HIS32650 Migration Nation: The Irish Migration Experience since 1945

Academic Year 2023/2024

Modern Irish society has been shaped by migration more than any other country in Europe. This is reflected in the fact that among OECD countries, Ireland has the highest percentage of its citizens living abroad. At the same time, over 17% of the Irish population today was born elsewhere. Since 1945, Ireland has transformed from a country of emigration with a largely homogenous, insular, conservative and underdeveloped rural economy into a country of immigration that is heterogeneous, global in outlook, (relatively) progressive and boasts a successful post-industrial economy. This course will tell the Irish story through the prism of migration, focusing in particular on people who left (emigration), came back (return migration) and new people arriving (immigration). How did Irish politicians and society explain why so many people still felt inclined to leave the country after 1945? How has Ireland adapted to its increasingly multicultural society? How do Ireland’s emigration and immigration experiences compare to its European neighbours? Various primary and secondary sources will be utilised, as well as more mainstream mediums, such as video clips, radio documentaries, novels, memoirs, songs and plays, will also be used throughout.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course students will be able to:
- Apply migration theory to the Irish migration experience since 1945
- Explain how emigration and immigration have shaped modern-day Ireland
- Compare and contrast Ireland’s migration experiences with other countries
- Critically engage with a variety of primary and secondary material
- Contribute regularly and in a meaningful way to class discussion
- Write scholarly essays to the standard of a level 3 student of history

Indicative Module Content:

The module addresses such topics as:
- Why do people migrate?
- What impact does immigration have on a destination society?
- The ‘vanishing Irish’, 1945-1960
- The Irish experience abroad in the 1950s
- Return migrants, 1960s-1970s
- Banana republic? The 1980s exodus
- Return migration and the Irish diaspora
- Seeking asylum in Ireland
- Labour immigration and Ireland
- Ireland compared
- Migration nation

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module combines large-group and small-group teaching, through a weekly lecture and seminar. Weekly lectures provide overviews of weekly topics, with 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. 
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: You are expected to contribute in an informed fashion to the weekly seminars Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: c3,500 word essay at the end of term and a short presentation on the essay in week 11 Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Assignment: Document analysis or interview with family member about past migration experience Week 8 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, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on the presentation / 1,500 document analysis OR interview assignment will be given in writing. Oral feedback will be provided on an ongoing basis on preparatory plans for the document analysis and the end-of-semester essay. Feedback on end-of-semester essays is given individually by appointment after submission and grading.

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 Mon 15:00 - 15:50
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Tues 09:00 - 10:50