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Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

MA in History

MA in History

  • PAC CodeDC677(Full Time), DC678(Part Time)
  • Course type Postgraduate
  • Qualification Masters Degree
  • Delivery Modes Full-Time, Part-Time
  • Duration (FT - 1 Year), (PT - 2 years)

An understanding of the past is essential to understanding the world today and how our future is being shaped.

The School of History & Geography at DCU has significant expertise in all aspects of Irish history and geography. Research-led, dynamic and innovative teaching ensures that as an MA in History student, you’ll develop an understanding of different approaches to history, as well as the range of skills and methods used in its pursuit.

Graduate View


“The MA was a great experience. I grew a great deal during this one-year course, both personally and academically. A Master’s in History allowed me to further explore a subject which I have always loved. It also pushed me to limits I wasn't sure I could reach. I thoroughly enjoyed the modules, essays, exploring the archives for research and even writing the thesis. It was a valuable experience that I would highly recommend.”

Aoife McCabe


This taught MA course is designed not only to help you obtain a deeper understanding of Irish history in a comparative context, but also to acquire advanced research skills that are transferable to a variety of career paths. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the past from social, cultural, economic and political perspectives.

Programme Structure and Content

Modules are generally taught through a combination of seminars, workshops, small group discussions and field trips. There is a strong emphasis on independent learning.  All modules are 10 credits and are examined by continuous assessment in the form of reviews, essays, research papers, learning journals and class presentations.


Interpretation and Argument in History Writing

This module will introduce students to the tradition of history writing (historiography) as it has evolved and developed in Europe and the world since classical times, and in Ireland from the early seventeenth century to the present. Click here for more information.

Research Methods

This module aims to introduce a range of research methods and focuses on active engagement with the processes of gathering, evaluating and analysing historical evidence. Students are guided through the process of using archives and various online resources. A novel feature of this module is an introduction to Geographic Information System (GIS). A fundamental objective is to equip students to devise, and execute independent research projects. The module imparts important transferrable, research and writing skills. Click here for more information.

Ireland in the Twentieth Century: Crisis, Continuity and Change

Crisis, continuity and change are recurring themes in the history of twentieth-century Ireland. This module examines the central political, economic, social and cultural features of that historical experience using primary sources in a seminar-setting. Click here for more information.


Ireland’s landscapes: from Plantation to Celtic Tiger

This module examines how changing relationships between economy, politics and society have moulded the Irish urban and rural landscape over the past four centuries. Taking a historical geography perspective, students will be exposed to key concepts and methods including fieldwork by which they can trace the evolution of the landscape. Click here for more information.

The Irish Revolution in a Revolutionary World

This module will interrogate the Irish revolution (1912-1923) by placing it in the context of, and comparing it with, other European revolutions that occurred during that era of imperial decline. By examining Irish and other European sources, students will not only deepen their knowledge of the Irish revolution but will consider what can be learned about the Irish experience through the study of other revolutionary or state formation moments, and debate what, if anything, made the Irish experience different? Click here for more information.

Gender and Society in Ireland since 1867

This module examines shifting gender roles in Ireland through the lens of individual women’s lives. Using a variety of primary sources, the module will chart the trajectory of continuity and change in the construction of gender roles. Click here for more information.


This year-long module allows students to produce their own piece of independent historical research, guided by a supervisor who will be an expert in the field. Click here for more information

Programme Aims and Objectives

  •  Acquire specialist knowledge and understanding of the complexities of modern Irish history and historical geography
  • Enhance your critical, analytical and interpretative skills
  • Develop the ability to plan, research and write a substantial original research project
  • Cultivate transferrable skills of independent thinking, analysis, communication, organization and time management


The School of History & Geography’s collective focus on Ireland’s geography, history and landscape has given rise to a school that’s unique in Ireland in its interdisciplinary range and research potential, and that is well placed to play a leading role, nationally and internationally, in Irish History and Geography and in Irish Studies. The MA in History is led by expert faculty members whose work has been widely published in books and leading journals.

The location of DCU in Dublin is significant because of the range of research and archival institutions in the capital, including the National Library of Ireland and the National Archives of Ireland.


Programme Chairperson: Dr Daithí Ó Corráin

Tel: +353 (0)1 884 2117

Email: daithi.corrain@dcu.ie

Fees: www.dcu.ie/fees/index.shtml


As a student of the MA in History, you’ll develop aptitudes attractive to employers, including: independence of thought; the ability to marshal, evaluate and communicate complex ideas and information; robust research and analytical skills; and writing, presentation and project management abilities.

Potential Careers

Graduates progress to careers in sectors such as education, university and arts administration, business, consultancy, civil service, the heritage sector, journalism, media, and publishing, as well as to doctoral research.


General Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally have an honours level 8 primary degree or equivalent (H2.2) in history or a cognate subject but appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may be accepted as equivalent to an honours degree in accordance with the relevant regulations of the University.

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications, click here


Information on fees may be found here.

Applicants who require a study visa for the purpose of gaining entry are advised to apply as early as possible. If you require a study visa and are a Non EU student, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Apply online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre using the following PAC codes:

Full-time: DC677

Part-time: DC678

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Make an Application

Applicants are required to complete a  Personal Statement indicating, in no more than 200 words, why you wish to study this programme, what in your record and experience makes you suitable for this programme and the impact which you expect it to have on your career and upload with application.

Application Deadline for EU Applicants is 31 July 2017, Non EU Applicants must apply before 10th July 2017