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Local History MA

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Course Details


Available: Part- Time

Duration: 2 Years

Faculty: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Course Type: Taught

Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


David Fleming
Department of History

Brief Description

Reconstructing and making sense of people in their localities over time fulfils a real need for those who identify with or belong to that locality. The professional study of local history is a core area of enquiry for historians, the better to understand larger or national histories. There is a growing awareness for those interested in local history that its pursuit should be to the highest standards, the better to articulate a more accurate and deeper understanding of the past. This programme provides that professional expertise.

The aim of the course programme is to systematically and coherently develop a range of historical research skills and thereby, further the historical understanding of local and regional communities and societies. Research, writing and presentational skills will be acquired or enhanced, as well as working alongside scholars active in the field of local and regional Irish history.

Year 1
  • Foundation course: scope, sources and methods in local history
  • Reading the landscape: sources and methods in historical geography
  • Sources and cases in modern Irish society
  • Local studies, archaeology and material culture
  • The excluded voice? Methods and cases in oral history and bealoideas
  • Computing, databases and quantitative research in local history
 Year 1 (Summer)
  • Dissertation
Year 2:     Dissertation 
  • People, place and time: local history research seminar

Content of modules can be found by using the search option on the book of modules.

Applications should possess a primary degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. history, archaeology, geography, Irish studies) with at least second class honours (Primary Degree: Level 8 - National Qualifications Authority of Ireland).  Applicants with approved equivalent qualifications, who have substantial experience in historical research or relevant professional experience may also be considered for admission.

What to include with your application

  • Qualification transcripts and certificates
  • English language qualification if English is not your first language
  • Certified English translations of your transcripts/certificates where the originals are in a language other than English.
  • A copy of your birth certificate (long document)


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.

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For information on funding and scholarships please click here.

The programme should be of interest to those with a passion for local history, primary and secondary teachers, librarians especially those working in local studies and reference department, archivists, staff in heritage centres, interpretative centres and museums.

Rita McCarthy 

I studied for the MA in Local History at the University of Limerick and can safely say that this was a life changing experience for me. I have always loved history and I wanted to explore what happened in my local area after the War of Independence.  The MA course gave me the skills I needed to carry out the research and most importantly to be able to put that research into a readable thesis.  It was a challenging but extremely rewarding experience and I was supported fully on my journey by the lecturers in the Department of History who made the classes interesting and informative.  I would highly recommend the UL MA programme to anyone interested in the history of their place and people.