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History MA

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Course Details


Available: Full- Time

Duration: 1 Year

Faculty: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Course Type: Taught

Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Dr Richard Kirwan
Office: C1074, Department of History, University of Limerick
+ 353 61 20 2928
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Read instructions on how to apply

Brief Description

The aim of the programme is to enhance the historical understanding and skills of graduates in history, to extend their capacity for historical research and thereby provide an appropriate basis for advanced research up to, and including, doctoral level.  The programme combines extensive training in the use of sources, concepts and methodologies with specialist modules on Irish, European and International history from the early modern to the modern periods. In addition, a Public History Internship affords opportunities for career-advancing experience in museums, libraries and archives.

This is a one year, full-time course at MA level. On completion of the programme the student will have acquired the ability to identify and evaluate significant issues in contemporary historiographical discourse, a specialist knowledge of a select number of substantive historical themes studied through three elective modules, the ability to identify, locate and evaluate a range of primary and secondary sources relevant to the understanding of a selected research topic and a capacity to present the results of substantial independent research in a selected topic. In addition an elective Public History Internship affords students an opportunity to gain experience in partner museums and archives.

Autumn Semester Spring Semester Summer Semester
Core Modules Core Modules Core Modules                     
  • HI6131 Concepts and Methods (9 credits)
  • HI6211 Historical Research and Practice I (3 credits) (attendance at research seminars)
  • HI6002 History Research Seminar (9 credits)
  • HI6312 Historical Research and Practice II (3 credits) (attendance at research seminars)
  • HI6222 Directed Reading in History (9 credits) (an aid to research underthe direction of dissertation supervisor).
  • HI6043 Dissertation
Electives - Choose 2 Electives - Choose 1  
  • HII6121 Art and power in the age of the Tudors and Stuarts (9 credits)
  • HI6191 Graduate Seminar in Irish Cultural History (9 credits)
  • HI6061 Linking Families to Communities (9 credits)

Optional Module:

  • MU6071 Beginners’ ecclesiastical Latin (3 credits) 
  • HI6302 The Long War in Ireland, 1968-98
  • HI6792 Public History Internship (9 credits)
  • HI6062 People on the move: studying migration (9 credits)




A primary degree in which history is a constituent subject, awarded with first or second-class honours (Level 8 - National Qualifications Authority of Ireland).  Applicants who do not meet those criteria but who have equivalent academic qualifications may be considered. 
Entry procedure: Such applicants may be invited for interview and will be asked to bring examples of their written historical work with them and copies of relevant academic transcripts.

What to Include with your Application

  • Qualification transcripts and/or certificates (including certified English translations if applicable) 
  • English language qualification(s) (if English is not your first language) 
  • A copy of your birth certificate or passport
  •  Personal statement


English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of either prior successful completion of a degree qualification taught through the medium of English or meet one of the criteria below (no longer than two years prior to application):

Acceptable English Language qualifications include the following:

  • Matriculation examinations from European countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved
  • Irish Leaving Certificate English –Ordinary Level Grade D or above
  • TOEFL – 580 (paper based) or 90 (internet based)
  • IELTS – Minimum score of 6.5* with no less than 6 in any one component.
  • English Test for English and Academic Purposes (ETAPP) – Grade C1
  • GCE ‘O’ level English Language/GCSE English Language – Grade C or above
  • Cambridge Assessment English –Certificate of Proficiency in English - Grade C / Certificate in Advanced English Grade B
  • GCE Examination Boards – Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations – Grade C / Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate – School Certificate Pass 1-6 / University of London Entrance and School Examinations Council – School Certificate Pass 1-6

Results in examinations other than those listed above may also be accepted as meeting our English language requirements. Contact the International Education Division for advice.

Career Prospects

The programme will provide an attractive opportunity for Limerick and other graduates considering a career - whether in higher education, teaching in secondary or primary level, the heritage, archival or library sectors - that requires or benefits from postgraduate research experience in history.


Ellen Murphy, Senior Archivist, Dublin City Archives "Having completed my undergraduate studies, I wanted to explore the possibility of a life in academia, but wasn’t ready to commit to a 3 year phd program. I was attracted to the Masters program as there was a variety of elective modules which would allow me to explore different research themes, and the dissertation module itself which would let me dip my feet into world of independent research.

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire year – particular the research seminar class in which debate and discussion was very much encouraged. I found all of the teaching staff to be very approachable and supportive. Our classes were all quite small which allowed for lots of individual attention and feedback.

The module which had the biggest impact on my future career direction was the concepts and methods course. Studying historical methodologies, and the use and accessibility of archival sources, led me to consider the work and role of the archivist. With the help of the History Department, I was able to secure archival work experience in the UL Special Collections Library. This proved to be an essential stepping stone in my career and further study as a professional archivist."

Stephen Griffin, PHD Candidate, Department of History, UL "The MA in History at UL provided me with excellent analytical skills whilst further improving my abilities at written and oral communications both in Ireland and abroad. The History Department motivates and supports its students in identifying and following their own specific interests and this allows for a stimulating environment. Encouraged to keep interests in various historical subjects you ultimately identify an historical problem which forms the crux of your MA dissertation. Conducting field research and critically evaluating your sources all whilst enjoying the support from the Department of History makes for an enjoyable experience that is both challenging and rewarding".