using a standard citation style and bibliography.

- The ability to organize an academic inquiry in a well-written paper.

General Competence

- The ability to express themselves clearly, with correct terminology and in a well-structured manner, about an academic subject, both in writing and orally.

- The ability to read literature related to the discipline in English and in the Scandinavian languages, and have also practiced reading relevant texts in other languages.

- The ability to discuss matters of medieval philology and state their own points of view.

- The ability to independently continue to seek further competence and specialization.

Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Spring and Fall.

Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
A minimum of 30 ECTS credits in the field of Old Norse. Preferably NOFI101 and NOFI210. The following courses may also be considered: NOFI106, NOFI107, NOFI108, NOFI109, NOFI110 and NOFI112.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
NOFI250, NOFI210 and the previously taught course NOFI211 concern topics that change from semester to semester. In the event that the topic for two courses is partly the same, the student who wishes to take both must agree a special syllabus with the lecturer, so that there is an adequate divide between the two courses.
Teaching and learning methods

Seminars and supervision for the B.A. thesis

Teaching on the 200-level will to a large degree be organised as a seminar with active participation by the students. It is therefore expected that they carry out the assignments (written and/or oral) that will be set as a part of the teaching.

The teaching in NOFI210 will normally coincide with that of NOFI250 and the Old Norse philology courses at 300-level. In such a case, consideration will be taken of students' individual needs on the different courses.

If less than five students are registered to a course, the department might reduce the teaching, please see the department's guidelines regarding this on Mitt UiB. Regarding a course where this is a possibility, the students will get information about this at the beginning of the semester, and before the deadline regarding semester registration 1st February/1st September.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

1) Obligatory attendance at at least 75% of the scheduled seminars.

2) The students must hold a short presentation (15-20 minutes) on a topic related to the course. The topic will be co-decided with the lecturer, who also will approve the presentation.

3) If the student, in consultation with the lecturer, sets up an alternative syllabus to the standard one, the student must hand in and have the syllabus list approved within the advertised deadline.

4) B.A. thesis:

a. The student chooses a topic in consultation with the lecturer. Supervision from the lecturer is obligatory. The student is responsible for applying for supervision and attending the scheduled meetings.

b. The topic of the paper must be approved at least five weeks prior to the final deadline.

c. A first version of the paper must be submitted three weeks prior to the final deadline.

The compulsory requirements are valid for the given semester.

Forms of Assessment

Supervised B.A. thesis and an adjusting oral examination.

The expected length of the term paper will be 17-23 pages (34 000-46 000 characters incl. spaces), not counting the list of works cited and appendices. The B.A. thesis shall be submitted according to guidelines given on Mitt UiB.

It is permitted to write in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, English or German.

When the B.A. thesis is assessed, an adjusting oral examination will be held. The adjusting oral examination will be a discussion of the B.A. thesis. The student will be able to critically discuss the thesis, answer questions given by the examiner and explain the choice of method and/or subject matter in the thesis. It is allowed to speak Norwegian, Danish, Swedish or English during the oral exam. It will be taken into consideration that international students might need extra time in order to fully formulate their answers. No examination support material is permitted in the oral examination.

The oral examination can adjust the final grade of the B.A. thesis by one grade, either up or down.

If a student fails the B.A. thesis, he or she will not be permitted to take the oral examination.

It is not permitted to use the B.A. thesis again in a later semester.

Grading Scale
Grade scale A-F.
Reading List

The syllabus of NOFI250 will consist of 1000 pages of normal difficulty (weighted pages). Texts in the original, in translation, and different types of secondary literature are weighted differently according to their difficulty.

For each course there will be a suggested syllabus. There is the opportunity to change parts of the literature on the syllabus in consultation with the lecturer. In this case, the candidate must contact the course lecturer as soon as possible, and hand in and have the syllabus list approved within the advertised deadline.

Course Evaluation
Evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the University of Bergen's quality assurance system.