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History and political science

Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

Course overview

History and political science have a close affinity and the combination of the two in a joint honor programme provides a coherent framework for the development of interdisciplinary interests. In the first three years of the programme, you will take both subjects on an equal basis. In the fourth year, you may choose to concentrate exclusively on either subject or to continue with both. There are approximately 10-12 hours of classes per week in the Freshman (first two) years. See below for course details.

History courses

Modules are designed to allow your individual preferences to shape the overall character of your studies, and permit you to specialise in a number of different ways.

Junior Freshmen (first-year students) select from modules such as:

  • Europe, 1000-1250: War and society in the age of the Crusades
  • Ireland, 1000-1250: Brian Boru to the English invasion
  • Britain, c.1066-1296: Conquest and domination
  • Europe, 1000-1250: Conflict of church and state
  • Ireland, 1250-1500: Gaelic revival and the English Pale
  • Britain, c.1296-1603: Nations and kingship
  • Europe, c.1500-1700: Power and belief
  • Britain since 1800
  • American history: A survey
  • South Asian history: An introduction

Senior Freshmen (second-year students) select from courses such as:

  • Ireland and the union, 1801-1922
  • Ireland and the wider world, 1534-1641
  • Ireland and the wider world, 1641-1815
  • Europe, c.1215-1517: Religion, death and culture
  • Europe, 1700-1815: Culture and politics
  • Europe, 1870-1930: Grandeur and decline
  • Europe since 1914: Cataclysm and rebirth
  • Twentieth-century Ireland
  • The rise and fall of the British Empire
  • Themes in modern American history
  • Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and their impact on Britain and Ireland, c.400-1000

In the final two years you will take a short lecture module on historiography and choose special modules, which are studied in great detail and with particular attention to original sources. Students taking History alone in fourth year choose three special modules, and write a dissertation.

More than 35 modules are available in the Sophister years (three and four) including:

  • The archaeology of medieval warfare
  • The crusades
  • Edward I, Edward II and the conquest of Britain, 1286-1328
  • Europe reformed, 1540-1610
  • The Elizabethans and their world, 1550-1610
  • Confederate and Cromwellian Ireland
  • Revolutionary Britain, 1678-1715
  • Ireland in the age of O’Connell, 1775-1847
  • France and the First World War, 1912-1920
  • The impact of World War 1 on Ireland and Britain
  • Revolutionary Britain, 1678-1715
  • The French Revolution
  • Sub-Saharan Africa since 1875
  • Stalinism and Society
  • Britain, the Near East and World War 2
  • The Troubles, 1968-1998

Political science courses

The work of the first two years is designed to provide you with a systematic foundation in the subject.

Junior Freshmen (first-year students) take:

  • Introduction to political science
  • Introduction to sociology
  • Introduction to economic policy

Senior Freshmen (second-year students) take:

  • History of political thought
  • International relations
  • Comparative politics

In the Sophister (third and fourth) years, you may choose to concentrate on particular aspects of the subject, including:

  • Irish politics
  • Comparative political institutions
  • Contemporary political theories
  • Political parties
  • Issues in contemporary politics
  • Democracy and development
  • European Union politics
  • Contemporary international relations
  • African politics
  • Government and politics of the United States
  • The politics of inequality
  • Globalisation and the post-cold war order

In each of the first two years students take 3 Political science modules and the equivalent number of term-long modules in History. In their first-year students may substitute modern language electives (two modern language courses) for history modules, while in their second year students may substitute electives for either history or political science modules (see


A combination of essays, assignments and end-of-year examinations make up the assessment process.

Study abroad

Both the Political science and History departments have arrangements allowing students to study abroad in another university for a semester or a full academic year. Participating in these opportunities is dependent upon the exchange fulfilling the course requirements of both departments.

Career opportunities

Recent graduates are pursuing careers in government and the public sector, media, accountancy and business to name a few. Some graduates each year progress to further study in areas as diverse as medicine, film production, graphic design and business, as well as areas more closely related to history and political science.

Further information

Tel: +353 1 896 1651

Tel: +353 1 896 1020