Course Details

Course Code(s):
Course Start Date:
1 Year Full Time
Faculty: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Course Type: Taught
Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Name: Department of History
Email: Telephone: +353 61 202280
Name: Dr Aaron Donaghy
Address: Department of History Email:
Name: Dr Ruan O’Donnell
Address: Department of History Email:

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Brief Description

This one-year MA programme explores Irish and international conflict during the twentieth century—the most violent period in recorded history. Wars have often changed the course of human history, opening up pathways into the future and closing down others. Examining the history of conflict and its impact on society enables us to better understand the world we live in today. Part of the course will also be devoted to the study of conflict resolution, examining the history of diplomacy and negotiation between states. Students will learn about the different ways that historians have approached the study of war and peace, the various sources at their disposal, and the theoretical issues arising within the field. Topics covered on the programme include the Cold War, the two World Wars, and the Northern Ireland “Troubles”—the longest and most serious insurgency in post-1945 Western Europe.

During the course of the programme, students develop advanced skills in research, analysis, presentation, and debate, which will stand to them post-graduation. They will learn the scholarly craft and research a topic of their own choice, working with original archival material. This MA programme serves as an ideal route to doctoral research and a pathway to exciting careers in academia, education, foreign affairs, and the archival and library sectors, among others.

This history master’s degree is designed to help you 

-Acquire knowledge of substantive areas of modern Irish and international conflict history; 

-Develop an understanding of the different ways that historians have approached the study of war and peace, and the theoretical issues which arise within the field; 

-Learn about the wide range of primary sources available for advanced historical research, and acquire the ability to use archival findings to construct their own arguments and interpretations; 

-Acquire the necessary skills to present historical research to a publication standard, and to conduct research at a doctoral level 

MA Irish and Global Conflict History Brochure

Autumn Semester 

Spring Semester 

Summer Semester

HI6793 The Global Cold War (9 ECTS) 

HI6002  MA History Research Seminar (9 ECTS) 

HI6795 Dissertation (circa 15,000 - 20,000 words) (30 ECTS) 

HI6131  Concepts and Methods (9 ECTS) 

HI6302 The Irish Conflict, 1948-1998 (9 ECTS) 


HI6794 Exploring Legacies of Conflict (9 ECTS) 

HI6222 Directed Reading I (9 ECTS) 


HI6211 Historical Research and Practice I (3 ECTS) 

HI6312 Historical Research in Practice II (3 EECTS) 


*Please note: modules listed in the table above are subject to change 

Sample Modules

HI4763 The Global Cold War

This module is aimed toward challenging students to think critically about global conflict in the post-1945 era. It focuses on the Cold War, which dominated international life in the second half of the twentieth century. While an uneasy peace hung over much of Europe, proxy conflicts and wars of national liberation raged across the Global South, notably in Asia (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan). There will be a large emphasis on tackling the different ways that historians have interpreted the conflict, the role played by nuclear weapons, and how the Cold War intersected with decolonization. However, students will have the opportunity to explore primary sources, too, in order to form their own assessments and arguments. Part of the course will be devoted to the study of conflict resolution, examining the history of diplomacy, and negotiation between states. Case studies will include the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, and the peaceful resolution of the Cold War in the late 1980s.

HI6302 The “Long War” in Ireland, 1968-98

This module will examine the essential dynamics of the longest and most serious insurgency in post-World War Two Western Europe. Account will be taken of the origins of the conflict and the perspectives of the primary antagonists. This will entail exploring such themes as the nature and development of the Republican Movement in Ireland and abroad; civil rights agitation in context; constitutional opportunities and challenges; counterinsurgency; Ireland and the Cold War and related matters. Irish, British and North American primary sources, both printed and archival, will be examined to gain insights into key events of the period not least the Burntollet march, Internment without trial, 'Bloody Sunday': Widgery and Saville reports, Sunningdale Agreement, Ulsterization', Hunger strikes, 'The American Connection', abstentionism and the rise of Sinn Fein, 'Armed Struggle', Collusion, Section 31 and the 'Broadcast Ban', Peace Processes and the Good Friday Agreement. Account will be taken of the perspectives of the Irish, British and American governments, as well as transnational parties such as the European Court of Human Rights.

HI6131 Concepts and Methods

This module introduces students to the varied and changing approaches to historical research. It will equip students with the intellectual and practical skills needed to conduct their own research, in particular: designing a dissertation topic; identifying key research questions; organizing and interpreting research material; negotiating primary source collections; and applying relevant conceptual frameworks in your analysis. The module will include an archival training workshop at the UL Special Collections in the Glucksman Library.

In order to approach these generic historical skills, the module focuses on the twentieth century, a period with a rich and deeply contested history. It examines different historical approaches to the study of international relations, the utility of primary sources, and will explore some of the major historiographical debates—such as the origins of the First and Second World Wars, the Treaty of Versailles, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Topics for discussion will include the relationship between history and memory, objectivity and bias, causation, and how structural forces and human agency shape events. The objective is to understand different methodologies to study the past, to examine how historiographies have changed, and to think about the value of methodology in developing your own research agendas.

HI6794 Exploring Legacies of Conflict

The aim of the module is to provide an experiential, as well as focussed, dimension to the MA in Irish and Global Conflict History. Students will be guided in accessing and assessing significant physical, graphic and interpretive representations of warfare in modern Irish and International history. We will visit key sites of conflict and specialized museums, archives, and memorials, for an immersive process of field research and informed reflection. This will enhance the ability of students to gain a deeper knowledge of complicated subject matter—a critical skill set of an advanced postgraduate scholar.


A primary degree in which history is a constituent subject, awarded with first or second-class honours (Level 8 - National Qualifications Authority of Ireland). Applicants who do not meet those criteria but who have equivalent academic qualifications may be considered. Applicants may be invited for interview. Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of either prior successful completion of a degree qualification taught through the medium of English or evidence of English language qualification(s). 

What to Include with your Application

  • Qualification transcripts and certificates
  • A copy of your birth certificate/passport (showing your legal name)
  • If your qualifications have been obtained in a country where English is an official language this will suffice
  • If this is not available, the following additional documents must be provided:
    • English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts
    • English language competency certificate

    For more information Click Here

EU - €6,802

Non- EU - €16,902

Further information on fees and payment of fees is available from the Student Fees Office website. All fee related queries should be directed to the Student Fees Office (Phone: +353 61 213 007 or email

Please click here for information on funding and scholarships.

This history masters programme will provide an attractive opportunity for graduates considering a career—whether in higher education, teaching in secondary or primary level, archival or library sectors, foreign affairs or international organizations—that requires or benefits from postgraduate research experience in conflict history. 

Irish & Global Conflict History


Still Curious?

The team from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences host subject webinar and 1:1 calls to support future students on their journey to Stay Curious. If you would like to learn more or ask questions at an online information session, click below.