IRST30200 Modern Ireland: Culture & Soc

Academic Year 2023/2024

How has Modern Ireland been shaped by its culture and society? This question is explored by examining Irish history, culture and society in an interdisciplinary and interactive manner in this module for Masters Pathway students. Students are introduced to key themes, debates, personalities, influences and events that help to provide a greater understanding of how Ireland evolved into the country it is today. From the arrival of Christianity in Ireland to current topical debates, attention is focused throughout on fundamental issues related to culture, language, literature, politics, society, music, sport, film, material culture, religion, gender and sexuality. The module is structured around key topics which address a series of relevant issues relating to Ireland. Each topic is addressed in an associated lecture by an expert in that particular field. Students are required to complete short online assignments based on these topics and the associated readings. Students also complete a learning journal reflecting on various aspects of the module and additional online content, as well as participating in a field trip in Dublin city centre. At the end of the module students will take a final MCQ exam.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the module:
Students will have improved problem-solving skills;
Students will have developed strategies and methods for critical thinking;
Students will have learned how to use creative thinking in the context of Irish society, economy and culture to adapt their course content to a global context;
Students will be able to critically analyse key aspects of Ireland’s past and present within a multi-disciplinary approach;
Through the course content and assessment strategies, students will develop their English-language skills in the four key language areas - listening, speaking, reading and writing;
Students will have more knowledge of and gain skills in information and communication strategies, specifically in the context of maximising the benefit of productive language usage in multidisciplinary contexts within an Irish framework;
Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Ireland in a cultural, contemporary and historical context;
Students will be able to engage in English-language oral and written discussion and analysis of course material;
Students will be able to express a more nuanced and deeper understanding of Ireland from pagan times to twenty-first century society.

Indicative Module Content:

Theme 1: Celts, Vikings and Christians
Theme 2: Language, Music and Art
Theme 3: Famine Emigration, Literature and Sport
Theme 4: Irish language, Film Studies and birth of the Irish Free State
Theme 5: 20th and 21st Century Ireland

(subject to change)

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Field Trip/External Visits


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module will include:
- lectures
- specific readings and online sources
- active learning
- critical analysis
- analytical writing
- online tasks
- field trips
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
IRST30150 - Ireland Uncovered

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Journal: Learning Journal related to module content Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire: Online Multiple Choice Question Exam End of trimester MCQ n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire (Short): A series of short MCQ quizzes based on the module coursework Throughout the Trimester n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Assignment: Work Packs: Short online assignments Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
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
• Online automated feedback
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Short MCQ quizzes: Online automated feedback Learning Journals: Individual feedback through Brightspace post-assessment Online Work Packs: Individual feedback through Brightspace post-assessment

**Required reading for each topic will be made available through Brightspace. Additional sources for further exploration are provided below.

Anon., ‘The Elections of 1885 and 1886, Movements for Political and Social Reform, 1870-
1914,’ Case Studies in Irish History no.4, National Library of Ireland,
Cathal Billings, ‘The first minutes: An analysis of the Irish Language within the official
structures of the Gaelic Athletic Association, 1884-1934’, Éire-Ireland (Spring/Summer 2013,
C.F. Carter, G.A. Duncan, Donal Nevin & Liam O’Buachalla, ‘Report of the Commission on
Emigration,’ Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, vol. xvix
Thomas Bartlett, Ireland: a History (Cambridge 2010)
Edel Bhreathnach & Conor Newman, ‘Tara, County Meath: A guide to the ceremonial
complex,’ Heritage Guide No. 41 (2008)
Andy Bielenberg, The Irish Diaspora (Harlow, 2000)
Dianna Bullier, Exploring Irish Music and Dance (Dublin 1998)
Nicolas Canny, Making Ireland British, 1580-1650 (Oxford 2001)
Louis Cullen, ‘Catholics under the Penal laws,’ Eighteenth-century Ireland /Iris an Dá
Chultúr, vol. I (1986), pp.23-36.
Mike Cronin, William Murphy, Paul Rouse (eds), The Gaelic Athletic Association, 1884-
2009 (Dublin 2009)
Mary E. Daly and Margaret O’Callaghan (eds), 1916 in 1966: Commemorating the Easter
Rising (Dublin 2007)
Joseph Duffy, Patrick in his own words (Dublin 2000)
Stephen Ellis, Ireland in the Age of the Tudors 1447-1603: English Expansion and the end of
Gaelic Rule (Harlow 1998)
Diarmaid Ferriter, Occasions of Sin: Sex and Society in Modern Ireland (London 2012)
David Fitzpatrick, Irish Emigration, 1801-1921 (Dublin 1984)
Anne Fogarty (ed), Irish University Review Special Issue: Spenser in Ireland: The Faerie
Queene 1596-1996, vol.xxvi, issue 2 (2010)
R.F. Foster (ed), The Oxford History of Ireland (Oxford, 1989)
Neal Garnham, ‘Accounting for the early success of the Gaelic Athletic Association,’ Irish
Historical Studies, vol. xxxiv., no.133 (May 2004), pp. 65-78.
Judith Hill, Irish Public Sculpture: a History (Dublin 1998)
Raymond Hickey, A Sound Atlas of Irish English (Berlin 2004)
Douglas Hyde, ‘The Necessity for De-anglicising Ireland’ A Lecture to the Irish National
Literary Society, Dublin, 25 November 1892.
Tom Inglis, Global Ireland: Same Difference (Oxford 2008)
Irish Studies Review: Special issue on Organised spaces: revival activism and print culture
(Vol. 22, No. 1, February 2014)
Adrian Kerr, Paul Hippsley, Declan Carlin (eds) Perceptions: Cultures in Conflict (Derry,
Declan Kiberd, Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation (London 1995).
Declan Kiberd and P.J. Mathews (eds.) Handbook of the Irish Revival. An Anthology of Irish
Cultural and Political Writings 1891-1922 (Dublin, 2015)
Lee, J.J. Ireland, 1912-1985: Politics and Society (Cambridge, 1989)
Colm Lennon, Sixteenth Century Ireland: the Incomplete Conquest (Dublin, 2005)
James McCloskey, Voices Silenced: Has Irish a Future? (Dublin 2001)
C.I. McGrath, ‘Securing the Protestant Interest: the origins and purpose of the penal laws of
1695,’ Irish Historical Studies, vol. xxx, no.117 (May 1996), pp. 25-28.
Christopher Morash, A History of the Media in Ireland (Cambridge, 2010)
Paula Murphy, Nineteenth Century Irish Sculpture, Native Genius Reaffirmed (London 2010)
Conor Newman, ‘Composing Tara, the Grand Opera of Irish Pre-History,’ Eolas: The
Journal of the American Society of Irish Medieval Studies (2009), pp.6-18.
Ní Úrdail, M. The scribe in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Ireland: motivations and
milieu (Münster, 2000)
Thomas O’Loughlin, St. Patrick: the Man and his Works (London 1999)
Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin A Pocket History of Irish Music and Dance (Dublin 1998)
Senia Paseta, Modern Ireland: A very short introduction (Oxford 2003)
R. Po-Chia Hsia (ed), The Cambridge History of Christianity, vol vi, Reform and Expansion
Edmund Spenser, A View of the Present State of Ireland, CELT,,
University College Cork.
Mark Storey (ed), Poetry and Ireland since 1800: a Source Book (London, 1988)
Regina Uí Chollatáin, ‘Crossing Boundaries and Early Gleanings of Cultural Replacement in
Irish Periodical Culture’, Irish Communications Review (Vol. 12, 2010, 50-64)
Whelan, A. ‘Language revival and conflicting identities in The Irish Independent, 1905-1922’,
Irish Studies Review (Vol. 22, No. 1, February 2014)
Name Role
Dr Connor McCabe Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Aoife Whelan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr David McKinney 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) - 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 Wed 17:00 - 17:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 Wed 17:00 - 18:50
Field Trip Offering 1 Week(s) - 8 Tues 10:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 22, 24, 26, 30, 32 Wed 17:00 - 17:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 23, 25, 29, 31, 33 Wed 17:00 - 18:50