Taught Masters in Modern Irish History @ Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Public-History-&-Cultural-HTrinity College’s history, heritage and its unique position in the heart of the capital city, close to archival repositories, lends itself to being the ideal place of learning to pursue a Masters in Irish History.  The M.Phil in Modern Irish History provides an introduction to the political, social, economic, religious and cultural history of modern Ireland (broadly, from the 17th to the late 20th centuries).  The programme is more intensive than any other equivalent course in Ireland both in terms of the taught modules and the intensive one-to-one supervision students receive from academics leading their fields in Ireland and abroad.

Unlike many of the other History departments in Ireland Trinity College’s History Department has three vibrant research seminars and students have access through these seminars to a wide range of international speakers and a variety of historical methods and approaches.    Students begin with a number of taught options throughout the first months of the programme and are given the time and space needed to develop their interests and approaches to research before deciding on a dissertation topic.  The programme underlines the processes involved in evolving a research project and provides an ideal platform for students to proceed to further study at PhD level.

The programme offers students the opportunity to work with academics in a wide variety of periods and approaches to Irish history.  The emphasis of the programme is on a comparative approach to Irish history, encouraging students to challenge the assumptions made by an exclusivist approach.  The academics involved are well known internationally as leaders in their respective fields, and publish widely with Irish, British and American publishers and academic journals.  Each student receives intensive one-to-one supervision on their M.Phil dissertation.

The M.Phil in Modern Irish History aims, through exploring key issues, approaches and methodologies, to equip students with the tools, insights and enthusiasm required for the conduct of independent historical research. Students seeking the M.Phil in Modern Irish History will be required to submit a dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words based on primary research and on a review of relevant modern historical writing. Attendance at two of the department’s weekly research seminars presents an opportunity to engage with the most current research in Irish and European history and also introduces students to the vibrant and collegial research environment in the department.

Trinity College Dublin boasts one of the finest research libraries in Europe, allowing this to be an enriching experience academically.  The course draws on the rich resources of Trinity’s library and also the adjacent Dublin libraries and archives.  It makes key connections for students with the country’s main archives and libraries and has a special relationship with many of these institutions which has been built up since the course began in 2005.  The course provides students with the opportunity of placements in many of these repositories and this has been extremely enriching in terms of understanding the nature of research and the preservation of historical records.  Integral to the programme is the access students have to the best research library in the country.

Since its inception the M.Phil in Modern Irish History has attracted a variety of international students from Europe and North America.  The university’s placing in world academic rankings makes Trinity College Dublin an attractive option for international students. Many students have gone on to undertake doctoral studies in Trinity and in other universities in Ireland, Britain and the United States.

Trinity College, founded in 1592, has an unusually long, successful and innovative record in the academic study of history.    The recent QS World University Rankings revealed that Trinity College Dublin’s History Department was rated 33rd best in the world. The Department of History has over twenty full-time academics, along with several post-doctoral fellows, a substantial body of postgraduate research students, and a thriving group of graduate students following taught M. Phil courses. Consistently rated as ‘excellent’ in external reviews, the Department enjoys an international research profile in a several areas, most notably in the history of Ireland from the Middle Ages to the present day. In addition to its expertise in Irish history, the Department also includes specialists in European history, especially in France and Germany, and in non-European history.

For full-time students the course lasts for one calendar year from late September.

For further information please contact Prof. Anne Dolan, Department of History, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland; Email: adolan@tcd.ie, Website:  www.tcd.ie/history/postgraduate/taught/modern-irish/index.php

For more information about studying in Ireland please visit the Education in Ireland website


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