Scottish History MA/MA(SocSci)

Settlement and Society in Scandinavian Scotland ARCH4014

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will take a detailed look, from an archaeological point of view, at Scandinavian activity in Scotland in the period from c. AD 800-1300. It will have a particular focus on the nature and character of rural settlement and economic activity.


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

Excluded Courses





Coursework: one 2,500 word essay (50%)

Examination: one 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:

■ examine Scandinavian activity, particularly settlement, in Scotland between c.AD800 and 1300

■ engage with the diverse forms of archaeological evidence available for this period, including settlement, burial and hoards

■ identify regional and chronological variations within the Scottish corpus

■ relate this archaeological evidence to broader interdisciplinary and international approaches to the Viking and Late Norse periods

■ assess the impact of Scandinavian settlement on Scotland

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ identify a range of archaeological sources for Scandinavian settlement in Scotland, including settlement sites, graves and hoards

■ place this archaeological evidence in a broader interdisciplinary context, including the evidence of place-names, documents and numismatics

■ relate Scotto-Norse activity to comparable 'Viking' evidence elsewhere in these islands

■ evaluate the long-term impact of Scandinavian activity on northern and western Scotland

■ relate a range of different types of evidence to specific research questions and issues


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.