Modern Irish History (M.Phil. / P.Grad.Dip.)

NFQ Level 9
1 year full-time (EU and non-EU students) / 2 years part-time (EU/UK/EEA students only)
 15 Places


Course Overview

The M.Phil. in Modern Irish History programme introduces well-qualified Humanities or Social Sciences graduates to research in modern Irish history, to the problems currently addressed by historians, and to the methods they apply to study of the subject. Drawing on the current interests of staff, the course is based on the rich resources of Trinity’s library and of the adjacent Dublin libraries and archives. The course provides opportunities for in-depth study of selected issues in modern Irish history. It also serves as an introduction to students wishing to pursue doctoral studies.

Is This Course For Me?

The M.Phil. in Modern Irish History is designed to provide students with knowledge of chosen areas of modern Irish history, and to develop research and organisational skills. The programme is open to students of History and cognate disciplines. Prior in-depth knowledge of Irish history is not required. While the primary medium of instruction and inquiry is English, individual students are encouraged to draw on their own knowledge of Irish and other languages to explore relevant sources and texts.

Since its inception in 2005, the course has attracted students from across the world interested in learning. This mix of students ensures that all students explore Irish history from a wide variety of perspectives and experience.

Career Opportunities

About a quarter of graduates have done doctoral studies and research careers in Ireland, Europe or North America, while others have embarked on further professional training as lawyers, teachers, librarians, counsellors and archivists. Some are now public servants, and others work in business/service industries.

Course Structure

Taken as a full-time course, the programme lasts for 12 months, starting in September. Teaching will be spread over two terms, beginning in September and concluding the following April. EU/ UK/EEA students can also take the course on a part-time basis over two years.

An M.Phil. degree within the School of Histories and Humanities consists of 90 ECTS.

Course Content

The course comprises three main elements:

A number of research training modules focus on the range of approaches, technologies, and resources available to researchers in modern Irish history.

In addition, students take special subject modules in each term. Topics on offer change from year to year, but cover a range of specialised themes from the seventeenth to twentieth centuries. Some modules concentrate on key developments in Ireland’s history, while others examine Ireland’s relationship with the outside world, whether through emigration or through its place in the British Empire.

Finally, students write a dissertation of between 15,000-20,000 words on any area of modern Irish history based on primary sources and relevant scholarly writing.

Click here for further information on modules/subjects.

Study Modern Irish History (M.Phil.) at Trinity

An introduction to the Modern Irish History programme by Dr. Carole Holohan of the History Department at Trinity College Dublin.

Course Details


NFQ Level 9

Number of Places

 15 Places

Next Intake

September 2024

Course Director

Dr Carole Holohan

Closing Date

31st May 2024

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Admission Requirements

Applicants should normally have at least an upper second class (2.1) Honours Bachelor degree or equivalent (for example, GPA of 3.3) in a relevant area. Since places on the course are limited, applicants may be interviewed or asked to submit a writing sample for assessment.

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

Get in Touch

Telephone Number

+353 (0)1 896 1791

Dr Carole Holohan (course director):


Register Your Interest

Register your interest in studying at Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.

Register Your Interest

As an exchange student from China, choosing the M.Phil. in Modern Irish History is the smartest decision I’ve ever made in my life. The professional training you get in archival research and Irish historiography, offered by the most conscientious coordinators and tutors you can ever have, is staggering. Looking back, I am still deeply amazed by how much progress I’ve made as a non-History-major and non-English-speaker in my understanding of Irish history from the perspective of a true historian in such a short period of time. The friendship you establish with your classmates through in-class academic discussions and after-class parties is also much more enduring than you can ever imagine. Trust me, this M.Phil. programme will be an invaluable asset to your life.

Naidan Zhang


I'm glad I did the M.Phil. in Modern Irish History because it enabled me to delve deeper into a period I was already familiar with. I benefited a lot from the lecturers' expertise in specific areas. We were also brought on tours of many different libraries and archives around the city, including some lesser-known ones, which was a great help with research.

Cian Flaherty


I thoroughly enjoyed the M.Phil. in Modern Irish History. In particular, I enjoyed meeting people from different backgrounds and with different experiences, and discussing our topics for the week. I also enjoyed the weekly research seminars and hearing about current research methods. As part of the course we visited numerous archives, which I found useful as going to a new archive for the first time can be quite daunting. The M.Phil. offers several modules to ensure a broad understanding of the modern period; the assessments are easily managed and my tutors were very helpful. The programme also provided me with an in-depth insight into several key debates in Irish historiography, which I think is vital if you want to consider Ireland’s contentious past from a historical perspective.

Rebekah Crossan


I highly recommend the M.Phil. in Modern Irish History and found that every aspect of the course exceeded my expectations. I felt fully supported in all areas of my research, especially the dissertation which was the most challenging but enjoyable piece of academic work I have ever done. There was a large degree of choice in taught components, and all of the teaching was of a very high standard.

Georgiana Green


I have greatly enjoyed the M.Phil. in Irish History and it helped me to achieve my objective of gaining a better insight into the debates and controversies in Irish historiography and the methodologies employed. Much of this was through the planned programme, but there was also the serendipity of the Wednesday afternoon contemporary Irish history seminars which ranged widely, and the archive visits. I'd have no hesitation in recommending the M.Phil. programme.

John Bligh


It has been a privilege to study the M.Phil. in Modern Irish History under the tutelage of some of the sharpest minds in the field.

James McClean


The M.Phil. in Irish History was a challenging yet personally rewarding course that I would not hesitate to recommend. Critically, the M.Phil. programme provides a solid foundation for those considering further doctoral studies.

Maria Kane