HIS20960 Living Loving & Dying in 19th Century Ireland

Academic Year 2022/2023

What was it like to live in nineteenth-century Ireland? How can we retrieve the histories and stories of ordinary people and the experiences of love and marriage, birth and death, crime and punishment, earning of living and of sickness and health. What forms of leisure did people pursue and enjoy? How important was issues like class, gender, religion and 'respectability' to the lived experiences? Was Ireland a 'modern' country when it entered the twentieth century, and if so, how did this effect the fabric of people's lives? This module explores these questions and the forces which shaped people' lives during a period when Ireland was part of the British Empire. It examines the impact of forces of modernity on Irish society and encourages students to question the framing of Ireland as a social and political entity with a unique history. The Irish case will be situated within broader European and British trends.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course you should:- understand the factors shaping social change in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ireland-be aware of the interaction between these factors and individual experience - have a critical understanding of the sources and challenges associated with studying history 'from below'- have analysed the key concepts and methodologies which historians have used to approach the economic, social and medical history of modern Ireland- have developed your skills in dealing with primary and secondary sources-have worked and learned with others through discussion and presentation - have enhanced your skills in written analysis.

Indicative Module Content:

The module covers such topics as:
Week 1 Overview and Methodologies in ‘History from Below’
Week 2: Emigration and Population
Week 3; Marriage, the Family and Sexuality
Week 4: Religion and Society
Week 5: Education and Literacy
Week 6: Famine and Memory
Week 7: Crime, Poverty and Welfare
Week 8 : Earning a Living
Week 9: Public Health and Welfare
Week 10: Communications, Recreation and Leisure
Week 11: Ireland on the Eve of Rebellion

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module combines large-group and small-group teaching, through a weekly lecture and seminar. Weekly lectures are delivered in advance of seminars. The lectures provide overviews of weekly topics, and focus upon key historical trends, debates and events. Weekly seminars focus on small-group active / task-based learning using both secondary and primary sources related to the weekly topic covered in the lecture. Autonomous learning is nurtured through required preparatory reading each week, and a formative and summative written assignment. Critical analysis skills are developed in seminars through close reading of primary and secondary sources. Key research, writing and citation skills are explicitly assessed and advanced from the formative to the summative assignments. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
HIS30150 - The Irish Experience

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Contribution to weekly seminars and completion of two primary source research tasks Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: Document Analysis Essay (1,500-2,000 words). See Handbook Week 6 n/a Graded No


Essay: End of Semester Essay (2,000-2,500 words).
See handbook
Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

A: Feedback on mid-term assessment is given online as automated feedback periodically (3 times). Students can also meet tutors virtually for further feedback. B: Feedback on the final assessment will be given on line and by appointment in one-to-one meetings. C: Group feedback is given during seminars