Study History at UCD

This year UCD School of History has again made places on a number of its courses available to the public through the Open Learning programme.

Open and Lifelong Learning at UCD

UCD Open Learning is an innovative and unique approach to part-time study in UCD. You can choose from a wide range of undergraduate modules for either audit or credit. There are no entry requirements to the programme – you just need to find a module or modules that interest you and register!

The School of History at UCD is the perfect environment for anyone who has a love of history. The School is a vibrant, welcoming centre for the study of history. The range and stimulating nature of the curriculum covers both Irish and non-Irish history, from the dawn of the medieval era to the contemporary world in a new millennium.

This year UCD School of History has Open Learning places available across a wide range of courses. See below for more information on Open Learning modules.

Lifelong Learning at the NLI and dlr Lexicon

UCD also offers Lifelong Learning courses in history in partnership with the National Library of Ireland and dlr Lexicon in Dún Laoghaire. Lifelong Learning courses are part-time specific interest courses that are participative, engaging and facilitated by experts in their field. The courses are open to all and provide a chance to explore a subject without concerns about assessment. Lifelong Learning courses beginning early in 2018 include:

Click here for more information on the Lifelong Learning history courses available at the NLI.

Open Learning in 2018

In 2018 UCD School of History will be offering the following Open Learning modules:

Semester II (January 2018)

Those who register for Open Learning modules will receive a UCD student card and have access to all UCD facilities including the James Joyce Library. For registration and fee details go to www.ucd.ie/all, call 01 7167123 or email: adult.education@ucd.ie

Semester 2 Modules (beginning 22 January, 2018)


HIS21070 - Australian History (Audit / Credit)

This module surveys the history of Australia since colonisation, and considers how key moments in Australian history have been remembered and debated in the public domain. Drawing upon contemporary commemoration, memorial and museum practices, its themes include: the history and memory of early European exploration and colonisation; the agency of indigenous people in national history; the frontier experience and race relations; the transition from self-governing colonies to federated nationhood; histories of migration; experiences of war; the shift to multiculturalism; and the changing nature of Australian identity in a globalised world. In doing so, it will compare representations of Australian history with other nations of the Anglo settler world, and consider some of the ways in which historical imagination is shaped both within and beyond Australia.

HIS21080 - British Empire, 1495-1945 (Audit / Credit)

ivar-mcgrath_112This module will investigate the origins and evolution of the British empire, from the early adventurers’ journeys of exploration in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to the zenith of British dominion over large areas of the globe in the early twentieth century. Throughout the module, emphasis will be placed on themes such as exploration, trade, slavery, war, humanitarianism, and culture and cultural exchange in relation to the emergence and expansion of the empire.

Issues regarding the relationship between the coloniser and the colonised and the centre and periphery will be explored, along with examination of the various ways in which the empire was represented through media such as print, art, cartography, and music.

HIS32200 - Colonial Latin America, 1492-1898 (Audit / Credit)

Edward CollinsThis module examines the history of Colonial Latin America from the Columbian discovery of the New World in 1492 to the end of Spanish dominion in the Americas in 1898. It provides an outline of both the Portuguese and Spanish imperial enterprises from the earliest explorations to the establishment of colonial societies wholly different from their Spanish and Portuguese counterparts.

While this course is chronological, it also approaches the subject thematically, including: early explorations, indigenous America, representations of America in Europe, slavery, mining, trade, colonial society, and the independence movements of the nineteenth century.

HIS21110 - Conflict in Modern Europe (Audit / Credit)

This module will cover a number of aspects of conflict in Europe during the Twentieth century. It will examine total war in the form of the two major conflicts of 1914-18 and 1939-45, but will also take in case studies of civil war, small wars and the Cold War. These case studies will include the Spanish Civil War, the Northern Ireland conflict and the Yugoslav wars. Experiences of the Cold War will be covered, looking at both sides of the Iron Curtain. We will look not just at regular and irregular warfare but protest movements and state responses to communal violence. Finally, the module will evaluate the consequences of the formation of international institutions such as the European Union and consider their attempts to alleviate conflict in contemporary Europe.

HIS20970 - Early Medieval Ireland: Culture, Society and Politics  (Audit / Credit)

Elva JohnstonIreland fully entered recorded history with the arrival of Christianity in the fourth and fifth centuries AD. Its culture was rooted in the native past as well as in contemporary Europe. These two influences, the old and the new, were creatively combined. The Irish developed a unique form of kingship and a complex social system. Their achievements in literature, art and religion were recognised across Western Europe, to such an extent that Ireland became known as the Island of Saints and Scholars.

This module will introduce students to the history of Ireland between AD 400-1200. It will focus, in particular, on conversion to Christianity, changes in Irish kingship, the evolution of the Church and the impact of the Vikings. It will provide a framework through which the earliest years of Irish history can be understood.

HIS10320 - From Union to Bailout: Imagining Ireland, 1800 – Present (Audit / Credit)

Susannah RiordanThis course takes students through two centuries of modern Irish history, examining key events, themes and milestones from the Act of Union between Britain and Ireland in 1800 to the collapse of the Irish economy in the early twenty-first century.

It covers political, social, economic and cultural dimensions of Irish history during tumultuous times, the experience of Anglo-Irish relations, Catholic emancipation, famine, the evolution of Irish nationalism and unionism, the land war, the revolutionary upheavals of the early twentieth century, the impact of partition, the quest for sovereignty in the Free State, the experience of life in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and continuity and change in the latter part of the twentieth century.

HIS20780 - History of Science (Audit / Credit)

Edward CollinsThis module provides a broad outline of the history of science, from ancient times to the present, and incorporates a number of fields of study that we today consider to be ‘scientific’. It traces a line from the earliest conceptions of the universe to the evolving views of mankind’s relationship with his world, through the Scientific Revolution to current and emerging scientific theories that challenge our very notions of reality itself. The course addresses the question of what counts as science, and whether this has changed over time. What, for example, would the idea of ‘science’ or ‘scientific endeavour’ have meant to the earliest geographers, zoologists or mathematicians? What line divides early-modern astronomical navigation from astrology? What is a ‘scientific revolution’? How does the history of science confirm or challenge our ideas of historical narratives?

HIS10310 - Ireland’s English Centuries (Audit Credit)

In 1460 Ireland was a patchwork of lordships including an English Pale, by 1800 the country was poised to enter a United Kingdom with England and Scotland. In 1460, all Irish people shared the common religion of Western Europe, by 1800 three groups – Catholics, Protestants and Dissenters dominated. In 1460, only a tiny number did not speak Irish, by 1800 English was spoken by well over half the population. During these 340 years Ireland experienced massive transfers of land-holding, invasions, bitter civil war and a huge expansion of population. This module explains the complex blend of identities, allegiances and social changes that shaped the past and continue to shape the Irish present.

HIS20960 - The Irish Experience (Audit / Credit)

Lindsey-Earner-ByrneThis module explores the forces which shaped Irish society in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from the perspective of ordinary lives and everyday experiences, experiences of sickness and health, love and marriage, birth and death, getting and spending.

The topics examined will include population increase and decline – including the impact of emigration and disease – the revolution in communications, changes in religious and medical practices, and debates on child and maternal welfare.

The Irish case will be situated within broader European and British trends.

HIS20470 - Modern America (Audit / Credit)

This course will survey the evolution of the United States from the consolidation of American independence until the twentieth century. It will address issues such as the evolution of party politics, the opening up of the west, the lead-up to the Civil War and the various platforms of reform that were promoted at popular level during the nineteenth century. The post-civil war lectures will address the impact of Emancipation as well as the impact of industrialisation and the ‘new’ immigration and the background to US involvement in the two world wars of the twentieth century.

2DSCY10050 - War: Ancient and Modern (Discovery Module) (Audit / Credit)

Robert GerwarthWar is as old as mankind, but it has changed its character over the centuries. This module will introduce students to the changing character of war from ancient times to the present, highlighting the latest research results on a large variety of conflicts and themes: wars, piracy and civil wars in the ancient world, the Viking conquests in Europe, the Crusades, the Wars of Religion, the Napoleonic Wars of the 19th century and the American Civil War to the total wars of the 20th century. The module takes an inter-disciplinary perspective on war, combining insights from history, classics, politics , medicine and sociology. Together, faculty from these diverse disciplines will introduce some of the latest cutting edge research on violence and gender, medical responses to the outbreaks of war and the ‘new wars’ on terror in today’s Middle East.

Discovery modules are designed to capture the strength of approaching issues from more than one perspective and so offer a unique learning opportunity to students. Each module is taught by experts from more than one school and draws on cutting-edge research to consider an issue of historical or current global significance.

More Information

Open Learning gives adult learners the opportunity to study a range of undergraduate modules at UCD. There are no entry requirements and these courses are open to everyone. Learners can take any combination of modules for interest only (audit) or complete the course assessments (credit).

Go to www.ucd.ie/all/study for more information on UCD Access and Lifelong Learning