Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Old Icelandic Language ENGLANG4047

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides an introduction to Old Icelandic, providing the foundation necessary for students to engage with the saga literature produced in medieval Iceland in its original form.


1x1hr seminar (whole class); 1x1hr tutorial (smaller groups) per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in English Language and Linguistics and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into English Language and Linguistics, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

ENGLANG4011 Old Icelandic

ENGLANG5030 Old Icelandic Language




Examination (90 minutes) - 50%

Class test (50 minutes) - 25%

Portfolio of online tests - 25%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ develop a reading knowledge of Old Icelandic prose;

■ build a vocabulary (passive and active) of the most frequently occurring words in Old Icelandic prose;

■ develop skills in analysing and explaining the structure and grammar of Old Icelandic prose.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ translate an unseen prose passage from Old Icelandic accurately into appropriate present-day English;

■ supply the meaning of common Old Icelandic words divorced from context;

■ identify and comment on grammatical constructions in an Old Icelandic text;

■ apply grammatical knowledge in class exercises, exams and assessments including translation from English into Old Icelandic of simple sentences;

■ explain and apply the effect of basic sound changes relevant to understanding and accounting for apparent irregularities in inflexion.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.