HIS42490 Landscape and Environment in Ireland, 1500-1800

Academic Year 2023/2024

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.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

• understand key debates and concepts related to landscape and environment in Ireland;
• analyse primary sources relevant to the module;
• present arguments, based on primary and secondary source research, in oral and written form;
• Enhance critical reading, writing, thinking, and verbal skills

Indicative Module Content:

Week 1 Peoples and Landscapes in early modern Ireland
Week 2 Migration in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Ireland
Week 3 Ireland in the Atlantic World
Week 4 Migration, ethnicity and conflict in 1641
Week 5 Changing Irish landscapes 1500-1800
Week 6 Urban landscapes: early modern Dublin
Week 7 Provincial urban landscapes
Week 8 Landscapes of the Ascendancy
Week 9 The Penal Laws and Landscape / Environment
Week 10 Environmental change in early modern Ireland
Week 11 Class Presentations

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 postgraduate module. It is taught through weekly two-hour seminars. The weekly seminar is focused upon individual and group active / task-based learning by means of class debates, discussion and student presentations. Advanced research, writing and citation skills are developed through an individual student presentation and a semester-long 4,000 word research project. Autonomous learning is advanced through student-led debate and discussion 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 will be assessed on their participation in seminars throughout the semester, including prior preparation and a 20 minute class presentation Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Assignment: 4,000 word research paper Week 12 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, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be given throughout the module both orally and in writing via Brightsapce