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Academic Year 2023/2024

Everyday life in War and Revolution in Ireland, 1914-23 (HIS32540)

Arts & Humanities
3 (Degree)
Module Coordinator:
Assoc Professor Fionnuala Walsh
Mode of Delivery:
On Campus
Internship Module:
How will I be graded?
Letter grades

Curricular information is subject to change.

This course offers an introduction to the social history of the First World War in Ireland and its aftermath. Covering the period from the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 to the civil war in the aftermath of the establishment of the Free State, the course examines the disruption caused by the 1916 Easter Rising, the displacement of communities caused by partition in 1920 and the everyday violence which characterised the War of Independence and Civil War. Central to the course is a ‘history from below’ perspective, moving away from a political history of war and revolution to focus on the ordinary everyday experience of war and revolution. Key themes include: history of everyday life; the local study; gender and class; and commemoration. The module also examines topics such as mobilisation for the war effort; work and the labour movement; the role of women on the home front; social morality; health and welfare; and demobilisation. Although the focus is on Ireland, the module places these topics within the broader global social and cultural history of the First World War. Drawing on new and innovative scholarship on Irish revolution, the module reflects on the historiography of this tumultuous period. Students will be also be introduced to wide selection of primary sources and will be encouraged to pursue their own archival research.

About this Module

Learning Outcomes:

a) study, writing and communication skills appropriate to Level 3;
b) an awareness of key concepts and methodologies that historians have used to approach the First World War and Irish Revolution;
c) the ability to handle historical sources, and to evaluate a range of primary sources.
d) Preparation for the workforce or for postgraduate study

Indicative Module Content:

This module will cover the following topics:

Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Irish Society at War
Week 3: Labour: contraction and opportunity
Week 4: Household management
Week 5: Social morality: soldiers, syphilis and war babies
Week 6: Witnesses to war: Ordinary life during the 1916 Rebellion
Week 7: The Influenza Pandemic 1918-1919
Week 8: Bereavement, demobilisation and disability
Week 9: Civilian experiences of violence
Week 10: Rebuilding lives and remembrance
Week 11: Conclusion

Student Effort Hours:
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This is a small-group, seminar-based module. It is typically taught through a one-hour weekly lecture and a two-hour seminar. The lecture provides an overview of the week’s topic, focusing upon key historical trends, debates and events. The weekly seminar is focused upon individual active / task-based learning by means of primary source analysis, discussion and student presentations. In some weeks the lecture or seminar may be replaced with a visit to UCD Library Special Collections or other relevant class activities.

Advanced research, writing and citation skills are developed through a combined individual student presentation on primary sources and written essay, and a semester-long research project. Autonomous learning is advanced through student-led discussion of set primary sources and / or student presentations each week.

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 In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Students are graded on their contribution to seminars throughout the semester. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Journal: Students complete two learning journals and an essay plan throughout the semester. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Presentation: Students complete a 10 minute presentation to the class. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: Semester-long research project: this is a research essay of 3,000 to 4,000 words, based on work undertaken over the semester. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components

Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn 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

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on the presentation is given in writing in class or via email. Written and oral feedback will be provided on an ongoing basis on the learning journals, and the preparatory plans for end-of-semester research project assignments. Feedback on the end-of-semester research project will be given via Brightspace and by appointment in one-to-one meetings.