Trinity College Dublin

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Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here


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

Is this the right course for you?

If you are interested in discovering our past, in developing critical perspectives on historical interpretations and in working toward the development of new ideas about our past, this course is for you. History at Trinity College aims to encourage the greatest possible critical independence among students – who encounter the latest techniques and methods of historical research while studying with us.

Course content

The History programme at Trinity has been constructed on clear pedagogical and intellectual principles. In the first two years we provide you with a systematic knowledge of European and Irish history, with options in American and Asian history too. We introduce you to social, political, economic and cultural themes of relevance and we do so in lectures and in our renowned small group tutorials. In the second part of the programme (the Sophister years) a very wide degree of choice is made available. Teaching is led by a world-class staff actively engaged in research on topics taught. An independently conceived and researched dissertation is a key element of the final year.

The Junior Freshman (first) year

Students take half-year options from the areas outlined below, amounting to the whole study requirement for their academic year.

  • Doing history
  • Interpreting history
  • 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 1815: Political traditions
  • American history: A survey
  • South Asian history: An introduction
  • Modern language electives – Students choosing this option must enroll on the Broad Curriculum website:

The Senior Freshman (second) year

You may choose from a wide variety of modules, listed below. Each module runs for half of the academic year. Single honor students select six modules (or equivalent).

  • Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and their impact on Britain and Ireland, c.400-1000
  • Europe, c.1215-1517: Religion, death and culture
  • The Hundred Years War, c.1337-1453
  • Ireland and the early modern age, 1534-1641
  • Ireland transformed, 1641-1815
  • Europe, 1700-1815: Culture and politics
  • Ireland and the union, 1801-1922
  • Europe, 1870-1930: Grandeur and decline
  • Europe since 1914: Cataclysm and rebirth
  • Ireland in the Twentieth century
  • The rise and fall of the British Empire
  • Themes in modern American history

Students may substitute one of the following year-long modules for one of their history modules:

  • History of political thought
  • The economy of Ireland

For further information about these modules see our website and

The Sophister (third and fourth) years

We offer a range of subjects within three different categories:

  • List I modules - these are primary source-based specialist modules which involve intensive research and writing.
  • List II modules - these are primarily historiographically-based special subjects which relate to the concepts, methods and debates of modern-day historians.
  • List III modules - these are broader thematic and analytical modules based upon a combination of primary materials and secondary commentaries.

Those studying single honor History choose one module from each list in their Junior Sophister (third) year, plus the module ‘Thinking history’. Further choices follow from List I and III in the Senior Sophister (fourth) year. The research dissertation is undertaken in the Senior Sophister year.

Those studying TSM History choose one module from Lists I and II, plus ‘Thinking history’, in their Junior Sophister (third) year. TSM students normally follow the same pattern as single honor students in the Senior Sophister year.

List I, II and III modules arise from the specialisations of the teaching staff and vary from year to year. Current options include:

  • The reign of Charlemagne
  • Viking Dublin
  • Viking raiders to crusader warriors: Scandinavia, 800-1200
  • The archaeology of medieval warfare, 1000-1300
  • Empire and papacy in the eleventh century
  • The English in medieval Ireland
  • Edward I, Edward II and the conquest of Britain, 1286-1328
  • Medieval religion, c.1215-1517
  • Renaissance Florence, c.1347-1527
  • Europe reformed, 1540-1610
  • The Elizabethans and their world, 1550-1610
  • The fall and rise of France, 1550-1700
  • From rebellion to restoration: Confederate and Cromwellian Ireland
  • The nobility in early modern Ireland
  • Revolutionary Britain, 1678-1715
  • Ireland in the age of O’Connell, 1775-1847
  • The French Revolution
  • Eighteenth-century Dublin
  • Ireland and Empire
  • History writing in Britain and Ireland, 1820-1920
  • Slavery in American history
  • Sub-Saharan Africa since 1875
  • France since 1880: Society and culture
  • Race and ethnicity in American thought since 1880
  • The impact of World War 1 on Ireland and Britain
  • France and the First World War, 1912-1920
  • The Weimar Republic
  • Writing the history of the Irish revolution
  • Literature and politics in modern Ireland
  • Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Popular culture in twentieth-century Ireland
  • American politics and culture, 1939-1989
  • South Asia since 1947
  • Ireland, Britain and America during the Cold War and beyond, 1948-1998
  • The Troubles, 1968-1998


Assessment is primarily essay- and exam-based. Assessment of the final-year dissertation accounts for one third of the final-year mark.

Study abroad

The Department of History has Erasmus exchange agreements with universities in France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, as well as exchange programmes with American and Australian universities.

Career opportunities

Over many decades History graduates (single honors and TSM) have pursued successful careers in a wide range of areas. These include: accountancy, advertising, banking, broadcasting, cultural, arts and heritage administration, human resources, journalism, law, public administration, public relations, management, marketing, publishing and teaching.

Did you know?

  • Trinity College teaches political, military, social, economic, cultural and intellectual history; it specialises in the histories of several countries – Ireland, Britain, France, Germany and America; and it offers modules in African and Asian topics too. Areas of study range in chronological breadth from the Middle Ages to the contemporary period.

  • Trinity College Dublin is ranked 33rd in the world in History (by the QS World University Rankings 2013).

Further information

Tel: +353 1 896 1791 / 1020