The Viking Invasions in Britain

Ref: C2340807

This course will trace the growth and development of the various Anglo-Saxon, Scots and Welsh kingdoms during the early 9th century, and how these kingdoms interacted with each other in the wake of the first Viking raids. We will go on to look at the impact and effects of the sustained Viking incursions and final invasions, culminating in the struggle against them and the establishment of Danelaw under King Alfred. We will conclude with a brief examination of the survival of Wessex and a separate Anglo-Saxon resurgence under Alfred. We will use sources such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Church records and early Welsh poetry in order to create a picture of the culture of the British Isles during the Dark Ages and assess the value of such evidence. You will be introduced to all the major cultural aspects, theology and warfare during the period concerned

Course aim

The course will analyse key developments of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and other native British cultures in the face of the Viking raids and invasions of the 9th century AD.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Provide an outline of some of the key achievements of Offa and Mercia by 800 AD.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the significance of the battle of Ellandun
  • Deliver an outline of the course of the Viking invasions and their impact on Britain in the second half the 9th century.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key factors in the survival of Wessex up to the establishment of Danelaw.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • "In Search of the Dark Ages" Michael Wood, BBC Books 2006 "England During the Dark Ages" John Green, Didactic Press 2013

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

The Viking Invasions in Britain


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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