VMS4100 – Philological theory and Method

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Philology is the study of written historical sources. It is commonly defined as the study of literary texts and written records, the establishment of their authenticity and their original form, and the determination of their meaning. The aim of this course is to give insight into theories and methods related to Old Norse and Celtic philology. Theoretical and methodological questions are discussed with reference to relevant textual material. How do we deal with various versions of a text? The essential part in this respect concerns how to deal with archives and collections. An overview of the field of research of Old Norse and Celtic philology – the state of the art – is also a part of this course

Learning outcome

The students have become acquainted with the philological tool box and how to work with philological tools; how to establish and present a text for scholarly purposes. They will know how to read and interpret texts and how to conduct philological investigations. Based on current methods and theory they will be able to discuss philological problems and questions. They are familiar with the research history, which will serve as a solid fundament for their own studies in the field.      


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.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

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


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to a Master's programme.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with NFI4104 – Filologisk teori og metode (discontinued)


The teaching is given in 14 double lectures and seminars. Teaching takes place throughout the semester.

One qualifying assignment and an optional reading list have to be approved before the student may sit for the final examination.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The final exam will be an oral examination.

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

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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 spring


Every spring

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