The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore representative but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
Full time students take 120 credits of modules across the Autumn and Spring Semesters (45-75 credits in each Semester), and then finish the course with a dissertation over the Summer. Part time students take 60 credits of modules in their first year of study, 60 credits in their second, and then commence their dissertation in the Summer of their second year.
Typical Autumn Semester modules
Old English Texts 1 (15 credits)
This module offers students the opportunity to explore the culture of the Anglo-Saxons through the surviving literature in Old English. Topics covered include Germanic legends and myths, heroic literature, the theme of exile, Christian homiletic writing and devotional works. Texts to be read may include heroic and elegiac poems, The Dream of the Rood, and saints' lives in verse and prose. Most of these will be read in Old English (with plenty of help given), enabling students to expand and consolidate their knowledge of the Old English language.
Old Norse Texts 1 (15 credits)
This module provides an intensive introduction to the Old Norse language, based on carefully-selected extracts from real texts, including sagas, and historical and mythological narratives. By the end of the module, you will have been taken through all the main aspects of Old Norse grammar and have translated the set extracts. In class we will return regularly to questions of translation and style, while observing grammar in action.
Old English in History 1 (15 credits)
This module consists of a detailed study of English language history, with Old English as the focal point. The Indo-European background is surveyed, and the development of Old English within the Germanic family is traced. The grammar, phonology, vocabulary, semantics, and social history of Old English are investigated. Specific topics include the relationship between Latin and the vernacular; the concept of literacy; dialects; and the establishment of a 'standard' language. Manuscript and historical evidence is considered.
The Language of Stones: Runes and runic inscriptions of the Viking Age (15 credits)
Through a series of short workshops, this module will train you in relevant aspects of runology, including how to examine, transcribe, transliterate, translate and present runic inscriptions. The workshops will be based on photographs and other visual materials, but you will then be able to test your skills on actual runic inscriptions on a field trip. You will then develop an independent project in which you present and analyse a set of Viking Age or medieval Scandinavian inscriptions that are of particular interest to you.
The Hammar and the Cross: Religion in the Viking Age (15 credits)
This interdisciplinary module offers students the opportunity to explore the role of religion in pagan Scandinavia and subsequent changes after the conversion to Christianity. Students are expected to read and discuss a variety of texts (sagas, poems and histories) and study other media, such as artwork and runic texts. They will also be introduced to the critical studies in the field and be expected to conduct independent research into aspects of Scandinavian religion.
Typical Spring Semester modules
Old English Texts II (15 credits)
This module complements Old English Texts I offering students the opportunity to explore the culture of the Anglo-Saxons through the surviving literature in Old English. Topics covered may include Germanic legends and myths, heroic literature, the theme of exile, Christian homiletic writing and devotional works. Texts to be read will include Beowulf and related narratives. Most of the texts will be read in Old English.
Reading Old Icelandic Literature (15 credits)
This module will introduce you to current critical thinking about Old Icelandic literature in both poetry and prose, and equip you with a range of practical and theoretical frameworks for your own study of this literature. Seminars will be student-led: you will present and discuss recent critical approaches and test them against your own readings of the texts themselves. Knowledge of Old Icelandic is NOT required for this module.
The Study of Place-Names (30 credits)
The module employs the study of place-names to illustrate the various languages - British, Latin, French, Norse and English - that have been spoken in England over the last 2000 years. Students will learn how place-name evidence can be used as a source for the history of English: its interaction with other languages, its regional and dialectal patterns, and its changing vocabulary. Students will also undertake a directed self-study project which will assess the value of place-name evidence for some aspect of Anglo-Saxon and/ or Viking settlement-history.
World of the Vikings: Research approaches and methodology in Viking Studies (15 credits)
This module will begin with two half-day workshops in which you will be introduced to research resources and methods appropriate to interdisciplinary Viking Studies. You will also be given basic bibliographical training which will be assessed by an annotated bibliography and book review. A two-day field trip will introduce you to a range of material and linguistic evidence for the Viking Age, and you will write an assessed essay based on your study of this material. The timing and location of the field trip are to be decided – but it is most likely to be Dublin. Please note that for practical reasons this trip may be in the Easter vacation.
Further details on these modules are available in the Module Catalogue.
Students choose their modules at the beginning of the Autumn Semester.
Please note that all modules are subject to availability and may therefore change.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.