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?

History is about people. Studying history means studying lives lived, and ideas thought and expressed in times and places often very different from our own. Studying history means developing critical skills, learning to express your ideas and arguments clearly, and becoming self-directed in your studies. The history courses in Trinity allow you to study a remarkable range of types of history – whether cultural or political, social history or the history of ideas – from the medieval centuries to the very recent past, and to combine a breadth of approach with detailed focus on areas of particular interest to you.

Course content

The History programme combines the strength of a broad-based programme in the first two years, introducing all students to the sheer diversity of historical studies, with the freedom to explore areas of particular interest to individual students in the final two years. The Freshman programme (years one and two) provides a range of modules covering medieval and modern periods, including Irish, European, and American history, as well as some modules exploring the skills and methods which historians use, and the kinds of debates historians engage in. Teaching is not only in lectures but in small group tutorials. All students entering in 2014-15 will have an opportunity to undertake a group project in their second year, undertaking research as a team. The Sophister programme (years three and four) offers a wide range of choice in more specialist modules, all taught by staff with expertise in that field. There is a chance to concentrate on those parts of history which interest you most, and above all in the final year dissertation, an independent research project which very many students find the most rewarding part of their whole degree programme.

The Junior Freshman (first) year

Students take the following half-year modules.

  • 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, see:

The Senior Freshman (second) year

For students entering in 2014-15, the second year will offer three types of modules:

  • Modules which look at broad bands of history, mostly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These will include modules on Ireland since 1800; U.S. history; and Europe since 1800; imperial history. Students will take four of these modules.
  • Modules which will look at how history has been interpreted and presented, not just by professional historians but in the wider culture (one per term for single honor students)
  • A year-long group project allowing all students to work on a research project.

For further information about these modules see our website and

The Sophister (third and fourth) years

We offer a range of subjects within two different categories:

  • List I modules - these are specialist modules which involve intensive research and writing based on primary sources.
  • List II modules - these are broader thematic and analytical modules. Some will have a particular focus on historiography – on how different historians have tried to understand a period or problem.

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.

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

  • The reign of Charlemagne
  • Viking Dublin
  • The archaeology of medieval warfare, 1000-1300
  • Empire and papacy in the eleventh century
  • From kingdom to colony: Ireland in the twelfth century
  • Edward I, Edward II and the conquest of Britain, 1286-1328
  • Renaissance Florence, c.1347-1527
  • Europe reformed, 1540-1610
  • The Elizabethans and their world, 1550-1610
  • Food, drink and society in Britain and Ireland, 1550 - 1750
  • From rebellion to restoration: Confederate and Cromwellian Ireland
  • A social history of medicine, 1500-1750
  • Revolutionary Britain, 1678-1715
  • Society and the sacred in France, 1685-1815
  • The French Revolution
  • Eighteenth-century Dublin
  • Ireland and Empire
  • History writing in Britain and Ireland, 1820-1920
  • Sub-Saharan Africa since 1875
  • 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
  • Literature and politics in modern Ireland
  • Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Popular culture in twentieth-century Ireland
  • American politics and culture, 1939-1989
  • 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 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 48th in the world in History (by the QS World University Rankings 2014).

Further information

Tel: +353 1 896 1791 / 1020