History Hub


Connecting past and present

UCD’s Lifelong Learning programme offers all adult learners the opportunity to explore history courses of their choice, without the pressure of an examination.

Open and Lifelong Learning at UCD School of History

UCD offers a variety of study options and entry pathways, ranging from full-time degrees to short-term courses for pure interest.

Open Learning is a flexible way of studying history part-time at UCD.

Lifelong Learning offers all adult learners the opportunity to explore history, and many other subjects of their choice, without the pressure of an examination.

For 2022 / 2023 UCD School of History has a range of course options available as part of the Open Learning and Lifelong Learning programmes.

Lifelong Learning

UCD’s Lifelong Learning Programme is a series of specific interest courses that are participative, engaging, and facilitated by experts in their field. The courses are open to all adult learners and provide a unique opportunity to explore a subject without examinations.
Open and Lifelong Learning

Video: Why is Lifelong Learning important?

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The Lifelong Learning options from UCD School of History for autumn 2023 and spring 2024 will be available soon.

A History of Yugoslavia

This course examines Yugoslavian history from the perspective of the social, economic, and intellectual changes that affected Europe at the end of the twentieth century. Its turbulent history made it a byword for supposed Balkan barbarity, backwardness, and foreignness. Yet, questions about its violent demise should not reflect stereotypes and prejudices. Attention should focus instead on the role played by nationalism, religion, and cultural ‘otherness’ in the founding, survival, and ultimate break up of this multinational state.

Tutor: Dr Chiara Tedaldi

Location: Online

Start date: 31 January 2024

Fee: €185.

Book here.

Land and the Irish, 1741-1939

‘Land and the Irish, 1741-1939’ explores two centuries of conflict and upheaval in rural Ireland as tenants confronted their landlords—and regularly engaged in vicious internecine struggles with each other—in a series of agrarian insurgencies that were often bloodier and of more consequence than the much vaunted nationalist uprisings of the same period.

Tutor: Dr Myles Dungan

Location: National Library of Ireland

Start date: 16 April

Fee: €185.

Book here.

Kyiv and the Kingdom of the Rus

Islamic travellers in the medieval period encountered tall and fair-haired northerners along the eastern European riverine routes, they called them al-Madjus: ‘fire worshipers’ – a term for heathen. In these accounts the northerners are no longer Vikings but have morphed seamlessly into the Rus. This is the group we will follow. We will look at the term itself, which is intricately linked with modern-day politics. The question of whether the Vikings are the Rus is of national importance in eastern Europe and echoes in the current war in Ukraine. We will examine the relationship of Rus to the Byzantium world and the arrival of Christianity. The creation of this empire, part of European Christendom, has wide and lasting repercussions. Some of its rulers, such as Olga of Kyiv, wife of Prince Igor, son of the legendary Rurik, one of the three brothers who first settled in this region, features in literature, film, games and the contemporary writings. Our chief source is the Russian Primary Chronicle, it portrays Empress Olga of Kyiv as a vicious and devious ruler – indicating no doubt that she was a strong, clever ruler who knew her own mind!

Tutor: Dr Linda Doran

Location: Belfield

Start date: 1 February 2024

Fee: €185.

Book here.

*There will be a free taster lecture for this course on 18 January 2024. Book here.

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

For registration and fee details go to the UCD ALL website, call 01 7167123 or email: all@ucd.ie

The Decolonisation of Africa since 1945: An Introduction

This course aims to introduce students to the history of the decolonisation of Africa after World War II. We will analyse what caused the break-up of the long-established empires such as the British and French and in doing so will explore factors such as economic forces, independence movements and international pressures. We will also consider how African countries gained their independence and the obstacles their leaders faced in building their new nations. We will discuss how the leaders of the newly independent countries addressed the political, economic, and social challenges facing them as they set about building their nation. Finally, we will assess the ways African countries continue to experience the legacy of colonialism and decolonisation. The course does not presuppose an in-depth knowledge of the history of Africa or decolonisation.

Tutor: Dr Sarah Feehan

Location: Belfield

Start date: 29 January 2024

Fee: €160.

Book here.

*There will be a free taster lecture for this course entitled ‘Why did the British Empire End?’ on 18 January 2024. Book here.

Open and Lifelong Learning

Open Learning at UCD

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Open Learning

Open Learning means you can fit university around your life. Whether you’re looking to progress your career, or you’ve just finished school and wondering if university is for you, Open Learning fits around your schedule and gives you all the benefits of being a full-time student, without the full-time commitment.

Open Learning allows you to select the modules you wish to study, set the pace of your study, and whether you undertake the module assessment.

The School of History at UCD is the perfect environment for anyone who has a love of history.

The modules – all taught by experts in their field who bring their new research to the classroom – create for everyone the opportunity to explore the past. Sometimes this can mean looking afresh at what might appear to be familiar subjects and on other occasions it means investigating entirely new areas of study. It is this willingness to embrace new ideas and new approaches that defines the School of History.

The details of the Open Learning modules at UCD School of History for 2023 / 2024 are now available.

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Cover of Spiritual Wounds by Siobhra Aiken.
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In this episode, a recording of a paper – ‘”Éire Saor agus Gaelach?”: The Military Service Pensions Collection and the Irish language’ – by Dr Síobhra Aiken from Queen’s University Belfast. The paper was part of UCD School of History’s Mícheál Ó Cléirigh seminar series, in collaboration with the UCD Decade of Centenaries project ‘Everyday Life In The Irish Revolution’ which is run by UCD’s Dr Fionnuala Walsh. Dr Aiken’s talk, which was recorded on November 10 2023, was entitled: ‘”Éire Saor agus Gaelach?”: The Military Service Pensions Collection and the Irish language’.

women and the Irish constitution roundtable at UCD
Women and the Irish Constitution: a roundtable discussion

‘Women and the Irish Constitution: a roundtable discussion’ took place on 13 February 2024 in UCD Humanities Institute. The panel included contributions from Dr Mary McAuliffe (UCD, chair) Prof. Caitriona Beaumont (London South Bank University), Associate Professor Jennifer Redmond (Maynooth University), Orla O’Connor (National Women’s Council), Prof. Lindsey Earner Byrne (Trinity College Dublin) and the Sutherland School of Law Poet in Residence, Julie Morrissy.

Barracks of Ireland website
‘Our shared built military heritage: the online mapping, inventorying and recording of the army barracks of Ireland, 1690-1921

Digital Cultures is one of the research themes for the UCD College of Arts and Humanities Research Strategy for 2020-2024. The strategy brings together and supports the combined research excellence from across the College’s Schools, Institutes, Centres and subject disciplines. As part of the Digital Cultures theme of the strategy, Dr Charles Ivar McGrath (UCD) and Dr Suzanne Forbes (Open University) gave a presentation entitled ‘Our shared built military heritage: the online mapping, inventorying and recording of the army barracks of Ireland, 1690-1921’. The presentation took place in January 2024 and focused on their work on the Army Barracks of Ireland project.

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