MARS/HIST 3F51: The Viking and Medieval Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea with a rich history and heritage from the Viking and Medieval eras.

In this course we have the opportunity to experience the unique history and heritage of the Isle of Man at first hand with Professor Andrew McDonald.

Beginning with intensive course work at Brock in early May, we then travel to the Island for ten days packed with site visits that augment our course work with immersive experiences.  We are frequently joined by local experts who will share their knowledge and experience.

Our visit begins at the Manx Museum in Douglas (the capital), where we’ll tour the galleries, meet curators, and get special behind-the-scenes access.

Then, we’ll journey through the countryside to visit heritage sites from the Viking and Medieval eras, including castles, cathedrals, churches, monasteries, and fortifications.

We’ll get up close to magnificent Viking Age sculptures and learn how to decode their iconography, and we’ll visit Tynwald Hill, where Vikings held assemblies, kings were made, and where the modern Manx parliament continues to hold an outdoor meeting every year on 5 July.

Free time provides plenty of opportunity to enjoy the Island’s scenic beauty and more modern history and heritage, including the Douglas Promenade, Electric and Steam Railways, Laxey Wheel, and Snaefell.


There are extra costs associated with this course.

The travel portion of the course will involve walking for as much as 1 km over uneven terrain to visit heritage sites; participants must be physically able to do so.


Applications are being accepted until November 30, 2023.  Use the QR Code below to access the application form or click here to apply.


Professor McDonald travelled to the Isle of Man in August of 2023 to prepare for the study course.  He took the time to record some of his favourite spots.  In this video clip he talks about what you will experience visiting Douglas and its beautiful promenade.

The Manx National Heritage is one of the places where Professor McDonald conducts his research.  We will visit during our stay on the Isle of Man.

Click here to access the helpful trip fact sheet.

Tynwald Hill
The southern tip of the Isle of Man from the air
The Promenade, Douglas
The Manx Museum, Douglas
St. German's Cathedral, St. Patrick's Isle
Rushen Abbey
Round tower on St. Patrick's Isle
Professor McDonald with one of the famous Viking Age sculptures at Kirk Andreas
Maughold churchyard and parish church
Isle of Man Steam Railway
Cross-shelter at Maughold, home to the largest collection of early medieval and medieval sculptured stones on the Island
Castle Rushen, Castletown

Photos courtesy of Professor Andrew McDonald.