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MA in Irish History

Tuesday, 1 February, 2022

UCD’s dynamic School of History, the largest in the country, has long played a vital role in leading national debate and research on the evolution of Irish society, culture and politics. This MA enables students to work closely with some of the country’s most renowned historians of Ireland to continue the tradition of providing context, insight and originality in the research of Irish history and its communication to a wide audience. Our teaching is informed by a global perspective, situating events in Ireland in an international and comparative context. UCD faculty  have diverse research interests and our module choices reflect this, ranging from the medieval to the modern period and thematically across histories of religion, the environment, medicine and deviancy, gender and war, and twentieth century Irish society and politics.  

Students take 60 credits of taught modules, including core modules in historiography and dissemination, and two options. They can follow their own research interests (for example, selecting to focus primarily on the Early Modern period or the twentieth century) and in their choice of topic for their dissertations. The 30 remaining credits are allocated to the 15,00 word dissertation,  a substantial piece of original research. Students will become familiar with the extensive Irish history collections in UCD Archives and UCD Library Special Collections and will have the opportunity to explore other archives and libraries located a short distance away in Dublin city centre. There is a lively and dynamic research culture in UCD and students are encouraged to attend our seminar series in gender history, war studies, global history, and those organised by the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute for the Study of Irish History and Civilisation, and the Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland. 

The MA in Irish History is suitable for those with some background in history or a related humanities subject who are interested in exploring Ireland’s past. Applicants who have not studied Irish history before are very welcome to apply.  We have both part-time and full-time pathways.

There is a scholarship available for students on the MA in Irish History who are interested in pursuing research in military history. One will be awarded each year to a suitable candidate and it includes payment of the programme fee plus a €5000 stipend. See further information here: Colonel Michael Hefferon Memorial Scholarship





Students take 60 credits of taught modules, including core modules in historiography and dissemination, and two options. They can follow their own research interests (for example, selecting to focus primarily on the Early Modern period or the twentieth century) and in their choice of topic for their dissertations. The 30 remaining credits are allocated to the 15,00 word dissertation, a substantial piece of original research. Students will become familiar with the extensive Irish history collections in UCD Archives and UCD Library Special Collections and will have the opportunity to explore other archives and libraries located a short distance away in Dublin city centre.

Our graduates are highly valued by employers for their skills of critical thinking, communication and analysis. They have progressed into posts in the civil service, diplomacy, marketing and communications, media, policy and research, museum and heritage work, and education. 

Roisin Guyett-Nicholson
MA 2018

Writing a research dissertation is at the core of this course, and enabled me to undertake a significant amount of individual research. The support of my supervisor and the other academics in the School was invaluable, while the small group seminars developed my research skills and knowledge of Irish History, giving me a strong foundation from which I could base my dissertation. The conference module, organised by students was a particular highlight, offering an opportunity for students to present their original research. The research, writing, editing and presentation skills were all key for this MA course, and are ones I use on a regular basis in my current role in Communications and Marketing at UCD.  

For more information on fees and how to apply please follow this link.

What You Will Need for Your Application

Applicants are required to provide the following in their applications:

  • An academic writing sample, eg. an essay (there is no word limit)
  • A most recent transcript
  • Contact details of two academic referees (professors who taught you)
  • Two written academic references outlining your academic history, interest and performance in class.
  • A letter of motivation/personal statement
  • An application fee
  • An English language test score (if English is not your first language). Please follow this link for more information.