Course Overview

This popular and well-established programme at NUI Galway combines a thorough training in the craft of history with an exploration of the ways in which history is and has been interpreted by historians, politicans, the media, and others. It provides students with critical and analytical skills, developing their ability to carry out research and to construct their own historical arguments. 

Students may take the programme on a full-time [one year] or part-time [two year] basis. Part-time students take the programme over a two-year period, completing their research dissertation in Year Two. Some of the taught modules will be available in the evening.

Learning objectives

Students will acquire graduate employment skills, including written and oral communication skills, analytical skills, and problem-solving skills. 

On successful completion of this programme students will be able to:

1. Understand the mentalities of people in other historical periods

2. Write and speak critically about the nature of historical change

3. Use a wide range of historical source material—from estate rolls and depositions to newspapers and oral evidence

4. Convey a critical awareness of the relationship between current events and political, social, economic and cultural processes in the past

5. Organise and present their work in an effective manner.

6. Complete an original historical research project.

7. Work effectively in group settings.

Students will complete two core taught modules, three optional modules and a research dissertation of c.20,000 words. The topic of the dissertation will be chosen by the student in consultation with an academic supervisor, who will providing one-to-one support and expertise in the student’s chosen field of enquiry. N.B. Post-graduate diploma students are not required to do a dissertation.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Selection will be based on applicants' academic record and academic references testifying to their enthusiasm for the subject and their ability to carry out a research project.

Further information here on: How to apply

Who Teaches this Course

This programme draws widely on the expertise of the History staff, with most input from Róisín Healy, Kevin O’Sullivan, John Cunningham, Laurence Marley, and Enrico Dal Lago.

Requirements and Assessment

All modules are assessed by coursework. Modes of assessment include projects, essays, reviews, reports and oral presentations. A final dissertation involving original research is an essential component of the programme (except for those taking the post-graduate diploma).

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Successful applicants will normally hold an honours degree of at least H2.2 standard, or GPA of 3.3. Selection will be based on applicants' academic record and academic references testifying to their academic ability and enthusiasm for history. An applicant’s active engagement with history outside of the academic context may also be taken into consideration

The same entry requirements and application procedure are in place for both the MA and PDip programme.


Additional Requirements

Duration

1 year, full-time; 2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2020

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

15

Closing Date

Please see the offer round dates for further information.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Taught

ECTS weighting

MA—90, PDip—60

Award

CAO

Course code

1MAH1, full-time | 1MAH2, part-time

Course Outline

Students taking the MA and the Postgraduate Diploma in History follow the same taught programme but only MA students write a dissertation.

CORE COURSES

(Must be taken by students on all three branches of the programme):

  • Sources and Resources  (15 ECTS)
  • Historical Debates & Controversies  (15 ECTS)

OPTIONAL COURSES 

Each student must take three courses (30 ECTS) from the list below:

  • Studies in Local History (10 ECTS)
  • Studies in the History of Imperialism and Colonialism (10 ECTS)
  • Irish Politics North and South (10 ECTS)
  • NGOs & The Making of the Twentieth Century World (10 ECTS)
  • People on the Move: Studying Migration (10 ECTS)
  • Digital Archives and Heritage 10 (10 ECTS)
  • Irish Contacts with Europe, 1770–1973 10 ECTS

How are these modules delivered?

Most of these are taught through weekly two-hour seminars with a strong emphasis on student participation in discussion. HI6062 People on the Move: Studying Migration’ may be taken on-line, in the classroom, or blended learning format. It is available also for MA students in the University of Limerick.

How are these assessed?

The five taught modules of the programme are assessed by a range of coursework assignments, mainly essays, but including portfolios, projects, and presentations

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases). Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change. 

Students on the full-time programme will take two core modules and one optional module in Semester One, and two optional modules in Semester Two. During Semester Two students will work on their research dissertation with a research supervisor of their choice and attend occasional seminars on dissertation related topics

Module Details for Full Time Course

Module Details for Part Time Course

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

Credits
You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
Module
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (90 Credits)

Required HI509: Dissertation


15 months long | Credits: 30

All students carry out original research and produce a dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words. Students may research an area of their choice as long as the project they envisage allows them demonstrate the competencies being tested and an appropriate supervisor in the area is available.

Learning Outcomes
  1. tbc
Assessments
  • Research (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module HI509: "Dissertation" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required HI519: Sources and Resources


12 months long | Credits: 15

This team-taught module explores the ways in which historians have used a wide range of sources such as medieval charters and chronicles, estate rolls, memoirs, newspapers, government records, reports of commissions of inquiry and oral evidence. It considers questions such as the following: Who produced these sources? Why were they produced? In what context? Were they subject to censorship? Who was the target audience? What kind of research questions can we examine with such evidence? What factors have affected the preservation of historical records? How can we study groups who have left few written records? What impact had developments such as mass literacy, television and the internet on the communication of knowledge and access to historical sources?

Learning Outcomes
  1. tbc
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module HI519: "Sources and Resources" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required HI503: Historical Debates & Controversies: Studies in Historiography


12 months long | Credits: 15

This team-taught module examines perceptions of History as a discipline and methodological approaches to different periods and themes. It looks at perceptions of the groups, issues, events and periods considered worthwhile subjects for historical investigation and explores the role of ideology in framing historical questions. It examines case themes such as the following closely: Decolonisation and Development; Gender and History; Comparative History; Counterfactual History; History, Conflict and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Key questions: why do historians disagree? Is “value-free History” possible? How important is empathy in historical investigations? Why do certain historical topics and come into and go out of fashion? What is the difference between modern history and journalism? What challenges are involved in investigating conflict? Can historians make a contribution to public policy formulation? Should they? How do historians approach commemorations?

Learning Outcomes
  1. tbc
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module HI503: "Historical Debates & Controversies: Studies in Historiography" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required HI6100: NGOs and the Making of the 20th Century World


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

In the 20th century NGO's emerged as one of the key building blocks of the contemporary world. This module introduces the historiography, key concepts and methodologies in the study of transnational action. How did NGOs operate? How should we study them? What can they tell us about the growing inter-connectedness of the modern world? The second part of the module puts these concepts into practice through a series of focused case studies, from Amnesty INternational to the Ante-Apartheid Movement.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate knowledge and informed understanding of the historiography, key concepts and methodologies involved in the study of NGOs in the twentieth century
  2. Show familiarity with a range of primary source documents relevant to the course, and develop skills allowing them to analyse documents of this type in depth.
  3. Give an oral presentation based on their reading and research.
  4. Develop a discreet project and write an accompanying scholarly essay appropriate to an MA student.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "The politics of expertise: how NGOs shaped modern Britain" by Matthew Hilton, James McKay, Nicholas Crowson and Jean-François Mouhot
  2. "Global Community: the role of international organisations in the making of the contemporary world" by Akira Iriye
  3. "Activists beyond borders: advocacy networks in international politics" by Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink
The above information outlines module HI6100: "NGOs and the Making of the 20th Century World" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required HI6101: Youth in transition: 1870-1970


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module will address the history and experience of youth in Ireland, Europe and the wider world from 1870-1970. Adopting a transnational approach, it will investigate the history of work, school, popular culture, teenage culture and changes to the concept of childhood and youth. With regard to the State, the importance of 'moral' concerns will be addressed - most critically at turning points like the First and Second World Wars. Class, gender, ethnicity, and religion will also be addressed.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Understand the changes to youth and youth culture in Ireland, Europe and the wider world from 1870-1970
  2. Adopt a transnational approach to the history of youth
  3. Utilise a wide range of primary and secondary materials
  4. Complete a range of continuous assessment
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "Transnational Histories of Youth in the Twentieth Century" by Richard Ivan Jobs, David M. Pomfret (eds)
    Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
  2. "Youth and history" by [by] John R. Gillis
    ISBN: 0127852646.
    Publisher: Academic Press
  3. "Adolescence in Modern Irish History" by Catherine Cox and Susannah Riordan (eds),
    Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
The above information outlines module HI6101: "Youth in transition: 1870-1970" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional HI546: Studies In The History Of Colonialism And Imperialism I


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This course introduces students to some of the key thinkers and concepts in the writing of British imperial history. The work of scholars such as J. A. Hobson, Ronald Robinson and Jack Gallagher, Peter Cain and Tony Hopkins, Chris Bayly, Alan Lester and John Darwin will be discussed. Concepts such as finance imperialism, informal empire, the official mind, gentlemanly capitalism, colonial knowledge, imperial networks, and bridgeheads will be examined from a critical perspective. Full use of on-line journals and other e-resources will be encouraged. Students will be asked to read key texts, undertake wider reading and research to help put these key texts in context, comment on their readings, and present their own ideas as the basis for class discussion and debate. Course assessments will be linked closely to the core texts studied.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe different historical theories concerning the origins and nature of British overseas expansion during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
  2. Critically evaluate the merits of these theories, with reference to a range of examples drawn from the history of the British empire
  3. Identify inter-disciplinary trends in the history of the modern British empire; Present ideas in a persuasive, logical and scholarly fashion through written assignments
  4. Apply scholarly conventions in the citation of relevant literature or primary sources
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "The Empire Project" by John Darwin
    ISBN: 9780521317894.
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  2. "Empire" by Stephen Howe
    ISBN: 9780192802231.
    Publisher: Oxford ; Oxford University Press, 2002.
  3. "The British Empire" by Philippa Levine
    ISBN: 0582472814.
    Publisher: Harlow, England ; Pearson Longman, 2007.
  4. "The lion's share" by Bernard Porter
    ISBN: 0582772524.
    Publisher: Harlow, Essex, England ; Pearson/Longman, 2004.
  5. "The Oxford history of the British Empire" by Wm. Roger Louis, editor-in-chief
    ISBN: 9780198205654.
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
  6. "The Oxford history of the British Empire" by Wm. Roger Louis, editor-in-chief
    ISBN: 9780198205647.
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
  7. "The Oxford history of the British Empire" by Wm. Roger Louis, editor-in-chief
    ISBN: 9780198205661.
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
  8. "British imperialism, 1750-1970" by Simon C. Smith
    ISBN: 052159930X.
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The above information outlines module HI546: "Studies In The History Of Colonialism And Imperialism I" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional HI160: Studies in Local History


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This module explores Irish and international approaches to local history; trains students in the uses and interpretation of local history sources and provides guidance in devising and carrying out a local history project.
(Language of instruction: English)

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module HI160: "Studies in Local History" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The MA provides an excellent foundation for doctoral studies in History, and also for those intent on pursuing independent research. Graduates of the programme have found employment in areas such as teaching, public administration, research, library and archives services, cultural and heritage development, tourism, print and electonic media, and party politics. Career benefits from the programme should accrue to those already employed in such areas.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,600 p.a. FT; €3,355 p.a. PT 2020/21

Fees: Tuition

€6,376 p.a. FT; €3,187 p.a. PT 2019/20

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. FT; €168 p.a. PT 2020/21

Fees: Non EU

€15,550 p.a. 2020/21

Please note:  The fee payable by EU students is listed under "Fees: EU".  This field is the sum of the student levy + tuition.  Fees are payable each year and are subject to change year-on year.

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your full-time tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay full-time TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

Find out More

Dr John Cunningham
Discipline of History
National University of Ireland, Galway 
T: +353 91 495 642
E: john.cunningham@nuigalway.ie  

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Downloads

  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020 PDF (21 MB)