Norse Mythology

Ref: C2341707

This course will provide an overview of the various Norse gods, their origins and roles, with some consideration of the nature of the surviving evidence upon which an understanding of the pagan Norse belief system can be based. We will then consider their individual attributes and characters, and how these personalities were viewed by the Nordic peoples. Further analysis will be made of the several degrees of Norse gods,races and heroes, and their particular significance and importance to pagan generations of Nordic peoples. We will go on to look at their various relationships, and establish their respective roles in the Nordic universe, before going on to examine a selection of legends and myths that feature key gods and and heroes that formed major elements of Nordic tradition, and such stories and myths are reflected in literature and art. We will conclude with some consideration of Norse pagan rituals and customs, and how these dictated key elements of day-to-day life.

Course aim

How did the Vikings view their world, and have a relationship with their gods? This course will look at the diverse and vivid universe of old Norse gods and beliefs, and how some of those traditions still live with us today.

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:

  • Define the key attributes and significance of Odin as the great god of the Norse peoples.
  • Provide an outline of the major distinctions between the Norse gods and lesser races.
  • Provide an outline of the key folklore traditions and hero-myths of Northern Europe.

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
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • The Penguin Book of Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings: Kevin Crossley-Holland, Penguin Books 2011

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

Norse Mythology


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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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