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

A Second Class Honours BA degree or equivalent with a H2.1 or GPA of 3.3 in History is required.

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


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

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

Please see the offer round dates for further information.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting

MA—90, PDip—60



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.


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

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


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

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

€6,716 p.a. FT; €3,400 p.a. PT € 6,246 Dip 2021/22

Fees: Tuition

€6,576 p.a. FT; €3,295 p.a. PT 2021/22 €6,106 Dip

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. FT; €105 p.a. PT 2021/22 €140 p.a Dip

Fees: Non EU

€16,216 p.a. 2021/22

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 €3,500 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 €140.

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  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)