Postgraduate taught 

Archaeology MSc

Medieval Ireland, 800-1100: sources and debates CELTCIV5032

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course offers a detailed critical engagement with the development of society, church and state in Ireland in the wake of the Viking raids and settlements. This period, although often neglected by general histories, sees the evolution of strong dynastic kingships, and the rise of competition for dominance of the whole island, as well as the creation of some early medieval Ireland's most important literary texts and artistic monuments. This has led to debates about the nature of Irish political development and its cultural and textual reflexes. The course sets these issues in an historical and archaeological context, by concentrating on sources and examining different ways of interpreting them and bringing together disparate materials in a critical and reflexive way. Current debates are emphasised, and students are encouraged to form independent views concerning these. A key element in the course is its interdisciplinary approach, encompassing the disciplines of history, archaeology, literature, religion and art history.


14x1hr lectures, 6x1hr seminar/workshops over 10 weeks as scheduled in MyCampus. This is an optional course in Celtic & Gaelic and may not run every year.

Excluded Courses

Medieval Ireland - CELTCIV4042




Essay 1 (1500 words) 30% (based on seminar topic)

Essay 2 (2500 words) 50%

Oral presentation in Seminar (10 minutes) - 20%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ cultivate an interdisciplinary approach to the study of medieval Irish history, drawing on key documentary sources (annalistic, literary, religious, vernacular and Latinate) and archaeological evidence

■ develop critical reflection on complex topics, with attention paid to the latest debates

■ gain an appreciation of the issues surrounding interdisciplinarity in researching and understanding Ireland 800-1100. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Engage with critical issues and debates relating to the use of various categories of source for the study of medieval Irish history through seminar participation

■ Evaluate the current state of research within the field of medieval Irish history through seminar participation

■ Communicate to peers detailed knowledge of a specific topic by means of a seminar presentation

■ Conduct autonomous research and articulate an argument in writing

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.