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

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


The M.Phil in Modern Irish History 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 College Dublin’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.

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 moments or 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 and 20,000 words on any area of modern Irish history based on primary sources and relevant scholarly writing.

Career Opportunities

The MPhil helps prepare graduates for a wide variety of careers including in the museum and heritage sectors, libraries and archives, publishing, politics, public policy and administration, teaching, media. It also provides invaluable training in research for those planning to pursue a doctorate and/or career in research. 

Click Here for further information on modules/subject.

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

Introduction to the programme MPhil and P.Grad.Dip in Modern Irish History by Dr. Carole Holohann of the History Department at Trinity College Dublin

Course Details

Number of Places

 15 Places

Next Intake

September 2023

Course Director

Dr Carole Holohan


Closing Date

30th June 2023

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Admission Requirements

Applicants should normally have at least an upper second class (2.1) honors 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.

Offers will be made on a rolling basis.  Should places remain unfilled, later applications may be considered.

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

Get in Touch

Telephone Number

+353 1 896 1791



Register Your Interest

Register your interest in postgraduate study at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.

As Ireland’s leading university, we offer a wide range of postgraduate programmes at masters, diploma and certificate level.

Trinity is an international university steeped in history, with a reputation for excellence in education, research and innovation.

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"I highly recommend the MPhil 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 achieved my objective in giving me a better insight on 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. Much of my use of the library was done remotely anyway so although Covid-19 did introduce some restrictions I believe much of the programme can be delivered remotely if necessary and I expect to be able to complete my thesis despite the lock-down. I'd have no hesitation in recommending the M Phil."

John Bligh

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

James McClean

"The MPhil in contemporary Irish history was a challenging yet personally rewarding course that I would not hesitate to recommend. In the face of adversity online learning nurtured a spirit of collegiality among MPhil students and the history faculty that was a hugely positive experience … Critically, the MPhil provides a solid foundation for those considering further doctoral studies."

Maria Kane

"I thoroughly enjoyed taking the MPhil 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 very useful as going to a new archive for the first time can be quite daunting.
The MPhil offers several modules ensuring a broad understanding of the modern period; the assessments are easily managed and my tutors were extremely helpful any time I had questions and continue to be during the current covid crisis.
The MPhil also provided me with an in depth insight into several key debates within Irish historiography, which I think are essential knowledge if you want to consider Ireland’s contentious past from a truly historical perspective."

Rebekah Crossan

"I'm glad I did the MPhil 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

"As a year-long exchange student from China, choosing the M.Phil. in Modern Irish History during the academic year 2018-19 is the smartest decision I’ve ever made in my life. The professional training you can get here in archival research and Irish historiography, offered by the most conscientious coordinators and tutors you can ever have, is nowhere else available. Looking back at those days, I am still deeply amazed by how much progress I’ve made as a non-history-major and non-English-native-speaker in my understanding of Irish history from the perspective of a true historian in such a short period of time. The friendship you can 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, choose this M.Phil. programme, and it will be an invaluable asset to your life as it is to mine."

Naidan Zhang