Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Discovering the Vikings: Sources and Skills for the Study of Viking Age History
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hour sessions
Seminars / Tutorials Individual 10-minute 'feedback tutorial' per written assignment submitted


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word source analysis  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word essay  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x 5,000 word project  60%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,500 word supplementary (resit) source analysis  20%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  20%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 5,000 word supplementary (resit) project  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate familiarity with the ways in which a range of sources have been used by historians

Demonstrate an understanding of basics of interdisciplinary study, how it is to be undertaken, its challenges and limitations

Demonstrate an awareness of the challenges of working with this range of sources, including the risk of generating distorted or fractional histories

Construct and sustain historical arguments orally (unassessed) and in writing.

Brief description

The Viking age was one of the most dynamic periods in the history of medieval Europe. However, the study of the Viking world requires students and scholars alike to grapple with a range of methodological problems, the most significant of which is that the Vikings left little by way of written record, and most text-based evidence comes either from the perspective of their victims or from later centuries. Historians of the Viking age must therefore look further afield, and collaborate with other disciplines, to understand the historical processes of the period. This module aims to introduce students to the range of sources, methods and skills required to study the history of Viking and medieval Scandinavia, to use theories and methods drawn from history and related disciplines, and to foster interdisciplinary study.


1. Introduction: Who were the Vikings?
2. A View from the Other Side I: Anglo-Saxon, Irish and Frankish Textual Sources
3. A View from the Other Side II: Arab and Byzantine Textual Sources
4. Lay of the Land: Place-name Evidence for Viking Settlement
5. Oral Histories or Historical Fabrication? Old-Norse Icelandic Sources of the Viking Age
6. Of Scribes and Pens: Manuscript Evidence Considered
7. Evidence from the Earth I: The Testimony of Human Burials
8. Evidence from the Earth II: Finds, Coins and Hoards
9. Artistic Expression: Viking Age Sculpture
10. New Techniques: Evaluating DNA Evidence

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Oral and written communication skills will be developed through seminars and feedback on written work. Literary skills will be assessed through written assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Written work will be returned in tutorials where advice will be given on improving students’ research techniques and essay writing skills.
Information Technology Students will be required to locate primary and secondary source materials through library and on-line sources. Students will be expected to word-process their assessed work.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will help develop oral and written skills. Other activities, including research, assessment of information and writing in a clear manner, will further develop useful skills of analysis and presentation.
Problem solving Students will be required to locate and assess primary source materials. Assessed through written assignments and presentations.
Research skills Students will be required to carry out research for seminars and written work. The latter will be assessed though written assignments and presentations.
Subject Specific Skills This module will help students use and assess a range of source material relevant to the period and subject, including examples of art and sculpture, as well as manuscripts, archaeological evidence, and other documentary sources.
Team work Students will collaborate during seminar activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 6