CCIV10040 Vikings in the Celtic World

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module will begin on Monday 27 September 2021.

Students will need a laptop and Wifi connection to participate fully in this module.

This course will consider the Viking experience of the Celtic-speaking lands and how the Vikings, through both confrontation and collaboration, had a transformative impact on that world between c. 780 – 1020. The Vikings were largely a silent people and it is largely through the eyes of those they encountered – peoples who were already literate – that we first get to know them. Many of our enduring images of the Vikings are based on sources from the Celtic world, and some of the earliest and most complete accounts of the initial Viking raids are found in the Irish annals.

As the Vikings become a permanent presence in these lands, the Celtic and Norse views of the spiritual, heroic and economic world intersected and, at times, collided. We will look at the manner in which the Vikings are treated in literature and how this changes over time. We will trace the survival of rituals and beliefs brought from Scandinavia as exemplified by the decorated slabs and burials on the Isle of Man, where legends from Norse mythology feature on Christian crosses and a warrior was buried with a sacrificed slave.

There were personalities, both Norse and Celtic, who straddled both worlds, and many of these men and women were nurtured in both traditions and reflect the enduring and transforming contacts made through intermarriage, fosterage and political alliances.

The emergence of new dynasties and kingdoms is a product of the special circumstances of this period and we will consider how they arise and what their impact was on the wider Norse and Celtic worlds. Towns develop in the west and the north as a result of the Vikings’ new raiding/trading activities, and the connections between the contemporary developments of Dublin, Waterford and Limerick in Ireland and Kaupang, Birka and Hedeby in Scandinavia will be surveyed.

This multifaceted course will provide students with a clear understanding of this fascinating and dynamic period in the history of the Norse and Celtic worlds.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

1. To display a general understanding of the sources related to the history of the Vikings in the Celtic world including: the annals, the chronicles, inscriptions, literature and archaeology
2. To display a knowledge of the principal aspects of Viking interaction with the Celtic world, the source materials for the period and the impact of the Vikings on the societies that they encountered.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures, supplemented by tutorials. Tutorial time will be devoted to close readings of primary texts. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: Final essay. Week 12 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Glossary: provide definitions for a selection of key terms. Unspecified n/a Graded No


Assignment: Midterm analysis. Week 6 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Oral or written/annotated feedback which can be face-to-face, on Brightspace or by email.

Name Role
Ms Linda Doran Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Nathan Millin Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Allison Galbari Tutor
Genna Scott Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: Weeks 2-12 Mon 13:00 - 13:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: Weeks 2-12 Wed 13:00 - 13:50
Tutorial Offering 2 Week(s) - Autumn: Weeks 2-12 Wed 12:00 - 12:50
Tutorial Offering 3 Week(s) - Autumn: Weeks 2-12 Wed 15:00 - 15:50
Tutorial Offering 4 Week(s) - Autumn: Weeks 2-12 Wed 14:00 - 14:50