MA Irish History

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Established in 1854, UCD is steeped in Irish history and is an institution that has played a key role in the development of modern Ireland. UCD’s dynamic School of History, the largest in the country, has long played a vital role in leading national debate and research on the evolution of Irish society, culture and  politics. This MA enables students to work closely with some of the country’s most renowned historians of Ireland to continue the tradition of providing context, insight and originality in the research of Irish history and its communication to a wide audience. Our teaching is informed by a global perspective, situating events in Ireland in an international and comparative context.

UCD faculty have diverse research interests and our module choices reflect this, ranging from the medieval to the modern period and thematically across histories of religion, the environment, medicine and deviancy, gender and war, and twentieth century Irish society and politics.  

Modules are taught through seminars. You will develop expertise in presenting, analytical thinking, effective communication, and writing with clarity and precision. Every student is free to choose their own degree pathway and the modules on offer include courses in medieval, early-modern and modern history.

The dissertation, at the core of the MA, allows you to engage your own research-based interests. You will be guided by historians with an excellent track record in the teaching and research.

The MA in Irish History is suitable for those with some background in history or a related humanities subject who are interested in exploring Ireland’s past. Applicants who have not studied Irish history before are very welcome to apply.  We have both part-time and full-time pathways. 

Students will have an opportunity to focus on their own particular areas of interest and be guided by historians with an excellent track record in the teaching and research.

Careers & Employability

You will be equipped to excel in numerous careers that value critical thinking, writing and time- and project-management skills. Many of our alumni work in international business, foreign affairs and Dublin's vibrant tech sector, where a background in the humanities is particularly valued. Others graduates work in senior positions across a diverse range of industries including education, the media, NGOs and the Arts. Some graduates proceed to PhD studies at Irish, British, and European institutions.


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. Yes

This course is open to graduates from history, social sciences or cognate disciplines. 

The MA in Irish History is a 90-credit programme. Students take 60 credits of taught modules, including core modules in historiography, archives, and dissemination, and three options. The modules offered encapsulate the origins, development and contemporary state of research into Irish history. You can follow your own research interests (for example, selecting to focus primarily on the Early Modern period or the twentieth century) and in your choice of topic for their dissertations. The 30 remaining credits are allocated to the 15,00 word dissertation. Through the dissertation and in house conference, students will have an opportunity to develop and present a significant project based on original research. There is a strong emphasis on the use of primary source material, including material from the collections of the UCD archives.

Core modules include:

  • Modern Irish Historiography
  • Delving into the Archives
  • Disseminating History
  • Dissertation.

You will also have the opportunity to select three option modules. Options may include:

  • Pop culture in Modern Ireland
  • De Valera’s Ireland
  • Landscape and Environment in Ireland, 1500-1800
  • Introduction to Public History
  • The Body in Modern Warfare
  • Anthropocence Histories
  • One World, One Health

MA Irish History (Z264) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 9100
nonEU    fee per year - € 22600

MA Irish History (Z265) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 4550
nonEU    fee per year - € 11300

***Fees are subject to change

The Colonel Michael Hefferon Memorial Scholarship is open to EU and non-EU applicants. Acceptance and registration into the MA in Irish History is a pre-condition for holders of the Scholarship. Please see UCD School of History website for more information and to apply. Thanks. 

Students may also consider:

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

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.

Minimum of 2.1 or international equivalent in BA History or a cognate subject. Minimum of 2.1 in BA History or a cognate subject.

Roisin Guyett-Nicholson
MA 2018

Writing a research dissertation is at the core of this course, and enabled me to undertake a significant amount of individual research. The support of my supervisor and the other academics in the School was invaluable, while the small group seminars developed my research skills and knowledge of Irish History, giving me a strong foundation from which I could base my dissertation. The conference module, organised by students was a particular highlight, offering an opportunity for students to present their original research. The research, writing, editing and presentation skills were all key for this MA course, and are ones I use on a regular basis in my current role in Communications and Marketing at UCD.  


UCD is an ideal base for the research of Irish history. The School of History offers a thriving research culture with a range of seminars, in-house conferences and other events taking place regularly. The Archives at UCD house an invaluable collection and are a remarkable on-site resource for those interested in all aspects of modern Irish history. 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 papers are housed.

The following entry routes are available:

MA Irish History FT (Z264)
1 Years
Full Time
MA Irish History PT (Z265)
2 Years
Part Time

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