MA in Local History
Offered jointly by faculty from the Department of History in Mary Immaculate College and the Department of History at the University of Limerick, this two-year, part-time Masters programme meets the needs of graduates in history, or in related disciplines (e.g. Irish studies, human geography, archaeology or anthropology) who wish to carry out historical research, especially in relation to a particular locality. People living and working in a particular locality during a specific period provide the focus of this course. Local history is less about the events of national history, such as war or elections as they occurred in a particular locality, and more about the unique circumstances and events in the lives of ordinary people.
During the first year students attend lectures and seminars at UL and MIC on Wednesday evenings during the two 12-week semesters. In the second year, the students complete a dissertation of approximately 18,000 words.
Key themes in the programme include:
- The goals of local history; strengths and weaknesses
- The relationship between local, regional and national histories
- Evaluating sources: versatility, limitations and applications
- Events in local histories: descriptions, narrative and analysis
- The use of numerical and cartographic data in local history
- Sources in local and national archives
- Using oral evidence and beáloideas in local history
- Using material culture and historical archaeology in local history
Research topics are identified during the first year. Ongoing research conducted under faculty supervision is reviewed in seminars during the second year. Assessment includes assignments (continuous assessment), attendance and participation at seminars and the dissertation.
While graduates of this MA are well placed to pursue a multiplicity of career pathways, the programme has provide to be of particular value to:
- Primary and Secondary Teachers
- Librarians and Archivists
- Those who want to research local history for its own sake
The programme is also suitable for those who wish to develop research skills prior to undertaking a PhD programme.