This course is discontinued

HIS2141 – Vikings and Kings in the British Isles (c. 800-1050)

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The British Isles were the Vikings playground. No other part of Europe was so heavily and intensively attacked and nowhere else were the Vikings settlement as extensive as in the British Isles. The British Isles were under a siege for almost two centuries that gave enduring marks. This course aim is to provide an overview of political development in the British Isles in Viking Age (c. 800-1050), especially in England, Ireland and Scotland, and how these societies coped with the Viking attacks and their settlement. In this course students will be introduced to some of the main aspect of the political history of the British Isles, both through secondary literature but also through studies of some important written sources (in translation) to the history of the British Isles, as well as place names and archaeological findings. By drawing on various types of source material, the course adopts an interdisciplinary approach.

The first part of the course will provide a general introduction to the political history of the British Isles in the period c. 800-1050. The second part of the course will focus on one ‘case’ that is the political development in Ireland, England or Scotland.

Learning outcome

In this course you will:

  • learn the basic outlines of the political history in The British Isles in the Viking Age
  • to develop your ability to evaluate and discuss the use of the different types of source material
  • learn to analyze and discuss political changes
  • to give a presentation on central themes in the scholarly debate


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

  • A good ability to read and understand English is required for this course.
  • We recommend taking 30 credits at 1000-level before advancing to courses at 2000-level.


The course will be taught in the form of seminars (3/45 per week, 8 meetings in total). In addition there will be an one hour introductory session in the beginning of the semester.

During the course the students will write a course paper (en kvalifiseringsoppgave). A passinggrade on the course paper 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 information about the course paper will be announced in class. It is expected that students attend all seminars, read the obligatory literature, and participate actively in seminar discussions and other activities.


The course will be assessed by a 3-days take-home examination. The compulsory assignment must be passed in order to sit for the exam. 

The take-home examination assigment will be published here: Assignments

3-days take-home examination: 

  • The students have 3 working days available for them to complete the assignment.
  • The length of the assignment should be 6-10 standard pages (2300 characters without spacing).
  • The assignment should be complete with a front page containing the following information:
    • candidate number (not name)
    • subject code
    • the title of the assignment
    • name of department (IAKH)
    • semester

Submission of assignment:

  • The home exam is to be submitted electronically via Fronter, not in paper format.
  • The file must be submitted in the format of a pdf.
  • If you need assistance in converting your file into a pdf, we recommend that you follow these instructions.
  • The students are responsible to make sure that the documents are complete upon submitting them in Fronter. The submissions will be assessed in the form by which they are uploaded by the students. Unreadable or incomplete documents are assessed as they are. 

The examination of this course is integrated in the teaching of the course and it is therefore not possible to sit for the examination other than by being admitted to the course.

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.

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






This course is offered on an irregular basis


Teaching language