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This comprehensive programme is exceptionally flexible and customisable. It offers a work placement, explores Public History and grants the freedom to choose between four pillars (Medieval and Renaissance, Media, Irish and International/European History).

One of the programme’s qualities is its integrated skills training, in particular the value it places on cultivating the contribution of historical perspectives and methods for contemporary life and work. Students gain practical experience and skills by opting for a placement where historical and transferable skills are utilised.

The MA consciously builds on links with the media, voluntary organisations, the heritage industry, government and business highlighting the paths available to graduates.

The programme will allow you to develop your research ability by working on a dissertation reflecting your interests and you will be expertly supervised by leading scholars. The path to a career in historical research and academia is assisted.

The taught part of the programme takes place from September to March approximately. The programme comprises a judicious blend of seminars, lectures, directed study, consultations and self-directed study. There is an inherent flexibility around inquiry-led components and ample time and space is timetabled to allow research and critical reflection. Most weeks, students will have 15 -18 hours of reading in addition to assignments. Class contact hours vary depending on module choice but usually range from five to six hours per week.

Preparation for the research part of the programme happens throughout the year (identifying a suitable research topic, liaising with an appropriate supervisor etc.) and the dissertation completion phase occurs between April and August approximately.

Entry requirements

2016 Entry Requirements: To be considered for admission to the MA in History programme, an applicant will normally possess a primary degree result of Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2H1) primary degree (or equivalent) in History, or a cognate/suitable subject (normally in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences or Law). For North American students a cumulative GPA of 3.3 is normal. But candidates possessing less than a 2H1 and a GPA of 3.3 will also be considered (see detailed entry requirements below).

To be considered for admission to the MA in History programme, an applicant will normally possess a primary degree result of Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2H1) primary degree (or equivalent) in History, or a cognate/suitable subject (normally in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences or Law). For North American students a cumulative GPA of 3.3 is normal.

Candidates who hold a primary degree in History or a cognate/suitable subject with a Second Class Honours Grade II (2H2) will also be considered (normally in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences or Law), as will those with a GPA between 2.7 and 3.2. These applicants will be requested to provide additional information, documentation, samples of work and/or be interviewed by a Selection Committee.

In exceptional circumstances, professional experience in a relevant and related field (e.g. working in publishing, journalism, the heritage industry, archives etc.) may be accepted as compensating for the absence of an undergraduate degree awarded at a grade lower than 2H2. Admission of such applicants will be subject to the approval of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.

All applicants whose first language is not English are required to sit either an IELTS test or a recognised equivalent test. The minimum requirement is an IELTS score of 6.5, with no individual section lower than 5.5. Further information on English language requirements can be found at

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please see course webpage (link below) to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Careers or further progression

What can I do after I graduate with an MA in History?

Graduates of History can be assured that the past record of their predecessors in gaining employment is second to none. UCC’s School of History is committed to delivering degrees designed to develop students’ skills to respond effectively to the demands of the world of work.

The careers and workplace prospects for History graduates are excellent, which reflects the wide applicability of the discipline’s skills and its high standards. Contrary to popular perceptions, an MA in History does not necessarily lead to employment in the teaching profession, academia, libraries, research, archives, and so forth. It could do so, but the versatility of History graduates is well-known.

Past MA graduates work in all walks of life nationally and across the globe, not least in government, multinational firms and international organisations. Many have risen to positions of national and international responsibility and influence (entrepreneurs, top-level management, marketing managers, advertising, ambassadors, writers, politicians, museum directors, professors, technologists, think tanks etc.).

Why? The innovative teaching and assessment regime offered by the School instils practical transferable skills (e.g. web displays, blogging, report writing, presentations, portfolios) supplementing the core strengths of the discipline (e.g. analysis, source criticism, inquiry driven, meticulousness, information management, synthesis, clarity, breadth and depth of perspectives).

Depending on individual choice, other skills may be cultivated such as conference planning and delivery, event planning, financial management, teambuilding, leadership, negotiation, representation of collective interests etc. Optional engagement with the History Postgraduate Association, the Historical Society and School events (seminars, conferences, symposia) add additional competences.

Occupations associated with an MA in History?

Graduates of the School of History at UCC have a strong record of success in:
◾Broadcasting and the media
◾Central and local government (Ireland, the UK and Europe)
◾Civil Service (Ireland, the UK and Europe) and Public Service
◾Diplomacy and statecraft (Department of Foreign Affairs)
◾Heritage and museums
◾International and regional organisations (UN, EU etc.)
◾Librarianship, archives and information management
◾Non-governmental organisations
◾Politics (local, national and European)
◾Policy research and formulation
◾Public relations
◾Teaching and universities (Ireland and the world)

However, many of the School’s graduates succeed in other fields too:
◾Conference and exhibition managers and organisers
◾Business and entrepreneurship
◾Customer service occupations
◾Event planning and delivery
◾Marketing and sales professionals
◾University management and administration (in Ireland, UK, USA etc.)

Many have progressed to successful PhD study in all areas of History becoming tenured university lecturers and researchers in Ireland, the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Europe and elsewhere.

What are our graduates doing?

Janine Hildebrandt specialised in Medieval History and is now permanently employed in project management in Germany.

Katriona Burke specialised in Medieval History and now works with the Office of Public Works in Ireland.

Fiona McCarthy who worked in Medieval History is now a second-level teacher. There are many examples of this career path.

Paul Flynn, who studied International Relations, now works in the British Cabinet Office in London.

Several MAs work in various government departments including in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Finance and Department of Agriculture.

Many who studied media history at MA level are involved in the broadcasting and media professions in various capacities (editing of RTÉ Radio 1 programme ‘The Media Show’, programme director of Cork Film Festival, sub-editor of The Cork Independent, journalism, TV researcher, book editor).

Numerous MA holders have won Irish Research Council Government of Ireland PhD Scholarships and have gone on to complete PhDs at UCC, or elsewhere in Ireland, the UK and the US. Several have proceeded to academic careers. For instance, Tomás O’Sullivan worked on Early Christian Ireland, and following a PhD, is now a professor at the University of St. Louis. Another, Dr. Caroline Connolly, was a lecturer in the University of Kent but has now moved to lecture in the Communications Department of Dublin City University.

Placement and Study Abroad Information
Placement is an optional part of the programme. Graduates taking up this route will be offered access to one-to-one consultation, workshops and advice regarding job placement and internship options.

Further enquiries

Programme Coordinator Name: Dr Mervyn O’Driscoll
Email Address:
Telephone: 00 353 21 490 3477/2755
Address: 2 Carrigside, School of History, UCC


Dr. Andrew McCarthy
School of History, UCC
Email Address:
Telephone: 00 353 21 490 3584/2755

School Administrators
Deirdre O'Sullivan/Geraldine McAllister,
School of History,
University College Cork
Tel. 00 353 21 4902755

Subjects taught

This 12-month course consists of two parts – a six-month taught component, which overlaps with an ongoing research phase, culminating in a 20,000 word dissertation.

In part one, students take the following compulsory modules:

HI6075 Making History Public
HI6076 Changing Directions in History: Transformative Historians and their Work

Students also take 20 credits of their choice from one of the following streams:

Medieval and Renaissance History
HI6088 Historical Contexts for Medievalists (5 credits)
HI6089 Insular Encounters with the Wider World (5 credits)
HI6090 The Insular World in Text and Image (10 credits)
HI6077 The Classical Revival 1250-1500 (5 credits)
HI6078 New Worlds, Ancient Texts (5 credits)

Modern Ireland
HI6074 Debates in the Irish Revolution (10 credits)
HI6087 Healthcare in Ireland, 1750-present (10 credits)
HI6082 Female Activism and Feminism in Ireland, c. 1860-1985 (10 credits)

Media and History
HI6081 History on Screen: Film, Television and History (10 credits)
HI6084 From Wireless to the World Wide Web: Radio as Historical Source (10 credits)
HI6083 Radicalism, Dissent and the Print Media in Modern Ireland (10 credits)

European and International History
HI6026 US Foreign Policy and Contemporary History (10 credits)
HI6045 War and Peace: the European State System from 1648 to 1990 (10 credits)
HI6086 Booms and Busts: Key Issues in International Finance since 1700 (10 credits)

Students take an additional 10 credits from any stream or they may choose:
HI6063 Work Placement and Portfolio (10 credits)

In part two, students work closely with an academic supervisor to complete a 20,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choosing that normally reflects their specialist interests.

Given that this MA is delivered by a large and dynamic School, there are ample opportunities for discretionary engagement in field trips, conferences, seminars and other related activities.

Postgraduate Diploma in History

MA candidates who pass Part I and opt not to proceed to Part II of the Master’s programme may register for HI6085 Research Project (15 credits) and, on successful completion of HI6085, are awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in History. Students must submit HI6085 to the School by the second Friday in September in the same academic year or may register for HI6085 in the following academic year (part-time), following completion of Part I.

Candidates who pass Part I and opt to proceed to Part II of the Master’s programme and who fail, or fail to submit, Part II may register for HI6085 in the following academic year (part-time), and upon successful completion, will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in History.

Postgraduate Certificate in History

MA Candidates who pass these 30 credits of taught modules may opt to exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in History.


Unique Aspects of the Course
Find out more about our School of History at this link
◾The School of History and 1916
◾An exceptional diversity of modules by national and international standards
◾Enormous flexibility to craft the degree you want
◾Empowers students to contribute positively to the world of work and wider society
◾Enhances the applied skills of a historian (Public and Applied History)
◾Promotes employability with a work placement (optional)
◾Backed by a department with a strong tradition of public engagement and an international reputation.

Assessment method

In the main, the MA is continuously assessed. A variety of assessment modes (e.g. long and short essays, literature reviews, proposals, blogs, web displays, radio archive analyses, treaty/document critiques, exhibitions, work placement portfolios, in-class assignments, oral presentations, producing a radio documentary, group project, etc.) cultivate a wide range of skills. The precise assessment mix is governed by module choice. One elective includes a formal written examination.

You undertake independent research for your dissertation in close consultation with your supervisor. The 50% weighting for the dissertation reflects the importance attached to independent research.

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

While UCC operates a rounds system for Postgraduate Taught courses (detailed below) we would advise you to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications: Offers will be made:

For all completed applications received by January 16th 2017 Offers will be made by January 30th 2017

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2017 Offers will be made by March 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2017 Offers will be made by May 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by July 3rd 2017 Offers will be made by July 17th 2017

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU Fee: €6,000 full-time; €3,000 per year part-time

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

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