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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The peoples of Britain in the first millennium CE (HIST10397)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to introduce students to the history of early medieval Britain and Ireland. It looks particularly at issues of migration, identity and kingdom-building between the fourth century and the tenth.
Course description This course aims to introduce students to the history of early medieval Britain and Ireland between c. 300 and c. 1000. This period witnessed fundamental changes in the social and political make-up of the British Isles. Old empires crumbled; new ethnic identities emerged; and by the end of the tenth century, powerful and durable kingdoms had begun to take shape. This course explores the processes by which these developments came about; and it engages particularly with issues of migration, ethnicity and identity which remain central to political debate in the modern world.

The seminar programme runs as follows:
1. Introductory meeting
2. The Britons, the Picts and Rome
3. Post-Roman migrations: myth or reality?
4. Lowland Britain: assimilation or apartheid?
5. Britain and the Continent
6. Two overlords: Onuist and Ęthelbald
7. The vikings in Britain
8. Tenth-century identities
9. Ethnicity and kingdom-building
10. The North Sea world
11. The modern legacy of medieval migrations
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503780).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of essay and examination, an awareness of the major events in the history of early medieval Britain and Ireland;
  2. develop and sustain historical arguments, both orally and in writing
  3. handle a range of textual and non-textual evidence in the service of historical study, through in-class discussion of a wide range of primary source material;
  4. engage critically with the arguments of others, by means of sustained engagement with major works of secondary scholarship
  5. show a greater capacity for self-directed study and independence of thought, gained through their weekly reading as well as by the writing of essays
Reading List
Alcock, L., Kings and Warriors, Craftsmen and Priests in Northern Britain, AD 550-850 (Edinburgh, 2003)
Bassett, S. (ed.), The Origins of Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms (Leicester, 1989)
Charles-Edwards, T., Wales and the Britons, 350-1064 (Oxford, 2012)
Fleming, R., Britain after Rome: The Fall and Rise, 400 to 1070 (London, 2010)
Fraser, J., From Caledonia to Pictland: Scotland to 795 (Edinburgh, 2009)
Hadley, D. and J. Richards (eds.), Cultures in Contact: Scandinavian Settlement in England in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries (Turnhout, 2000)
Halsall, G., Worlds of Arthur: Facts and Fictions of the Dark Ages (Oxford, 2013)
Higham, N. (ed.), The Britons in Anglo-Saxon England (Woodbridge, 2007)
Molyneaux, G., The Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century (Oxford, 2015)
Woolf, A., From Pictland to Alba: 789-1070 (Edinburgh, 2007)
Yorke, B., Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England (London, 1997)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills greater capacity for self-directed study and independence of thought;
greater fluency in oral and written exposition;
the ability of engage with, critique and develop the arguments of others.
Course organiserDr Richard Sowerby
Tel: (0131 6)50 3854
Course secretaryMiss Alexandra Adam
Tel: (0131 6)50 3767
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