Clare College Cambridge

Anglo Saxon, Norse & Celtic

Link to University Subject Page


The Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic Tripos is concerned with the history, material culture, languages and literatures of the different peoples of Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia, mainly in the earlier medieval period.

You may be interested in English, or History, or Classics, or Modern & Medieval Languages, or Archaeology & Anthropology, or Theology, or History of Art. The Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Tripos covers aspects of all of these.

You will have the opportunity to study a variety of subjects, many of which you may not have encountered before, and can enjoy the pleasure of breaking new ground for yourself, including medieval languages and literatures, ranging from some of the grandest epic, heroic and mythological poetry to the great prose literature of Ireland, England, Wales, and Iceland.

While you have an opportunity to combine different fields and disciplines, you remain free to place the emphasis where you choose (so that you can, if you wish, focus on 'Germanic' subjects, or on 'Celtic' subjects, or on language and literature, or on history).

The Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic is one of the smallest and friendliest departments in the University (there are currently about 75 undergraduates). However, the department of ASNC is an integral part of the Faculty of English, which is one of the biggest faculties in the University.


No prior knowledge or experience of any of the subjects that we cover is expected: all courses are taught from scratch, and all students start on equal terms, with a willingness to learn and a readiness to enjoy. Applicants are expected to demonstrate evidence of their ability to write essays. This is usually shown by a good performance in a humanities A-level subject.

A typical offer would be A*AA at A-level, AAA at Scottish Advanced Highers, or 7,7,6 (40+ overall) in the IB or the equivalent from other educational systems.

Written Assessment

All applicants are required to take the university-wide pre-interview written assessment for Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. Further information about this is available here.

Interviews and Written Work

Candidates who are selected for interview will be called for interview in the second or third week of December and will have two interviews each. These candidates will be asked to submit two essays (marked originals) in advance of the interviews.

Teaching Fellows in ASNC

Prof Paul Russell, Director of Studies for ASNC in Clare.

Reading Lists

Click here for a list of recommended books.

See Student Profiles: Clare Bristow Caroline Purse