NFI1100 – Runology - General Introduction

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Runology is concerned with some 1300 years of the history of writing. Runes constituted the script used by many Germanic peoples from the second century A.D. Their use died out in Norway around 1400. This course spans the entire history of runes and gives an overview of both the secondary literature and the inscriptions themselves. For a relevant point of comparison, the course also includes an introduction to Ogham - the non-Latin script of the Irish, which like runes was primarily used for inscriptions in the vernacular.

Learning outcome

The main goal is to learn to read and interpret runic inscriptions. The course will supplement, and be of particular interest to, those students taking other courses in cultural, historical, or language studies. This course provides a foundation for continuing with runology, but students who wish to continue must also have NFI1101 – Norrøn grammatikk og eldre språkhistorie or equivalent.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

While only the University General Entrance Requirements need be met in order to be considered for admission to this course, a little knowledge of Old Norse would be to the student's advantage. Students who wish to continue with additional courses in runology should be aware that knowledge of Old Norse is required for these, and for these students we recommend that you take NFI1101 – Norrøn grammatikk og eldre språkhistorie parallel to this course. Syllabus literature will be in Scandanavian languages and English.

Overlapping courses


The teaching is given in seminars with 14 double lectures 28 hours in total.

Teaching will be a mixture of lectures, seminars and working in groups.

One qualifying assignment has to be approved before the student may sit for the final examination. If the assignments are not approved, the student has the opportunity to hand in a revised version for a second try.

Approved obligatory assignments are valid the next two times the course is given.


The final examination will be a 4-hour written examination.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

Modern language dictionary

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language