Scotland: the making of a kingdom c.500 - 1124 ADED11495E

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The kingdom of Scotland grew from four distinct population groups - Picts, Britons, Scots and Angles - and had emerged as a nation by AD 900. We will examine the similarities and differences within these societies and the means by which the Scots came to dominate and name this land. The course will also assess the impact and spread of Christianity and how religion was utilised in the creation of Scotland. To what degree did the territorial extent of Scotland fluctuate over this period and what were the reasons why this was so? We shall examine land tenure and consider the ways in which it differed from later feudalism. Was Shakespeare's rendition of Macbeth and Duncan accurate? What was David I's background before becoming king in 1124?


2 hours per week for 10 weeks

For timetable details, please see our web pages University of Glasgow - Study - Short courses

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





The assessment will take the form of an essay of c.2000 words.

Course Aims

The course aims to:

■ Introduce students to the major themes in the social, religious, political and territorial development of Scotland from the creation of the kingdom to the accession of David I in 1124.

■ Provide students with a knowledge of the background to the early medieval period and consider the various distinct populations in what is now Scotland, through examination of the similarities and differences in their societies and cultures.

■ Develop an awareness of the advent and impact of Christianity on the variant populations and the means by which religion was utilised to political advantage in the creation of Scotland.

■ Encourage students to develop a familiarity with the variant forms of primary and secondary source material and to establish confidence in their use.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Compare and contrast the differences in culture and society within the different populations who inhabited what is now Scotland and the means by which the Scots came to achieve political dominance by the tenth century.

■ Assess the significance of the role of the Church in society during the Middle Ages.

■ Describe the different levels of society and the use of land in Scotland in the Middle Ages before the advent of feudalism.

■ Evaluate the events leading to, and the causes of, the territorial fluctuations on the kingdom of Scotland during the period covered.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.