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History and Political Science (TR012)

Last intake in 2019-20, prospective students please visit the Joint Honours Political Science page. History and Political Science provides students with an understanding of how contemporary political issues are informed by historical events with students learning how to interrogate history and contemporary political questions using analytical skills from both disciplines.


What is History and Political Science?

Trinity's History and Political Science course combines the strength of a broad-based education in the first two years with the freedom to explore areas of particular interest to individual students in the final two years. The combination allows students to engage with problems past and present, national and international, using a range of approaches, but with an emphasis on self-directed study and the development of intellectual skills. Students learn through a mixture of classroom-based lectures and tutorials, as well as through independent learning.

Course Structure

In the first three years, students study the two subjects equally, while in the final year they may choose to concentrate exclusively on either Political Science or History, or to continue with both equally.

In second year there is the option of replacing one Political Science module by broad curriculum or language modules, while in third year there is the opportunity to study abroad at a university outside Ireland.

Find out more about Political Science and History modules.

Is it for me?

Recent graduates are pursuing careers in government and the public sector, media, accountancy and business, to name just 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. The possibilities are boundless – our alumni pages give an indication of some of the careers followed by political science graduates.

Programme Requirements

Programme Requirements (Political Science) for 2020–21

You may only choose a Degree Pathway / Route that is consistent with what you chose in the previous year(s) i.e. modules chosen in a given year may determine the range of modules available to you in subsequent years. See the requirements for those starting the course before/after 2019 here .

Please note that Semester 1 and 2 modules may have co-requisites and prerequisites. Where two modules are co-requisites, you must take both A and B modules, for instance POU33011 and POU33012.

  • In your Senior Fresh year, you have the option of substituting 10 ECTS (5 ECTS in semester 1 and 5 ECTS in Semester 2) Political Science modules with Trinity Electives of the same weight, equally distributed across Semester 1 and 2. For a full list of Trinity Electives available in 2020–21 please consult relevant web page here. Online enrolment opens in April for 2 weeks.
  • Students are required to complete an Independent Research Project, or dissertation / capstone, in either their Junior Sophister or Senior Sophister year. Modules identified as IRP, across the two years, qualify as meeting this requirement. You are only required to choose one such module, whether from the Junior Sophister or Senior Sophister years, and it may be chosen from either of the two disciplines.
  • In your Junior Sophister year, you will be required to choose your degree pathway: whether Single Honour or Joint Honour. If you choose the Single Honour Pathway, you are required to complete POU33011 and POU33012 (Research Methods A & B) and an additional 20 ECT of optional Political Science modules. If you choose the Joint Honour Pathway, you are required to study 30 ECTS overall of Political Science modules; students intending to take POU44000 (Year Long Research Project / Capstone) in their Senior Sophister year must take POU33011 and POU33012 (Research Methods A & B).
  • In Senior Sophister year, students registered in the Political Science Single Honour Pathway are required to compete POU44000 Year Long Research Project / Capstone, POU44010 Issues in Contemporary Politics and an additional 30 ECTS of optional Political Science modules. Conversely, students registered in the Political Science Joint Honour Pathway may take POU44000 Year Long Research Project / Capstone only if they are not taking a dissertation / capstone in their other subject.. Those students are required to complete 30 ECTS overall of Political Science modules.

Under no circumstances are students permitted to take clashing modules (following publication of lecture timetable) - you must be free to attend every scheduled lecture, tutorial and seminar. Overlaps in timetable are not permitted and you will be unenrolled in clashing modules. The Department of Political Science reserve the right to withdraw or introduce new modules.