First Year BA (Joint-Honours)

Visit NUI Galway's Courses Page for information on how to apply, entry requirements and assessment.

Welcome to First Year History

Structure of First Year History

Globe BooksIn first year, students taking History will examine social, political and cultural developments in Ireland and Europe from the early Middle Ages up to World War One. Students will take four modules in total, two in each semester. While one module in each semester consists of lectures on aspects of these time periods, the other provides a more interactive learning experience in a small group setting. As well as learning about what happened in the past, students are introduced to the techniques used by professional historians - the evaluation of contemporay sources, the balancing of different interpretations of the past, and the construction of one's own view of historical developments. Students will receive close attention in tutorial groups of 15 students, which meet weekly to discuss the lecture topics.

In First Year History students do four core modules:

Semester 1: HI1103 Europe & Ireland 1789-1918 5 ECTS

Section A:  Ireland 1789-1918 Dr. Caitriona Clear

Section B: Europe 1789-1918 Dr. Gearóid Barry

Semester 2: HI1104 Europe: From Medieval to Modern 5 ECTS

Section A: The Problem of Saint Patrick Prof. Dáibhí Ó Cróinín

Section B: Reformation & General Crisis, 1517-1715 Dr. Pádraig Lenihan

Semester 1: HISK1101 Skills for Historians I (5 ECTS) & Semester 2: HISK1102 Skills for Historians II (5 ECTS)

In these modules, students engage with primary source material and develop a critical awareness of historical scholarship with a view to developing their own writing and presentation skills. Students will learn how to locate different types of historical sources, to analyse them critically, and to present their analyses in written and oral form.

Module Descriptions

Ireland 1789-1918 Dr. Caitriona Clear

Bookended by revolutionary decades, this course pays attention to all the economic, social and political developments in Ireland from 1789 to 1922. Intensifying administration (schools,police), growing institutionalisation, emigration, family change, modernising living standards and the relationships between poverty and prosperity are examined against a backdrop of the major political developments including growing nationalism, land agitation and unionism.

Europe 1789-1918 Dr. Gearóid Barry

Nineteenth-century Europe's story is about struggles of ideas: books and films such as Les Misérables remind us of yearnings for citizenship and equality inspired by the French Revolution. However, wars and old empires often persisted and nationalism produced European states, by 1900, were dividing into armed camps. This age of factories, the telegraph and railways shrank the globe but also expanded European colonialism overseas and class inequalities at home that in time changed politics.

The Problem of Saint Patrick Prof. Dáibhí Ó Cróinín

 'The Problem of Saint Patrick': How did it come about that the man we celebrate on March 17th every year was transformed from a humble, vulnerable, tortured soul into a mythic and legendary figure striding fifth-century Ireland like a colossus? In these lecturers, students will explore how the texts written by Patrick himself have been manipulated and distorted by successive generations of historians and propagandists, from the earliest period down to the present day. A truly heroic person has been diminished as a travesty of his true self.

Reformation & General Crisis, 1517-1715 Dr. Pádraig Lenihan

 'Reformation and General Crisis, 1517-1715' is a set of survey lectures which will explain the nature of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations and explore conflicts such as the devasting Thirty Years War that arose from religious rivalries overlaid with dynastic and interstate competition. The 'general crisis' paradigm will link apparently separate phenomena such as climate change, economic recession, peasant and aristocratic revolts, war, famine and population collapse. Carlos V and Louis XIV, the 'Sun King', dominate either end of this epoch: their problems and policies will be examined.

Head of First Year History

Dr. Caitriona Clear, Room 414, Tower 1, Floor 2. 

Second Year

Welcome to Second Year History

Structure of Second Year

Second-Year History course has no core modules: you are free to choose themes, countries and topics which interest you. There are, however, some limits to your choices, and these are outlined below.‌

This web-page is mainly concerned with students taking Joint Honours History (i.e. History with one other Arts subject). ‌There are different requirements for those taking Single Honours History -  such students should check the BA History (Single Honours) 2nd Year webpage.

Course Structure  

  • You must take modules totalling 15 ECTS each semester, making 30 ECTS for the year.
  • You must take one colloquium module (10 ECTS) and four lecture modules (5 ECTS each).
  • You must take at least one lecture module from each of our three time periods: medieval, early modern and modern.

The Colloquia involve small-group teaching, with the classes capped at about 25 students. The Colloquia are assessed by a mixture of continuous assessment (including mandatory attendance at class, and an oral presentation), and a mini-dissertation (4,000 words) due after the end of semester. The Colloquium Modules are worth 10ECTS, twice as much as each Lecture Module. Colloquia choice and allocation takes place at the beginning of term.

You take THREE Lecture Modules in one semester, and ONE Lecture Module (which must be assessed by examination) PLUS a COLLOQUIUM in the other semester. Which semester is which depends on your choice of Colloquium module. You need to fill out a Colloquium Sign-Up sheet during the first week of first semester, indicating your preference.

Over the year as a whole, you must take a chronological range of Lecture Modules. This is to ensure that you study a broad range of periods and topics. (If you want to specialise in a particular period, you will have to wait until Final Year!)

BA CONNECT Module Choices

BA CONNECT students do 10 ECTS of their BA CONNECT specialty and 25 ECTS in each of their two B.A. subjects in 2nd year.  The structure for module choice for B.A. Connect students is slightly different, but it ensures that B.A. Connect students do not miss any aspect or area of the 2nd year History course.

 All 2nd year History students are required to do a Colloquium, an Ancient/Medieval module, an Early Modern module and a Modern module. 

For BA CONNECT students, this means that you will do your colloquium  (10 ECTS) in one semester and your three lecture modules in the other. So BA Connect Student choices are as follows:

Semester  1




Semester  2

Lecture Module
in Early Modern History

Lecture Module
in Modern History

Lecture Module
in Medieval or Ancient History


Semester  1

Lecture Module
in Early Modern History

Lecture Module
in Modern History

Lecture Module
in Medieval History

Semester  2





If you have any problem with the structure above due to clashes with your other subject, please contact Prof. Enrico Dal Lago, email:

Module Assessment

Colloquia are assessed with marks for participation, presentation and extended essay.  Attendance is compulsory and non-attendance for more than 3 sessions without sufficient excuse will affect the mark.

Head of Second Year History

Prof Enrico Dal Lago |  | 091 493546 

Final Year BA (Joint Honours)

Welcome to Final Year History

The information here is for students following the BA (Joint Honours), taking History and one other subject.  If you are following the BA (History )(Single Honours) degree, visit this page.

Module selection: Semester 1
  • Seminar (10 ECTS)
  • Lecture Module (5 ECTS)
 Module selection: Semester 2
  • Seminar (10 ECTS)
  • Lecture Module (5 ETCS)

Seminars and Lecture Modules - What's the difference?


  • Seminars are 10 ECTS
  • Small groups with an emphasis on participation, class presentation, research and academic writing
  • Compulsory attendance
  • Assessment based on Participation (10%), Presentation (20%), and continuous assessment (70%)

Lecture Modules

  • Lecture Modules are 5 ECTS
  • medium to large size classes taught through 2 one-hour lectures per week by lecturer with additional tutorials (usually 5) over the semester
  • Assessment normally based on assignments or a mid-term essay, and written 2 hour exam.


 Head of Third Year History

Dr. Pádraig Lenihan, Room 312, Tower 1, Floor 1.