Undergraduate Study

The skills essential to being a good historian are the skills essential to being a good citizen, a good employee or a good entrepreneur -- starting with the all-important ability to think for yourself.

The School of History trains students to gather and interpret information and evidence, to analyse the data available to you and to interrogate points of view. All these skills are work and life skills that should help you to make a contribution in the world – whether to the academic community, in the workplace or in the wider world. 

Many students want to study history because they have enjoyed it at secondary school or have been inspired by good teachers or their own reading about a particular event or period. You are not, however, required to have studied history before becoming a student here.

The School of History offers students a varied choice of approaches to history — social and economic history, modern diplomacy, political ideologies, the history of law, art, religion, women, government, business and much else besides – all based on the specialist knowledge gained by our academic staff through their own research.

It is particularly important for young people or migrants to be able to place the history of their own and neighbouring countries in comparative perspective; to evaluate the extent to which Irish experience reflects -- or does not -- European or global developments.

We approach history by looking at themes and structures, arguments, interpretations and analyses — emphasising comparative approaches wherever appropriate -- to equip students with the skills needed to be effective at work and in life whether as a diplomat, journalist, political commentator, administrator, academic, researcher, heritage expert, manager, consultant, or business strategist.

UCC history graduates have a good employment record and many have been highly successful in both the public and private sectors at home and abroad. Our graduates have also been highly successful in competing for grants, scholarships and fellowships at international level. We aim to help students learn to be flexible, innovative, imaginative, able to take initiative and work in teams and, above all, to be able to relate well and respectfully to other people.

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