History MA/MA(SocSci)

Viking Movements ARCH4048

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines the geographical area sometimes called the 'Viking World', corresponding to those places settled by Scandinavian migrants in the Viking Age (c. AD 800-1100). The course will consider archaeological and other evidence for 'Viking' activity across this diaspora, from Greenland to Eastern Europe. A number of key themes and approaches will be assessed, as will potential tensions between local experience and more widespread trends within the Viking Age.


2 x one-hour sessions per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Archaeology and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





2500-word essay: 50%

90-minute examination: 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ introduce students to the Viking Age and its primary characteristics, particularly the movement of Scandinavian groups to Britain, Ireland, the North Atlantic and Eastern Europe

■ familiarise students with the range of archaeological, documentary and other evidence used to study this period

■ critically examine key themes and developments across the Scandinavian diaspora

■ critically assess the impact of indigenous groups on migrating communities

■ consider the geographical and chronological diversity of Scandinavian experience in the Viking Age.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ characterise the key developments of the Viking Age, both local and general

■ discuss the nature and limitations of archaeological and other evidence for Scandinavian activity in this period

■ critically evaluate key debates in the field, both local and international

■ critically assess the tensions between general trends and local diversity within the Viking diaspora.

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.