Syllabus for The Viking: Ideal and Reality

Vikingen - ideal och realitet


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5AR775
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Archaeology A1N

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2019-05-13
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: Autumn 2019
  • Entry requirements:

    A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.

  • Responsible department: Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

Learning outcomes

After passed examination of the course, students should be able to:

  • present and discuss the sources (archaeological, epigraphical, literary and scientific) available for understanding the Viking period in Scandinavia.
  • in a thematic fashion discuss the Vikings' lifeways, religions and world-views.
  • problematise the (ab)use of Vikings in the creation of Scandinavian identities from the 19th century until today.


The Viking Age is the most famous period in Scandinavian prehistory and references to it abound in popular culture. The course gives access to ideas and results in the most ambitious research project about Vikings ever launched in Sweden - the Viking Phenomenon. With a varied focus on issues such as identity, mobility, religion, violence, slavery and gender, and with the use of all available sources, the Viking-Age is peopled with individuals both familiar and disconcertingly different. A historiographical perspective is also used to dissect the Viking image, that has often been shaped to serve a variety of purposes through a mixing of reality and idealised reconstruction. The participant's knowledge and understanding of the Viking period enables a comparison between current research and its reflections in popular culture.


The teaching consists of seminars and lectures with written and oral assignments. All teaching is offered in English.


Assessment is ongoing through oral and written presentations, individually or in groups. Active participation in seminars and group presentations is included in the assessment. If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special circumstances might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • "Viking Age : A Reader, Third Edition" [Elektronisk resurs]


    Find in the library


  • Price, Neil S. The children of ash and elm : a history of the Vikings

    London: Allen Lane, 2020

    Find in the library