HIS21180 Landscapes Remade: People and Place in Ireland, 1500-1800

Academic Year 2023/2024

In Ireland, as internationally, the period from 1500 to 1800 was characterised by major political, economic and social change. Recently, historians have placed increasing emphasis on the impact of early modern environmental and demographic transformation at a time of sustained political upheaval and social reorganisation. In the three centuries between 1500 and 1800, Ireland was subject to a complex process of evolution from an essentially rural island controlled by diverse Gaelic and Anglo-Norman lordships to an island dominated politically by a colonial elite who effectively differed from the native population in terms of ethnicity, language, religion and financial status. This module examines the transformation of Ireland in the period 1500 to 1800 from the perspective of migration and environmental change. In particular, the module considers how changes in demography, land ownership, land management, climate change, urbanisation and commerce significantly reconfigured Ireland’s landscape and environment.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the module students should be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of migration and environment in Ireland 1500-1800
- assess the relevant secondary historiography and relevant primary sources
- present aspects of historical debates for this topic and period orally and engage in critical discussion
- present aspects of the historical debate in written form.

Indicative Module Content:

This module addresses the impact and influence of environment and landscape on the peoples and societies of Ireland from 1500 to 1800. The module considers how human settlement changed rural and urban landscapes and it reviews how the island’s inhabitants interpreted landscape and environment in the same period. Increasingly, historians have recognised that landscapes are a cultural construction which are reflective of a diverse amalgam of ideologies and iconographies. Within the context of early modern environmental change, landscapes were informed and determined by social and political processes and as such are indicative of a diversity of economic, political and cultural influences. Ireland was transformed socially, culturally and politically during the three centuries from 1500 to 1800. In this regard, Ireland’s rich history in the early modern period offers an ideal case study from which to assess and understand the impact of environmental change and related developments on rural and urban landscapes. In particular, the module considers the environmental and landscape impact of political and social transformation in the context of Ireland’s economic and demographic incorporation within a broader European and Atlantic context.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module is delivered on an interactive student-focused basis through lectures and seminars. Students are encouraged to explore primary historical documents with a view to enhancing their historical knowledge and capacity. Moreover, students are encouraged to question and interrogate sources in order to arrive a greater understanding of the module topic and its broader contemporary ideological, social, political and cultural implications. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Participation 20%
Essay (week 6) 30%
Essay (end of trimester) 60%
Throughout the 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

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Sile McGuckian Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Wed 12:00 - 12:50
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Wed 13:00 - 13:50
Seminar Offering 2 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Wed 14:00 - 14:50