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Viking Culture Then and Now

Course · 7.5 credits


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.

Open for applications

Application opportunities


Comparative Literature

Visiting address
Helgonabacken 12, 223 62 Lund

Postal address
Box 201, 221 00 Lund

+46 46 222 78 47

Robert Ekdahl

Study advisor

robert [dot] ekdahl [at] sol [dot] lu [dot] se

Requirements and selection

Entry requirements

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.

Selection criteria

Seats are allocated according to: The general average (GPA) of your higher secondary school leaving certificate: 20 %, The Swedish national university aptitude test: 10 %, number of previous ECTS at application deadline (up to 165): 70 %.

English language requirements

Most of Lund University’s programmes require English Level 6 (unless otherwise stated under 'Entry requirements'). This is the equivalent of an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 90. There are several ways to prove your English language proficiency – check which proof is accepted at the University Admissions in Sweden website. All students must prove they meet English language requirements by the deadline, in order to be considered for admission.

How to prove your English proficiency –

Country-specific requirements

Check if there are any country-specific eligibility rules for you to study Bachelor's or Master's studies in Sweden:

Country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies –

Country-specific requirements for Master's studies –


Start Spring Semester 2024

Day-time Lund, part time 50%

In English, distance learning

No mandatory meetings

Study period

29 January 2024 - 14 April 2024


Late applications are being accepted

Day-time Lund, part time 50%

In English, distance learning

No mandatory meetings

Study period

29 January 2024 - 14 April 2024


You can only apply for this course in the 'Swedish student' application round. Find out more: Applying for studies – when to apply

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.

When to apply for studies

Step 1: Apply online

  • Check that you meet the entry requirements of the programme or course you are interested in (refer to the section above on this webpage).
  • Start your application – go to the University Admissions in Sweden website where you create an account and select programmes/courses during the application period.
    Visit the University Admissions in Sweden website
  • Rank your programme/course choices in order of preference and submit them before the application deadline.

Step 2: Submit documents

  • Read about how to document your eligibility and how to submit your documents at the University Admissions in Sweden website. Follow any country-specific document rules for Master's studies or Bachelor's studies
    Country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies –
    Country-specific requirements for Master's studies –
  • Get all your documents ready:
    - official transcripts and high school diploma (Bachelor's applicants)
    - official transcripts and degree certificate or proof that you are in the final year of your Bachelor's (Master's applicants)
    - passport/ID (all applicants) and
    - proof of English proficiency (all applicants).
  • Prepare programme-specific documents if stated in the next paragraph on this webpage.
  • Upload or send all required documents to University Admissions before the document deadline.
  • Pay the application fee (if applicable – refer to the section below on this webpage) before the document deadline.

* Note that the process is different if you are applying as an exchange student or as a part of a cooperation programme (such as Erasmus+).
* If you have studied your entire Bachelor's programme in Sweden and all of your academic credits are in Ladok, you do not have to submit transcripts or your diploma when applying for a Master's programme. However, there may still be other documents you need to submit! See the link below. 

Svensk student? 
Läs instruktionerna om att söka till ett internationellt masterprogram på

Tuition fees

Non-EU/EEA citizens

Full programme/course tuition fee: SEK 13 750

First payment: SEK 13 750

Convert currency –

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.

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 when you apply at the University Admissions in Sweden website. You pay one application fee regardless of how many programmes or courses you apply to.

*Note that there are no tuition or application fees for exchange students or doctoral/PhD students, regardless of their nationality.

Scholarships & funding

Lund University Global Scholarship programme

The Lund University Global Scholarship programme is a merit-based and selective scholarship targeted at top academic students from countries outside the EU/EEA.

Lund University Global Scholarship

Swedish Institute Scholarships

The Swedish Institute offers scholarships to international students applying for studies in Sweden at Master's level.

Scholarship information on the Swedish Institute website

Country-specific scholarships and funding options

Lund University has agreements with scholarship organisations and funding bodies in different countries, which may allow applicants to apply for funding or scholarships in their home countries for their studies at Lund University.

External scholarships

Information about scholarships from external organisations