B.A. Honours Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 8)
4 Years Full-Time
39 Places
CAO Points 541 (2023)
CAO Code TR003


What is History?

History is about people. Studying History means studying lives, events and ideas in times and places often very different from our own. History embraces everything from the rise and fall of empires, or the birth of new ideologies, to the contrasting everyday lives of people in a whole range of settings, across time and across the globe. Studying History means developing critical skills, learning to express your ideas and arguments clearly, and becoming self-directed in your studies.

Do you enjoy...

  • Undertaking your own research into historical questions?
  • Reading widely and critically?
  • Expressing and debating your ideas in essays, presentations and class discussion?

History: The course for you?

History is a subject for the intellectually curious. It offers an enormous diversity of subjects to explore, questions to ponder and problems to resolve. The History modules at Trinity allow you to study a remarkable range of types of history—whether cultural or political history, military or social history, environmental history or the history of ideas—from the early Middle Ages to the very recent past. We offer survey modules allowing you to grasp the broad patterns in history, specialist modules where you can study topics of particular interest to you in small classes, and opportunities for you to pursue your own independent research.

    History at Trinity

    The History Department at Trinity offers a remarkably broad range of discipline options for its size. The four-year programme allows students to lay firm foundations in the first two years, with wide-ranging modules on medieval and modern history, Irish, European, American, environmental and global history, as well as on historical methods and approaches. The final two years of the programme allow students the chance to study several specialist modules in-depth and to undertake independent research on a subject of their own choice. The breadth and depth of study in this programme is unique in Ireland and has few rivals internationally.

    Trinity is a leading university internationally for the study of History. Our staff has published extensively in the fields of Irish, British, European and American history. We take special pride in the small-group teaching which characterises the final two years of study in particular, and for being a department which places student learning at the centre of its values.


    The pathways available are Single Honours, Major with Minor and Joint Honours.

    Graduate skills and career opportunities

    Over many decades History graduates (Single Honours and Joint Honours) have pursued successful careers in a wide range of areas. These include: accountancy, advertising, banking, broadcasting, arts and heritage administration, human resources, journalism, law, public administration, public relations, management, marketing, publishing and teaching. Our graduates work for organisations such as the Irish Times, the Law Society of Ireland, Oxfam, IBEC, the American Chamber of Commerce, RTÉ, Google, the United Nations and Accenture. The diversity of careers reflects the wide array of skills amassed by students undertaking a degree in History at Trinity.

      Your degree and what you’ll study

      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.

      First and second years

      The first and second years provide 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 in which historians engage. Teaching is not only in lectures but in small group tutorials. All students will have an opportunity to undertake a group project in their second year, undertaking research as a team. 

      Single Honours students take modules in Medieval and Early Modern Irish and European history in their first year, as well as modules to introduce the methods and approaches historians use in their studies.

      In their second year, students take modules in Modern Irish and Modern European History, in U.S. History and in Global History.

      They also take modules exploring how history has been interpreted and presented, not just by professional historians but within popular culture, and they take part in a year-long small group project. Joint Honours students also take part in the group project in second year, and select from the period-specific modules to make up the History component of their studies.

      Third and fourth years

      The third and fourth years offer a wide range of choice in more specialist modules, all taught by staff with expertise in that field.

      There is the opportunity to concentrate on those parts of history which interest you most in the final year Capstone project, an independent project which many students find the most rewarding part of their degree programme.

      We offer a range of topics within three different categories:

      List I (Special Subject) modules: Involve intensive research and writing based on primary sources. Some examples include:

      • Medieval Marriage.
      • Europe Reformed, 1540-1600.
      • American Politics and Culture, 1939-1989.
      • Ireland's Colonial Legacy.
      • China 1911-1949.
      • The French Revolution, 1789-1799.

      List II modules are broader thematic and analytical. Some will have a particular focus on historiography; on how different historians have tried to understand a period or problem. Some examples include:

      • Race and Ethnicity in American thought since 1940.
      • Atlantic Island: Eighteenth-Century Ireland in Oceanic Perspective.
      • Global Crisis: Environmental Disasters in World History.
      • German Empires at War, 1914-1945.
      • The Troubles, 1968-1998; From Civil Rights to the Good Friday Agreement.

      List III modules focus on one particular text or moment. Some examples include: 

      • Reading Marx.
      • The Repatriation of Roger Casement.
      • Froissart, Chivalry, and Warfare.

      Third year students also take two linked research methods module that focus specifically on concepts and theories in historiography and the preparation of a research proposal, which may be used as the basis for a dissertation in the fourth year. 

      In any given year there will be a variety of types of history on offer—including political, social, cultural, environmental or intellectual history—ranging in time from Early Medieval Ireland to the post-1945 world, and including Irish, European, American and Asian history modules.

      Students are assessed through both examinations and coursework in each year of the programme. In the third and fourth year the balance is approximately 50% exams and 50% continuous assessment.

      There are QQI/FET routes available for this course. Please see www.cao.ie for details.

      Click here for further information on modules/subject.

      Study abroad

      The Department of History has Erasmus exchange agreements with a wide range of European universities including the Sorbonne (Paris), the University of Vienna and Charles University in Prague. The Department also has an exchange agreement with the University of Tokyo, and students of History can also arrange for a year abroad in other countries, notably the USA., Australia and Canada, where some recent examples would include the University of California, the University of Sydney or McGill University (Montreal). For more information on study abroad destinations and requirements visit: www.tcd.ie/study/study-abroad

      Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University Dual B.A. Programme

      History is also available within the Dual B.A. Programme between Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University. Please note: The Dual B.A. is only open to Single Honours students. Joint Honours students cannot apply to the Dual B.A.. For more details, see https://tcd.gs.columbia.edu/

      Applicants to the Dual BA Programme must apply by 2nd January 2024 for September 2024 entry. The admissions process includes a review of the applicant’s academic history, letters of recommendation, an essay, and an interview conducted in English. Standardized test scores (SAT/ACT) can be submitted but are not required for 2024 entry. Applications are reviewed by a joint committee with representatives from both Institutions. EU applicants to the Dual BA Programme must also apply to and receive an offer from their chosen programme at Trinity through the Central Applications Office (CAO)

      Studying History at Trinity

      This is a presentation by Ruth Mazo Karras giving an outline of the History courses in Trinity College Dublin.

      Course Details


      B.A. Honours Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 8)

      CAO Information

      CAO Points 541 (2023) CAO Code TR003

      Number of Places

      39 Places
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      Admission Requirements

      Course Fees

      Click here for a full list of undergraduate fees


      To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

      EU Applicants

      Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO.

        Non-EU Applicants

        Advanced Entry Applications

        Read the information about how to apply for Advanced Entry, then select the link below to apply.

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