The Viking Phenomenon (HIH1501)
|Staff||Dr Helen Birkett - Convenor|
|Duration of Module||
Term 2: 11 weeks; |
This module takes a familiar historical phenomenon, the Viking raids and expansion during the eighth to eleventh centuries, and uses it as a vehicle for examining the possibilities and limitations of our extant sources. As well as exploring the reality of Viking activities and culture in the early medieval period, the module examines how later historians and commentators have used the available evidence to construct different images of the Vikings. Throughout the course, the emphasis is not on the acquisition of a detailed knowledge of Viking actions and events but on the interpretation of different kinds of textual and material sources that shed light on this phenomenon.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Ability to assess the nature of the Viking phenomenon.
- 2. Ability to engage critically with a diverse range of medieval and modern source material relating to the subject
- 3. Ability to understand the purposes for which different sources were produced and what this can tell us about the societies in question.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Ability to identify the problems of using historical sources, e.g. bias, reliability, etc, and to compare the validity of different types of source.
- 5. Ability to answer a question briefly and concisely.
- 6. Ability to present work orally, to respond to questions orally, and to think quickly of questions to ask other students.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
- 8. Ability to digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
- 9. Ability to work with others in a team and to interact effectively with the tutor and the wider group
- 10. Ability to write to a very tight word-length
- Introduction: The Viking Phenomenon
- Vikings in the Modern Imagination
- Vikings in the Medieval Imagination
- Viking Self-representations
- Pagans and Christians
- Re-assessing the Vikings
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||2||2 hour lecture: Introduction to module|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||20||10 x 2 hour seminars. At a meeting of the whole class generally a different group of 3-4 students will give a presentation to the whole class, followed by class discussion and working through the sources for that week carefully. Additional sources may be issued in the class and the lecturer will also use the time to set up issues for the following week.|
|Guided independent study||128||Students prepare for the session through reading and research; writing five source commentaries and an essay and preparing one group presentation in the course of the term.|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Group presentation (3-4 students)||10-15 minutes||1-4, 6-7, 9||Oral|
|Lowest mark from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||60||2000 words (500 per commentary) (15% per commentary)||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
|Essay on Sources||40||1500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries||4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referred/deferred period|
|1500-word essay||1500-word essay||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referred/deferred period|
You will be required to submit the same written work as for the summative assessment; if you are referred your mark will be capped at 40%.
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
- S. Brink and N. Price, The Viking World (New York, 2008)
- P. Sawyer, Kings and Vikings (London, 1982)
- P. Sawyer, The Age of the Vikings (2nd edn, London, 1971)
- P. Sawyer (ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings (Oxford, 1997)
Module has an active ELE page?
Available as distance learning?
Last revision date