Course code: LIVD02
Credits: 7.5

Study period: spring semester 2024
Type of studies: part time, 50 % , distance course
Study period: 2024-01-29 – 2024-04-14
Language of instruction: English
Application code: LU-E1001
Eligibility: General eligibility and 60 ECTS credits in completed courses in the humanities or social sciences or equivalent.
A general exemption from the requirement of proficiency in Swedish is applied.

Introductory meeting: 2024-01-29 at 16:00 – 18:00

Teachers: Anders Mortensen


What was life in the "Viking Age" really like? How do we know? How has the image of the Vikings changed over time? Explore the historical sources and interpretations as well as the cultural significance of Vikings in art, film, and literature during the last two centuries, both in the Scandinavian countries and in the world at large. Join our online course and gain a comprehensive understanding of the enduring legacy of Viking culture.

Viking culture then

When did the Viking Age actually begin? Wood, turf, stone and daub – how did people live, and how were families organised? Power struggle, curiosity or greed? What were the incentives for Scandinavian expansion? What impact did the Scandinavians have on the Anglo-Saxon and Frankish kingdoms? These are some of the questions we will ask throughout the course, and you'll develop important skills in interpreting, comprehending, and discussing various types of contemporary sources in trying to answer them. This includes studying written materials like Old Norse literature, runic inscriptions, and chronicles, as well as examining archaeological evidence.

Vikings in modern culture

The course will also study how Viking culture has been portrayed in later forms of art and entertainment, such as literature, films, media, monuments, and cultural policies. Perceptions of "noble savagery", egalitarianism, and mindless barbarism in the Viking world will be contextualised and challenged. We'll pay special attention to its connection with the Romantic tradition and discuss works like Swedish author Esaias Tegnérs epic poem Frithiof's Saga (1825) but also more contemporary works like The Long Ships (Frans G. Bengtsson, 1941) and the film The Northman (Robert Eggers, 2022) as well recent TV-series featuring Viking topics. It's also worth noting that the modern understanding and spread of Viking culture have been subject to academic and political debates, and we'll explore these controversies as well.

By the end of the course, you'll have a comprehensive grasp of Viking culture and its significance throughout history and today.

Course format

This is a distance learning course using the learning platform Canvas, with online lectures over Zoom. You need access to a computer with internet connection, webcam, and a headset throughout the semester. The course will be conducted through online-based introductions, lectures, exercises, and approximately ten discussion seminars. It is mandatory to actively participate in more than half of the discussion seminars.


This course is not open as a freestanding course next semester. It can be open for application within a programme or for students in an exchange programme. Please ask your academic advisor for information.

How to apply

Lund University uses a national application system run by University Admissions in Sweden. It is only possible to apply during the application periods: October–January for autumn semester and June–August for spring semester.

Extended application deadline

Sometimes the application deadline is extended for a specific programme or course. In these cases you will find the message "open for late application" by the programme/course information on You apply with the usual application steps. As long as this message is showing, it is possible to apply, but late applications are processed in order of date, so it is still important to apply as soon as possible. Please note that if the programme/course does not have an extended deadline, it is not possible to apply late.

First or Second Admission Round?

All international students are encouraged to apply to the First admission round. This round takes place many months before the start of a semester and gives students the time they need to pay their tuition fees, apply for and receive their residence permit (if required), find housing, etc.

The Second admission round is an alternative for students from EU/EEA countries as they do not need a residence permit. Non-EU/EEA students will most likely not have enough time to obtain their permit before the start of the semester. However, even EU/EEA students are advised to apply during the First admission round, as some programmes can be applied for only in the January round. Also, this provides applicants with an admission decision much earlier, which is helpful in making decisions about their studies.

Tuition Fees

Non-EU/EEA citizens

Citizens of a country outside of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are required to pay tuition fees. You pay one instalment of the tuition fee in advance of each semester.

Read more about tuition fees, payments and exemptions

EU/EEA citizens and Switzerland

There are no tuition fees for citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

Application fee

If you are required to pay tuition fees, you are generally also required to pay an application fee of SEK 900 (approximately EUR 100) when you apply at You pay one application fee regardless of how many programmes or courses you apply to.

Read more about paying the University Admissions in Sweden application fee and exemptions

Comparative Literature

More about the subject, research, staff etc.

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