MA Public History

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MA Public History draws upon the established strength and expertise of the UCD School of History. Within this program you will work closely with historians who are active in the practice of public history and commemorations. This course offers you the opportunity to build a tailored skillset that will allow you to disseminate history across multiple media, to explore how history can inform public discourse, and to shape policy in culture, education, politics, and the media. Through a mix of academic and practical modules, you will be guided through the theory and application of public history. The course also offers the opportunity for students to undertake relevant work experience in podcasting, publishing, policy, and print media.

  • Provides successful graduates with both theoretical and practical skills to disseminate history across multiple platforms
  • Develops skillset as a historian alongside interdisciplinary analysis of memory studies and commemoration
  • Practical skills in podcasting, exhibitions, and conference organisation

Careers & Employability

Students graduating from this programme will be equipped for careers in media, history, further academic study (PhD programmes), research, policy, heritage, and education (both within Ireland and abroad). The quality and versatility of MA programmes within the School of History has allowed its graduates to pursue careers in a wide range of professions including journalism, publishing, teaching, government, law, archives, public relations, and librarianship.


Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

This course is open to graduates from the humanities, social sciences, or cognate disciplines. Students will combine the traditional study of History with specialist training in the theory and practice of public history. 


The course consists of a mixture of traditional history and public history modules. A built-in internship module offers students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to a variety of real-world settings. Previous internships have been arranged at Marsh’s Library, Century Ireland, Newstalk FM, Dublin City Council Culture Company, the National Folklore Collection, and UCD’s own History Hub. Students will develop the ability to understand historical problems in a comparative framework, while the dissertation module develops significant research skills.

Module offerings include:​

  • An Introduction to Public History
  • Practicising Public History
  • Disseminating History
  • Dissertation

MA Public History (Z247) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 9100
nonEU    fee per year - € 22600

MA Public History (Z248) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 4550
nonEU    fee per year - € 11300

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

Students may also consider:

The Margaret MacCurtain Scholarship in Women's History (see UCD School of History website)

A primary degree in an appropriate field such as a Bachelor of Arts, or in a cognate discipline. You must supply details of any third level institutions you have attended and professional qualifications you have attained.

Excellent academic grades 2H1 or an equivalent of a UCD GPA 3.2 NFQ Level 8. Transcripts will be required.

You will be asked to complete a supporting statement outlining your reasons and motivation for wishing to undertake  the course.

Two academic references from referees who are in a position to assess your intellectual ability, maturity and motivation.

Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6 in each element), or equivalent.

Hayley Kilgallon
MA  2018

I was drawn to the course because I was keen to explore the different avenues that historians can apply their training to. Through a mixture of theory and practice-based learning, the modules on this course have done just that. Our assessment during the course was largely practice-based and included assignments which required us to research, write and record our own podcast; prepare and deliver a segment for a walking tour of Dublin; and design exhibition panels. While there is a considerable focus on practical tasks, this programme is still rooted in academic training and allows students to research and write a dissertation on a topic of their choosing. Challenging yet rewarding, I would recommend this programme to anyone who wants to explore the various ways in which a degree in History can be useful whether you are interested in academia, media, politics, or the cultural sector.

UCD is an ideal base for the research of Irish and public history, both because of its renowned archives and the James Joyce library. UCD is also very conveniently located for the use of Dublin city centre research and cultural institutions, including the National Library of Ireland and the National Archives where an extensive range of Irish manuscripts and Irish state papers are housed.

The following entry routes are available:

MA Public History FT (Z247)
1 Years
Full Time
MA Public History PT (Z248)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised