Viking Studies MLitt

Course code R600

What is special about this course?

The Vikings have been incredibly influential in world history and culture. The Institute for Northern Studies' team will be using their recognised expertise in this area to create this unique and exciting course on offer to students all over the world and to re-evaluate the Vikings; past, present, and future.

Students will be able to critically evaluate key historical, economic, and social developments in the Viking world and analyse the significance and legacy of the cultural history of the Vikings both in isolation and in a wider context temporally and geographically. You will look at Viking iconography in text and film, the role of women, and the significance of runes among other fascinating topics.

As part of the degree, you will study a set of core modules and also have the opportunity to choose from a range of optional modules, bringing the study of the Viking period into a wider perspective.

Special features

  • Unique course content not available anywhere else
  • You are taught by international experts in the field
  • We use video conferencing and a virtual learning environment to deliver the course so you can study from anywhere in the world
  • Small class sizes
  • You can also choose unique options in literature, language, creative writing and the North Atlantic world
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development, or work towards the PgCert, PgDip, or full masters degree

Entry requirements

  • 2:1 honours degree or above (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject, such as history, archaeology, literature, or ethnology
  • Other disciplines such as human geography and the social sciences will also be considered
  • International students whose first language is not English must meet language competency standards as noted on the international page of our website


*Funding support notice*

Postgraduate Loans (SAAS) (Scottish domiciled students)

Loans for tuition fees are available from SAAS for eligible Scotland domiciled students, and loans for living costs for eligible Scottish students.


Access routes

Students can access the programme from a range of our undergraduate programmes including:


You will study the following core module:

  • Discovering the past: introduction to interdisciplinary research methods

Plus, two further modules from the following:

  • Vikings in Scotland and the Irish Sea region: settlement, burial and ritual
  • Vikings in the landscape
  • Gender in Viking society: warriors, travellers and farmers


You will study the one remaining module from those listed in the PgCert, plus two optional modules from the following:

  • Celts and Vikings in the North Atlantic
  • Exploring creative writing
  • Medieval history of Orkney and Shetland
  • Picts: revealing the painted past
  • Runology and Old Norse
  • Small island governance
  • Selling cold islands
  • Tour of the Highlands
  • Traditional customs and beliefs of the Highlands and Islands
  • Visualising the Vikings: Vikings in popular culture


To achieve the award of MLitt Viking Studies you must complete a research dissertation.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of video conference seminars and tutorials, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors and student advisor
  • International students requiring a Student Route visa to study with us must be based at UHI Orkney during their studies. International students undertaking the course from their home country can study online and by video conference, in real-time or recordings
  • All other students can choose to study at UHI Orkney, or from their own location studying online and by video conference in real-time or recordings
  • An online induction will be offered at the start of your course

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year @ 20 hours per week
  • Part-time structured: 2 years @ 10 hours per week

The number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Orkney

Start date

  • September
  • January


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
  2022-23 2023-24
Per module (20 credits) £560 £584
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,680 £1,752
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,360 £3,504
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £5,000 £5,256

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), studying this course on-campus or online from their home, the following fees apply:



Per module (20 credits) £669 £720
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £2,007 £2,160
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £4,014 £4,320
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £6,021 £6,480

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Scottish Government confirmed that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals, who do not have settled or pre-settled status, will be considered as international for fee purposes. Students will get an automatic fee scholarship.

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

2023-24 On-campus study (term-time address in Scotland) With scholarship Online study (from home country) With scholarship
Per module (20 credits) £1,600 £1,120 £1,080 £810
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £4,800 £3,360 £3,240 £2,430
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits) £9,600 £7,200 £6,480 £4,860
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits) £14,400 £10,080 £9,720 £7,290


2022-23 On-campus study (term-time address in Scotland) With scholarship Online study (from home country) With scholarship
Per module (20 credits) £1,492 £1,120 £1,010 £760
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £4,476 £3,360 £3,030 £2,280
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits) £8,952 £6,720 £6,060 £4,560
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits) £13,428 £10,080 £9,090 £6,840

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union, studying on-campus or online, the following fees apply:

  On-campus study (term-time address in Scotland) Online study (from home country)
  2022-23 2023-24 2022-23 2023-24
Per module (20 credits) £1,492 £1,600 £1,010 £1,080
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £4,476 £4,800 £3,030 £3,240
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits) £8,952 £9,600 £6,060 £6,480
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits) £13,428 £14,400 £9,090 £9,720


Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK, EU and international postgraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


Eligible Scotland-domiciled students studying full-time can access loans up to £10,000 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500. 

Eligible Scotland-domiciled students studying part-time can apply for a tuition fee loan from SAAS. You must be intending to complete the course in no longer than twice the length of time it would take for a full-time student. For example, if your course is available to full-time students as a one-year programme, you will be funded for a maximum of two years' part-time study. If your course does not have a full-time option, you must complete within three years. You can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5,500, which will be paid pro-rata for each academic year of study. 

Full details can be found on the SAAS website. Applications for loans open in April.

Students from the rest of the UK who meet the eligibility requirements may be able to apply for a loan from the Student Loan Company.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your MLitt Viking Studies, there are a variety of careers you might like to consider. Here is just a taster of the kind of opportunities available to you:

  • Tourism and heritage sector
  • School teaching on completion of relevant PGDE qualification
  • Community education
  • Adult education
  • Journalism; particularly newspaper and radio
  • Working for local government agencies
  • Teaching on this or similar degrees

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to PhD study at the University of the Highlands and Islands, and other institutions.

Is there more information available online?

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There are very few courses available like this anywhere in the world, and none of this calibre through distance learning. I looked at universities in Britain and Scandinavia, including Iceland. I felt that the university had the best of the British and Scandinavian approaches, including several Scandinavian staff members.

Originally from the UK, Ross Downing is studying full-time on our MLitt Viking Studies, from his location in Sweden.


I undertook the MLitt Viking Studies through distance learning and very much enjoyed it. It was ideal in preparing me for what I am doing now - a full-time PhD, also with the Institute for Northern Studies. The MLitt covers a wide range of important issues and has a choice of modules catering for different interests. In addition, I was able to present my work at an international conference during my studies which boosted my confidence before embarking on further study.

Andrea Freund, MLitt Viking Studies graduate, now undertaking a PhD with the Institute for Northern Studies.

Our students have the chance to undertake unique programmes delivered by world leading experts. Their study at both masters and PhD level also equips them with a range of soft transferable skills which makes them very employable in today’s interdisciplinary and digital workplace. We are very much looking to the future as well as the past at the Institute for Northern Studies!

Dr Alexandra Sanmark, Reader in Medieval Archaeology, Institute for Northern Studies.

Questions about this course?

Questions about this course?

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Questions about this course?


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