The Norwegian Study Centre in Great Britain (NSC)

The Department of English at Nord University is proud to have a long-standing partnership with the NSC at the University of York in the U.K. You can read more about the Study Centre and their offerings for our students below.

A Brief History

The Norwegian Study Centre in Great Britain is one of a limited number of such centres created by the Norwegian government in selected European countries, and the only one in the UK. It had a forerunner in Nonington, Kent, but its official opening took place in York in 1982. From the following year on, it functionally became a part of the University of York.

The NSC statutes say the following about its functions and financing:

The NSC arranges courses of study in Great Britain with the objective of promoting understanding of British society, language and culture in Norwegian higher education and research, and within Norwegian schools. (…) Its running is dependent on regular funding from the central Norwegian authorities, presently administered by the University of Bergen.

In addition to its two parent institutions (the University of Bergen and the University of York), the NSC also has its own board, elected by the Norwegian National Academic Council for English.

The NSC comprises 5 teaching staff, 2 administrative staff and a Director. You can find out more about the staff here

York Minster (image by Dr Beck Sinar)

Course Types

Activity at the NSC focuses on two types of courses:

SHORT COURSES (usually 1 – 2 weeks) for students in English courses of study at Norwegian universities and university colleges: this includes BA, MA, GLU, MAGLU, KFK and other programmes for in-service teachers.

The overwhelming majority of Norwegian institutions of higher learning with English include our short courses in their programmes. Numbers are stable and high with between 1300 and 1500 students visiting York for each of the last five years (2015-2020).

All NSC short courses provide a mix of interactive and engaging modules on English language and linguistics, British Cultural Studies, Literatures of the English Speaking world and where relevant Didactics.

Until the global pandemic, all short courses were offered in York.

NSC Linguist Dr Beck Sinar using Memes to teach Language and Contemporary Culture (Image by Dr Lalita Murty)
Guest Lecturer Suma Din talks about her work in British Schools with Muslim children and their parents. (image by Dr Beck Sinar)
  • 96.5% student satisfaction with the teaching on the programme
  • In 2019-2020 almost 500 teachers and teacher trainees visited a school as part of this programme. This included groups from Nord (Levanger) who went to two local Primaries (week 3 & week 45) and Nord (Bodø) who went to a local Secondary School (week 3)
  • Across 2018 & 2019 students saw 31 different high quality theatre productions in York, Leeds and Harrogate. Groups from Bodø and Levanger have recently enjoyed productions of Sense and Sensibility, Reasons to Stay Alive and the pantomime Sleeping Beauty.
  • For 2018/2019 programmes included over 80 group excursions (excluding the theatre/schools), including to Haworth, Whitby, Saltaire, The Minster, Jorvik Viking Centre & Guided Walks of York. Groups from Nord visited The Minster and had a guided walk around York as part of their programmes in 2018 and 2019.
Short Course students visit York Minster as part of an in-York programme.
The NSC’s Professor Gweno Williams and Nord (Levanger’s) Associate Professor Guri Figenschou Raaen accompany some Nord short course students to a production of Roald Dahl’s the Witches. (image by Dr Beck Sinar)

Since September 2020, all NSC courses have been offered online due to Covid-related restrictions. These have been no less successful with a 94.5% student satisfaction rate with teaching online.   These online courses offer a blend of synchronous teaching and asynchronous materials and are designed to be no less engaging or interactive.  We even include a virtual pub quiz as part of the programme!

The latest group from Nord (Bodø) experienced such a course in week 45 of 2020.  There were 40 students from the BAENG course at Nord.  These students were located in many different countries, making this a truly international experience in times where the world suddenly feels much smaller.

Feedback included:

It was such an amazing and unforgettable experience in my entire life. I loved it and I wish in my future to come and study one semester at York University.

I liked everything. The professors were highly patient and compassionate about teaching us. I liked the way they talked and communicate with us which really made me feel so comfortable and active during the classes.

The best thing about the course apart from the enthusiam of the staff, was the insight into english culture and society.

The pub quiz was especially fun 😀

THE YORKCOURSE: a one-semester, 30 credits English course. Since the modules offered in the autumn and spring semesters are different, students can take up to 60 credits here. The course can be taken both on Bachelor and Master’s level, with supervision and assessment adjusted accordingly. There are also other possibilities for adjusting the course to the needs of student groups. The YorkCourse is also online this academic year.  You can find more details about the course here. 

In addition to these two types of courses, the NSC is active in many other fields. Among other things, it administers admissions to Master level studies in the Departments of English and Related Literature and Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York. It has also helped create staff refresher courses in English in cooperation with Norwegian universities and university colleges.  The NSC also has links with a number of schools in Norway, who have visited the NSC for bespoke lectures as part of a wider independent study trip to York.

Nord University and the NSC

The university colleges which have now become Nord University were among the first to establish a connection with and make use of the NSC in the 1980s. The relationship has remained close ever since, first with English programmes in Bodø, Nesna and Levanger, and later with the merged institution as a whole. English students from all campuses have visited York for short courses on a yearly basis, and individual students have attended the YorkCourse (or its precursor) as an exchange experience.

Staff from Nord University have also participated in the running of the NSC as deputy or full board members. A special mention should here be made of Associate Professor Guri Figenschou Raaen from the Levanger campus, who has held positions both as board member, board chair and as resident director. The board chair until and including spring 2020, Dr. Tale Guldal, also worked at the Levanger campus for many years.

Nord University students receive their NSC course certificates

Contact the NSC

To find out more about the NSC please visit their website, follow the NSC on Twitter (@nsc_york) or Facebook (search Norwegian Study Centre) or send an email to

University of York, Campus East (Photo by Dr Beck Sinar)
University of York, Campus West (image by Dr Beck Sinar)
Betty’s Tearooms (Photo by Dr Beck Sinar)
Clifford’s Tower (Photo by Dr Beck Sinar)