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M.Phil in Modern Irish History

Republican Sinn Féin sticker, Dophin Avenue, Dublin 8. The party opposes the historic Irish Good Friday Agreement of 1998 (image © Eunan O'Halpin, 2013)

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Carole Holohan

M.Phil. in Modern Irish History Course Handbook - Please note that module choices change from year to year

M.Phil in Modern Irish History Brochure

Purpose and organisation of the M.Phil in Modern Irish History

The M.Phil in Modern Irish History programme is designed to provide students with knowledge of chosen areas of modern Irish history, and to develop generic research and organisational skills.

Since the programme's inception in 2005/6, our graduates have followed diverse career paths in the worlds of education, of business, of scholarship, of public service, and of the law.

The programme is open to well-qualified 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 of other languages to explore relevant sources and texts.

In addition to courses which develop students' contextual knowledge of Irish history and their critical, organisational, research and presentational skills, students take a special subject module in each semester. The special subject modules enable students to engage intensively with primary sources as well as with contemporary historical debates on the issues and processes under investigation.

In the course of their studies, M.Phil in Modern Irish History students will research not only in Trinity College Library, but in various archives across Ireland locating and exploring relevant primary sources which they will use both in essays, and in their dissertations. Depending on their research topics they may also visit foreign archives, and may make judicious use of digitally-provided research materials accessible via the Web. M.Phil in Modern Irish History students also have the option of undergoing an archival placement, where they can gain practical experience in organising and caring for collections of historical materials in a professional environment.

Following completion of their course work, M.Phil in Modern Irish History students undertake a research dissertation on a Modern Irish History topic of their choice, during which they receive individual guidance and feedback from appropriate members of the Department of History.

The M.Phil in Modern Irish History and the wider academic environment

Students taking the M.Phil in Modern Irish History in Trinity College join a vibrant academic community, interacting with people on other Masters programmes, with PhD students, and with early career researchers as well as established faculty in the School of Histories and Humanities. M.Phil in Modern Irish History students attend the four departmental History seminars, where new research by Irish and international historians is presented, analysed and debated. The Research Seminar in Contemporary Irish History also attracts former activists, retired officials, and politicians with direct experience of issues and themes under discussion. It thus enables the interchange of ideas and experience with postgraduate students, often facilitating individuals' research activities.

M.Phil in Modern Irish History students may also participate and assist in the presentation of various academic conferences and other events which are run each year by the department's Research Centres.

module students

April 2013: M.Phil module H7123 Exploring the Irish Civil War 1922-2013 (this group includes students from Britain, Denmark, the United States, China, and Canada)

Who studies for the M.Phil in Modern Irish History?

Since its inception in 2005, the M.Phil in Modern Irish History has attracted students from across the world. This mix of students ensures that M.Phil students explore Irish history from a wide variety of perspectives and experience. About a quarter of M.Phil graduates have gone on to doctoral studies and research careers in Ireland, Europe or North America, others have embarked on further professional training as lawyers, teachers, librarians, counsellors and archivists, some are now public servants, and some work in business and service industries.

Click here to hear from some of our recent graduates

Awards and Scholarships

Government of Ireland International Education Scholarships are awarded to high calibre students from non-EEA countries to study in Ireland for a period of one year. They provide a €10,000 stipend towards living costs and Trinity provides a full fee-waiver to recipients for one year. Further information is available here

All applicants will automatically be considered for the following internal awards:

  1. The Constantia Maxwell Faculty Studentship, with a value of 3000 euro, is usually offered to a student in any of the School's MPhil programmes.
  2. The School of Histories and Humanities also offers one bursary of 1000 euro, to be deducted from the course fees, for each of its MPhil programmes.

Awards will be made on academic merit. All completed applications with an unconditional offer by the deadline of June 30th will be considered for the internal awards.


Applications should be made online through Up to date information on fees is provided on the Academic Registry website.