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Academic Year 2024/2025

Women, War and Irish Society 1914-1923 (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.

Through a focus on social history, this course examines the lives of women in Ireland during the First World War and the conflicts that engulfed Ireland in the five years afterwards. 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 for women. Key themes include: gender; social class; history of everyday life; 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 the World War and Irish revolution, the module reflects on the historiography of this tumultuous period. Students will be also be introduced to a wide selection of primary sources and will be encouraged to pursue their own archival research.

About this Module

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this module students should have:

a) an understanding of the main events and themes in the history of Ireland from 1914-1923
b) an understanding of how women's lives were affected by the First World War and Irish Revolution
c) an awareness of key concepts and methodologies that historians have used to approach the First World War and Irish Revolution;
d) developed skills in locating and analysing primary and secondary sources
e) Developed skills in oral communication and written analysis

Indicative Module Content:

This module will cover the following topics:

Week 1: Introduction: women in Ireland in 1914
Week 2: Mobilising for war at home
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: Health and welfare in wartime
Week 8: Bereavement, demobilisation and family life
Week 9: Civilian experiences of violence
Week 10: Rebuilding lives and remembrance
Week 11: Conclusion

Student Effort Hours:
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




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 Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Participation in Learning Activities: Students will be graded on their participation in seminars. This is not based on attendance but rather active discussion and participation. Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11 Graded No


Reflective Assignment: Students will submit two learning journals (300 to 400 words each) plus one reflective essay plan over the course of the semester. Week 3, Week 7, Week 9 Graded No


Participation in Learning Activities: Student will give a presentation a theme relating to the seminars. These presentations should be about 12 to 15 minutes in length and demonstrate an awareness of the main historical issues. Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11 Graded No


Assignment(Including Essay): Students complete a research essay paper of c. 3,000 to 4,000 words, based on work undertaken over the semester. Week 14 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?

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 presentation and end-of-semester research project will be given via Brightspace. Students are welcome to meet with the module coordinator to discuss their assignments and progress in more detail by availing of office hours or by appointment in one-to-one meetings.