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Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05

Course Overview

The year 793: a surprise viking attack on the peaceful monastic island of Lindisfarne. This raid is often considered to mark the beginning of the so-called Viking Age, a time of turbulence and transformation with repercussions throughout Europe and beyond. This period saw violence and warfare, cultural contact and religious conversion, political overhaul, and literary and artistic creativity. As well as critically interrogating the concepts of the ‘viking’ and the ‘Viking Age’, this course provides an introduction to key themes and topics in the study of early Scandinavia, c. 800-1200.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Hannah Burrows

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

  • Programme Level 2
  • Any Undergraduate Programme

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • HI2026 Vikings: an Introduction (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course introduces students to key themes and topics in the study of Viking Age and medieval Scandinavia, c. 800-1200, through critical analysis of primary and secondary sources. Weekly lectures plus secondary reading assignments will allow you to study topics such as: pre-Christian myth and religion; gender roles; law and social organisation; the viking expansion into the British and Irish Isles and North Atlantic; cultural production; conversion and Christianization. Tutorials will allow you to get to grips in more detail with primary sources ranging from archaeological finds and rune-stones to legal texts, chronicles, poetry, myths and sagas, and to talk through interpretative positions and debates taken by scholars in the field.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 28 - 30, 33 - 35

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

500 word gobbet exercise 20%

500 word reflective writing 20%

2000 word essay 60%


Resit; resubmission of failed elements

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualUnderstandDevelop a basic understanding of key topics in the study of the Viking Age and medieval Scandinavia
ProceduralEvaluateSearch for, and critically appraise, relevant secondary literature
ProceduralAnalyseUndertake critical analysis of primary sources in translation
ProceduralEvaluateDevelop interpretations based on primary and secondary source materials

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