HIS2128 – Perspectives on Viking Age History (c.750 - c.1050)

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The Vikings are commonly viewed as the most noticeable Scandinavian contribution to global history. Indeed, the raiding and trading Vikings left their traces across Northern Europe and beyond, and the Scandinavian emigration of the ninth and tenth centuries left noticeable imprints on adjacent regions such as Carolingian Francia, Anglo-Saxon England, the North Atlantic and Eastern Europe. Scholars debate different aspects of this transforming and expanding society. Yet most of them agree that ostentatious consumption was a key feature of Viking culture; those who owned the best weapons and largest ships were able to distribute the most precious gifts among their followers. The Vikings brought home not only material riches, but also new ideas as well as a new religion, which changed Scandinavia dramatically in the long run. In this course, we will discuss several important topics pertaining to the Viking Age, namely Viking Age political and material culture, religious transformation, social relations, trade and communication, with a particular focus on the interplay between internal and external factors.

Learning outcome

A student who successfully completes this course should be able to:

  • explain the basic outlines of social history of Scandinavia c. 750-1050
  • evaluate and discuss the use of different types of source material
  • analyse and discuss different perspectives on the history of the Viking Age
  • employ an interdisciplinary approach to study of the Viking Age (with an emphasis on mainland Scandinavia and its interactions with neighbouring countries)


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

30 credits in humanities or social sciences.

A good ability to read and understand English is required for this course.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with HIS4128 – Perspectives on Viking Age History (c.750 - c.1050)


The course will be taught in the form of 16 hours of lectures and 8 hours of seminars/group work, which will mainly focus on different Viking Age sources. The teaching schedule is available on the semester page.

Resources and information in this course will be given in Canvas.

  • The students are expected to attend all seminars and lectures.
  • Participation in seminar discussions is obligatory 3 out of 4 seminars.
  • In HIS 2128, a pass grade for the course paper (kvalifiseringsoppgave) is required to be allowed to the final exam.
  • The length of the paper should be approximately six pages (where one page is estimated to hold 2300 characters without spacing).
  • More detailed information about obligatory assignments and activities will be given at the first meeting.

Guidelines on compulsory activity at HF


3-days take-home exam: The students have three days to write an assignment. The exam assignment will be published in Inspera on the first day of the exam.

  • For information about the time and date of the exam, please consult the semester page. Click on the relevant semester at the top of this page, and go to "Examination: Time and place."
  • The length of the assignment should be 6-10 standard pages (one standard page is 2300 characters without spacing).
  • Do not write your name in your exam (term paper). Use your candidate number. It is a four digit number which you will find next to your exam registration in StudentWeb. You are given a unique candidate number for each exam.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Spring 2021


Spring 2021

Teaching language