MA (History of Ideas & Culture)

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies

Key facts

Entry requirements

Successful applicants will normally hold a primary degree, or equivalent qualification, at second class honours grade two overall, with grade one level in either History or Philosophy (or a cognate subject).

Duration: 1 year, full-time

Next start date: September 2011

ECTS weighting: 90

Average intake: 12

Closing date:

This Programme will not now run for entry 2011.

Mode of study: Taught

Course overview

The new MA (History of Ideas & Culture) is a unique interdisciplinary programme run by the disciplines of history and philosophy at NUI Galway. It offers postgraduate students the opportunity to engage sympathetically with past systems of thought, to explore the influence of particular ideas on broader historical developments – and vice versa – and to reflect on some of the general philosophical issues raised by such projects. This fusion of intellectual history, cultural history and the history of ideas will equip students to think critically about ideas, theories, beliefs and doctrines, and their roles in shaping the modern world. Modules focus on such topics as "Knowledge and Modernity", "Rationality and Relativism", "Weath and Poverty" and "War and Peace". The programme provides an ideal preparation for doctoral work in intellectual and cultural history, but will also be useful to those seeking the critical skills in research, analytical thinking and communication which are so valued by employers in today's competitive market.

Course outline

The core module Interpreting History is taught by a combined team of historians and philosophers, and will equip you with the critical tools for discussing history, theory and method.

You will also take two history modules, two philosophy modules, and complete a Project and a Dissertation.

Semester 1

Interpreting History (10 ECTS)

Philosophy Module (10 ECTS)

History Module (10 ECTS)

Semester 2

Project (10 ECTS)

Philosophy Module (10 ECTS)

History Module (10 ECTS)


Dissertation (30 ECTS)

In 2010-11, the modules on offer will be:

Secret Societies and the Rise of Modern Nations, c.1770-1870 (Dr Enrico Dal Lago)

Interpreting History (Dr. Nick Tosh)

Knowledge and Modernity (Dr Tsarina Doyle)

Rationality and Relativism (Dr Nick Tosh)

Other staff involved in the programme, and available for Project or Dissertation supervision, are Prof. Paul Crowther (philosophies of art), Dr Alison Forrestal (wealth, poverty and religion), Dr Aileen Fyfe (science and society) and Dr Felix Ó Murchadha (memory and history).

The dissertation is due on August 21. All other modules run for one semester, and are assessed by coursework during that semester. Students must pass both the dissertation and the other modules.

Applications and selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who teaches this course?

  • Dr Gearóid Barry, BA PhD (University of Dublin)
  • Prof. Paul Crowther, BA (Leeds), MA (York), Cert Ed (Cantab.), DPhil (Oxon.)
  • Dr Enrico Dal Lago, Dott. Lett. (Roma), MA (Kansas), MA PhD (Lond.)
  • Dr Tsarina Doyle, BA MA (UCD), PhD (Warwick)
  • Dr Alison Forrestal, MA (NUI), PhD (Manchester)
  • Dr Aileen Fyfe, MA PhD (Cantab.)
  • Dr Felix Ó Murchadha, BA MA Dr.Phil. (Wuppertal)
  • Dr Nick Tosh, MSci PhD (Cantab.)

Find out more

Dr Nick Tosh

T +353 91 495 929


PAC code


Fees for this course

EU (Total): €6,015
 - Student levy: €224
Non-EU (Total): €13,250

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