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

Undergraduate Course: The kings in the north: Scotland in the early Middle Ages (HIST10428)

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
SummaryBefore Scotland became Scotland, the north of Britain was home to many kingdoms, whose inhabitants spoke different languages and possessed different identities. During the early Middle Ages, this variegated landscape was transformed by social and political changes, resulting in the eventual emergence of a 'kingdom of Scotland' in the tenth century. This course guides students through this fundamental period in British history, looking particularly at issues of identity, ethnicity and kingdom-building in the period c.400-950 CE.
Course description Between the fifth century and the tenth, the north of Britain was transformed. Powerful kingdoms rose and fell; new ethnic identities emerged; and by the end of the tenth century, a 'kingdom of Scotland' had begun to take shape. This course explores the processes by which these developments came about, and introduces students to a formative period in the social and political history of the British Isles.

The inhabitants of early medieval Scotland have left few written sources about their life and societies. But their monumental artwork and archaeological remains, along with records from their neighbours in southern Britain and Ireland, allow us to piece together their history. A great deal of the material remains of early medieval Scotland are now held here in Edinburgh, at the National Museum of Scotland. This course offers opportunities for students to engage with this unique and fascinating material for themselves, and to think about ways in which such enigmatic artefacts can be used to introduce the public to this important period in Scotland's history.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in 40 credits of third 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: 50 3780).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting Students should usually have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
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 coursework and examination, command of the history of northern Britain in the early Middle Ages;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to read, analyze, and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to understand, evaluate, and utilize a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilizing relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Clarke D., A. Blackwell and M. Goldberg, Early Medieval Scotland: Individual, Communities and Ideas (Edinburgh, 2012)
Clarkson, T., The Men of the North: The Britons of Southern Scotland (Edinburgh, 2010)
Forsyth, K., 'Scotland to 1100', in J. Wormald (ed.), Scotland: A History (Oxford, 2005), pp. 9-35
Foster, S., Picts, Gaels and Scots: Early Historic Scotland (3rd ed., Edinburgh, 2014)
Markus, G., Conceiving a Nation: Scotland to 900 AD (Edinburgh, 2017)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Richard Sowerby
Tel: (0131 6)50 3854
Course secretary
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