The Anglo-Saxons Interactive

Course Synopsis

The Anglo-Saxon period in English history has often been dismissed as part of the Dark Ages that swept across Europe between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Italian Renaissance. Yet, as this course shows, Anglo-Saxon kings laid the foundations of the English nation and created some of England’s most cherished institutions against a constant threat of Viking invasion.

This course delves into this fascinating period of English history, a period that is often ignored by school syllabuses, yet one that is crucial to understanding the events that shaped the English nation to be as it is today. Looking at such key historical figures as Alfred the Great, Aethelstan the first king of England, and chroniclers such as the Venerable Bede, this course serves as an accessible introduction to this period of English history and to the study of the medieval period that followed.


What’s Included?





Personal Profile

Interactive Tutorials

Quizzes and Exams


Why Take this Course?

This course is ideal preparation for students thinking of studying history at university, exploring an extremely important period of British history and encountering a range of historical methods in the process.

Aims and Objectives

  • To explore this crucial period of English history, one often ignored by most school courses
  • To understand the reasons behind the rise and the fall of the Anglo-Saxons
  • To gain an insight into Anglo-Saxon life and culture, and the lives of two of their most famous kings: Alfred and Athelstan

Key Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Discuss the important role played by the Anglo-Saxons in shaping the outlines of the English nation
  • Explain the major reasons for the fall of Anglo-Saxons at the hands of the Normans
  • Understand the important role played by two key Anglo-Saxon kings, Alfred and Athelstan, and the differences between them


All courses include the following Interactive Tutorial series

Tutorial 1

Who were the Anglo-Saxons?

1 - 1.5 hours

This tutorial will introduce students to the Anglo-Saxons. These were the settlers who made their way to Britain after the fall of the Roman Empire around AD 410 led by two Germanic brothers Hengist and Horsa. This tutorial discusses how the Anglo-Saxons converted to Christianity in 597 and split what we now know as England into four kingdoms – Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia and Wessex.

Tutorial 2

King Alfred the Great

1 - 1.5 hours

This tutorial tells the story of the only English monarch known as ‘the Great’. It highlights how the four kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxons broke down in face of fierce invaders from Denmark – the Vikings – and only one man was able to resist and lead his people to freedom. This was Alfred. But Alfred was more than just a military leader. His educational and social reforms created the outlines of the English nation.

Tutorial 3

Athelstan - the First King of all England

1 - 1.5 hours

Athelstan was King Alfred’s grandson. He inherited his grandfather’s determination to finally defeat the Viking invaders and finish his blueprint for England. Yet Athelstan has struggled to escape Alfred’s shadow. Rumours that he had his brother killed to secure his position indicates that kingship was a bloody and contingent concept in tenth-century England.

Tutorial 4

The End of the Anglo-Saxons

1 - 1.5 hours

In 1066 the Norman Conquest shattered Anglo-Saxon society. This tutorial explores why the Norman Conquest was successful and how William was able to exploit the weaknesses of the Saxon kings. The second half of this tutorial will explore the myths and legends that grew up in subsequent generations and why, at the close of the eighteenth century, Thomas Jefferson wanted the Great Seal of the United States of America to include Hengist and Horsa.

What’s Included?

All courses contain the following elements:

Interactive Tutorials
Online Quizzes
Access to the discussion forum
Access to all course resources
Certificate of completion

Key Details

Course Pre-Requisites Intermediate/Advanced level of English
An interest and enthusiasm for history, with particular reference to English history
Thus course would suit students studying towards A-level History or equivalent
Course Level For students applying/thinking of applying to study History at university
This course is an area-specific course, designed to expand your historical knowledge
Fees £29.99
Workload 4 - 6 hours

Enrolment Options

Choose one of the following options to take your course:

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Personal learning profile
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6-Month Membership
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