Students take two languages from French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian and Spanish. Italian, Polish, Spanish and Russian are offered from beginners level. No student may take more than one language as a beginner. Students study each of their languages for an average of six hours a week. In addition to work on the grammar and structures of the language, there are classes in written and spoken expression, comprehension and on the culture and society of the respective countries.
Three compulsory modules in History, the History of Ideas and a discipline in Social Sciences make up the common foundation year.
2.i 'Europe, c. 1500-1800: Power and Culture'
This module covers the intellectual, social and political history of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including the impact of religious reform in the sixteenth century and the development of state power and political and military rivalry between European states during the seventeenth century. Students will understand the central developments in European history during the early modern period. They will analyse primary sources relating to sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century European history. They will engage in class discussions, give presentations and write about key themes of the period including intellectual changes during the Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment, the emergence of rival churches across most of the Continent, the impact of the printing revolution, the increasing power of territorial states, the expansion of states into new colonial spaces, and military and political rivalry between states.
2.ii Introductory Social Science Module
Students select one of the following social science modules:Introduction to Economics A and BIntroduction to Economic Policy A and BPolitics and Irish SocietyIntroduction to Sociology 1 and 2
2.iii Introduction to the History of Ideas
Introduction to the evolution of European thought in the 20th century and to the techniques of analysing texts in their historical context. This module examines the intellectual and cultural climate in Europe before and after the two World Wars: emphasis is put on the question of how intellectual and cultural trends reacted or contributed to the threat of war and how they dealt with the catastrophes in their aftermath. Topics covered include: the Fin-de Siècle mood around 1900, the pre-war crisis of values, social Darwinism, the urban culture of the European metropolis; socialist ideologies and the upsurge of right-wing thought after the First World War, the cultural climate of the "Roaring Twenties", exile as a European phenomenon; the idea of Europe after 1945, the role of art and philosophy in coming to terms with the past.