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Last modified: 31 Jul 2023 11:19

Course Overview

Britain has been inhabited by humans for more than half a million years. This course provides an introduction to the peoples and societies that have occupied this island from the first pioneer populations to the dawn of history. 

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Gordon Noble

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Programme Level 2
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Through lectures and key case studies, we will chart the development of human societies in Britain from its deep prehistoric past as a western extension of the European landmass through to the development of early farming societies and culminating in the rise of political hierarchies and ultimately kingdoms in the first millennium AD. The course will take you on a fascinating journey, providing cutting-edge insights into the diverse peoples that have lived in Britain, from the Stone Age dwellers of Boxgrove, to the Neolithic communities who built Stonehenge, to the Roman invaders of AD 43 to the earliest historic societies such as the Anglo-Saxons, Picts and Vikings. Using the latest archaeological evidence the course will explore the changing landscape and environment through time, how we can use the limited historical sources we have for some of the later societies under consideration and the changing nature of society, subsistence, technology and worldview over the course of around 700,000 years of human habitation of Britain.

PLEASE NOTE this course incorporates a compulsory one-day study trip to the Scottish Crannog Centre at Loch Tay where we will visit a reconstructed Iron Age dwelling and take part in some experimental archaeology. A small cost will be associated, likely to be in the region of £15 - £25.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Alternative Assessment

Group work 50%

Object Context Essay 50%


Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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