Runes, place-names and heavy metal; these are just some of the topics in a new University of the Highlands and Islands course. The postgraduate qualification in Viking Studies has been developed by the University’s Centre for Nordic Studies. Modules include Viking History, Runology (the study of Runes) and Vikings in Popular Culture which looks at the way Vikings are portrayed in films, comics, music and the media.
Although the Centre for Nordic Studies is based on Orkney and Shetland, the new MLitt can be studied part or full-time from anywhere in the world. Tutors will use resources such as video-conferencing technology and a virtual learning environment to teach students wherever they are based. Enrolment opened this month, with the first intake of students starting in autumn.
Course leader Dr Donna Heddle said: “The Vikings have been incredibly influential in world history and culture so it’s great to be able to use the Centre for Nordic Studies’ recognised expertise in this area to create this unique and exciting course on offer to students all over the world. We can’t wait to start teaching!”
For those who want to find out more about Vikings or the new MLitt, the Centre for Nordic Studies is also running week-long summer courses. Open to all, the courses will give participants an insight into Viking culture and the Norse period in Orkney and Shetland through lectures and field-trips. The summer courses take place in Orkney from the 9th to 13th July and Shetland from 23rd to 27th July.
Photo caption: University of the Highlands and Islands' student Fiona Reid stands next to the Orphir Round Kirk, a Viking site on Orkney