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Senior Lecturer in Mediaeval History, University of St Andrews

Alex Woolf lectures in Mediaeval History at the University of St Andrews, primarily focusing on Britain, Ireland (and to a lesser extent Scandinavia) from the fifth to the twelfth centuries with particular interest in the ending of Roman Britain and the development of political institutions; cross cultural links and comparison within the Insular World and the historical value of Icelandic literature.

My research falls into two main areas. Firstly there is ‘teaching-led’ research relating to early Scottish History which has resulted in my textbook From Pictland to Alba and numerous articles. Beyond this the focus of much of my work could be said to be the development of centralised kingdoms from Iron Age societies and the relationship between language shift and socio-economic history. This thematic focus explains the broad geographical and chronological spread of my work. Within this broad range my central area of interest lies in the period c.450-1050 with something of a bias towards the earlier part of the period. My teaching, in which I attempt to maintain a balance between my commitment to the Scottish History programme and the wider cultural context which is necessary for understanding it, attempts to reflect this range.


  • 2001–2015
    Senior Lecturer, University of St Andrews