POL42490 Politics of Ireland North and South

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module will introduce students to the politics and political institutions on the island of Ireland. We will begin by exploring partition and the foundation of the state. In the first section of the module, we will focus on the Republic of Ireland and study the role of important institutions, including the Houses of the Oireachtas, political parties, referendums, the electoral system, and citizens’ assemblies. In the second section of the module, we will turn out attention to Northern Ireland examining the origins of ‘The Troubles’, the political initiatives that led to the 1998 peace agreement, and how Northern Ireland politics has developed in the 25 years since that Agreement was reached.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Explain the origins of the Irish political system and the characteristics and roles of different Irish political institutions.
Discuss the underlying causes of ‘The Troubles’, the development of the Northern Ireland peace process, the strengths and weaknesses of the 1998 peace agreement, and the development of politics in the region over the last 25 years.
Source high-quality relevant academic research, analyse and critically engage with the arguments made in this scholarship. They should also be able to independently complete assigned tasks by following instructions, engaging in teamwork, and communicating clearly.

Indicative Module Content:

We will examine important political institutions including, the Oireachtas, political parties, elections and referendums. We will also examine the Northern Ireland peace process, looking at 'The Troubles', peace negotiations, the 1998 peace agreement, and its impact on Northern Ireland politics.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Successful completion of this module will require students to attend and participate in the weekly seminars, complete assigned readings, independently source and read further high-quality relevant scholarship, engage in teamwork, give a presentation, and complete written assignments. 
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
Essay: List of essay questions and further details will be provided on the course outline. Week 12 n/a Graded No


Presentation: Group presentation which examines how academic research on Irish politics can help us to gain a better understanding of a recent news story. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Assignment: Complete essay preparation worksheet. Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale 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?

In line with university regulations, feedback will be provided within 20 days of the deadline for submitting the assignment. Further details are provided on the module outline and in class.