Why choose this programme?

This programme offers the opportunity to investigate the European Viking and Middle Ages, with a focus on the North Sea area, through in-depth study of relevant textual sources and/or material artefacts from philological, historical and archaeological perspectives.

What were the causes and effects of the Viking Age? How can we know about pre-Christian religious practices in Viking Age Scandinavia? What do runic inscriptions and manuscripts tell us about literacy, the use of writing, and scribal culture? How was the Church’s Latin book culture introduced to Norse culture, and how did the emerging Old Norse textual corpus appropriate and borrow from European literary cultures, which it then influenced in turn? To what extent can the extraordinary saga literature of medieval Iceland be used as an historical source? What impact did the encounter with Christianity and insular literature in Ireland and Britain have on Vikings and Norse settlers in these regions, and how did these influences affect Norse culture elsewhere? What do Norse place names in Ireland and Scotland reveal about cultural exchange and acculturation of the Norse? How can we draw on archaeological remains and material culture to understand the process of urbanization in the Middle Ages?

Our core courses introduce a range of interdisciplinary perspectives on source criticism, while the specialized courses focus on strategies for interpreting sources, including approaches for dealing with different sources that not only complement but also contradict each other. We welcome applications from both international and Norwegian students who want to study one or more disciplines, e.g.:

  • either Old Norse philology
  • or Old Norse philology combined with history and/or archaeology 
  • or history and/or archaeology combined with Irish philology 
  • or Irish philology 
  • or Irish philology combined with Old Norse philology 
  • or history combined with archaeology. 

These various possibilities to combine disciplines make the programme in Viking and Medieval Studies one the most unique master’s degree programmes in the world.

Published Sep. 23, 2015 12:53 PM - Last modified Mar. 3, 2020 2:19 PM