The M.Phil. course in Public History and Cultural Heritage is designed to provide students with a rigorous grounding in public history and to prepare high-calibre graduates in a unique and thorough fashion for the management of cultural heritage. We define public history and cultural heritage broadly. The course involves analysis of cultural memory, its construction, reception and loss; and study of the public status and consumption of history in modern society. Political issues surrounding public commemoration and sites of memory are examined and the role of museums, galleries and the media in shaping public perceptions of the past is considered. The course also surveys the more concrete questions involved in the conservation, presentation and communication of the physical heritage of past cultures, particularly where interpretation and meaning are contested.
The course is taught in collaboration with the leading cultural institutions located in Dublin and several organisations offer internships to students. In recent years participating bodies have included Dublin City Gallery; Dublin City Library and Archive; Glasnevin Trust; Hugh Lane Gallery; The Little Museum of Dublin; Marshs Library; the National Gallery of Ireland; the National Library of Ireland; the National Museum of Ireland; and St Patricks Cathedral.