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Irish History Coursework

  1. Hi
    I've just done the first draft of my coursework where you have to find your own sources and use your own knowledge to construct an argument.

    I am doing:
    Did the equal rights legislation passed in 1964 make a difference to the lives of Black Americans in the period 1964-98?
    I am just unsure as to how to use the sources; Do you use them as a set like AS sources unit or differently??

    I've integrated my own knowledge in with the sources but haven't used them explicitly as a set. Is that right or wrong??

    If anyone could help me that would be great


  2. I'm not sure what you mean by using them as a set, but I'm doing a very similar bit of work, so hopefully what I say can help. You have to analyse the sources and integrate your own knowledge , which it sounds like you have done. As well as this you should compare some of the sources like you would do on the exam, but obviously only some if the sources will be relevant to each other, so only do it when they are.

    This is only what I did in mine, and since I handed my first craft in less than an hour ago, it's entirely possible that I'm wrong about how to approach it an just haven't found out yet. Maybe check the AOs and ask your teacher etc, just to make sure I'm not stalk ng rubbish!

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  3. I've done the A2 Edexcel coursework because I was entered for January. I ended up with full marks, 80/80 which I am really chuffed about! We did something different though, the topic was Britain's Empire and its African colonies and we chose our own questions and sources.

    With the sources question it's a bit different to AS in the sense that not much of your own knowledge is actually needed and they care less about it. Definitely do include your own knowledge to support your argument and state facts where relevant as it demonstrates that you know what you're talking about. So I'd say what you're doing at the moment is correct, just don't overdo it.

    What they're mainly looking for though, is how you can take a source and really pick it apart by analyzing it in great depth. For example comparing it to other sources to add weight to your argument is a really good way to do this. Also really look at who is talking, where they were at the time of the event and why they'd be saying what they are saying and in what manner. For example I found peoples' jobs were useful as it can explain the way they saw and talked about the event.

    Evaluation of the sources is also key to this question so make sure your essay is balanced but also has a strong argument leaning either way. I was told for a high grade it's important that your own voice and opinion comes through to show that you've really engaged with what you've been asked and you fully understand it.

    (Original post by Holly Berry)
    I've just done the first draft of my coursework where you have to find your own sources and use your own knowledge to construct an argument.

    I am doing:
    Did the equal rights legislation passed in 1964 make a difference to the lives of Black Americans in the period 1964-98?
    I am just unsure as to how to use the sources; Do you use them as a set like AS sources unit or differently??

    I've integrated my own knowledge in with the sources but haven't used them explicitly as a set. Is that right or wrong??

    If anyone could help me that would be great


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What is History?

History is about people. Studying History means studying lives lived, and ideas thought and expressed in times and places often very different from our own. History embraces everything from the rise and fall of empires or the birth of new ideologies to the contrasting everyday lives of people in a whole range of settings, across time and across the globe. Studying History means developing critical skills, learning to express your ideas and arguments clearly, and becoming self-directed in your studies

History: The course for you?

History is a subject for the intellectually curious. It offers an enormous diversity of subjects to explore, questions to ponder and problems to resolve. The History courses in Trinity allow you to study a remarkable range of types of history - whether cultural or political history, social history or the history of ideas - from the medieval centuries to the very recent past. We offer survey courses allowing you to grasp the broad patterns in history, specialist modules where you can study subjects of particular interest to you in small classes, and opportunities for your own independent research.

History @ Trinity

The History department in Trinity offers a remarkably broad range of subject options for its size. The four-year programme allows students to lay firm foundations in the first two years, with wide-ranging modules on medieval and modern history, Irish, European, American and global, as well as on historical methods and approaches. The final two years of the programme then allows students the chance to study several specialist modules in-depth and to undertake independent research on a subject of their own choice. This is a breadth and depth of study unique in Ireland and with few rivals internationally.

Trinity is a leading university internationally for the study of History. Our staff have published extensively in the fields of Irish, British, European and American history. We take special pride in the small-group teaching which characterizes the final two years of study in particular, and for being a department which places student learning at the centre of its values.

Graduate skills and career opportunities

Over many decades History graduates (single honour and TSM) have pursued successful careers in a wide range of areas. These include: accountancy, advertising, banking, broadcasting, cultural, arts and heritage administration, human resources, journalism, law, public administration, public relations, management, marketing, publishing and teaching. Our graduates work for such organisations as IBEC, the Irish Times, Bank of Ireland, Goldman Sachs, the Law Society of Ireland, Oxfam, the American Chamber of Commerce, RTÉ, Google and Accenture. The diversity of careers reflects the wide array of skills amassed by students undertaking a degree in History at Trinity.

Your degree and what you’ll study

The History programme combines the strength of a broad-based programme in the first two years, introducing all students to the sheer diversity of historical studies, with the freedom to explore areas of particular interest to individual students in the final two years. The first and second years provide a range of modules covering medieval and modern periods, including Irish, European, and American history, as well as some modules exploring the skills and methods which historians use, and the kinds of debates in which historians engage. Teaching is not only in lectures but in small group tutorials. All students will have an opportunity to undertake a group project in their second year, undertaking research as a team. The third and fourth years offer a wide range of choice in more specialist modules, all taught by staff with expertise in that field. There is the opportunity to concentrate on those parts of history which interest you most, and above all in the final year dissertation, an independent research project which very many students find the most rewarding part of their whole degree programme.


Single honours students take modules in medieval and early modern Irish and European history in their first year, as well as modules Doing History and Interpreting History which introduce the methods and approaches historians use in their studies. In the second year, students take modules in Modern Irish and Modern European History, in U.S. History and in Global History. They will also take modules which look at how history has been interpreted and presented, not just by professional historians but in the wider culture and take part in a year-long small group project allowing all students to work on a research project, TSM (joint honour) students also take the Doing History module in first year and take part in the group project in second year, and select from the period-specific modules to make up the History component of their studies. Students have the option to take modules in Broad Curriculum subjects.


We offer a range of subjects within two different categories:

  • List I modules – these are specialist modules which involve intensive research and writing based on primary sources.

Some examples include:

  • The Elizabethans and their world, 1550-1610
  • The Vikings, 790-1100
  • The Republic of Ireland in the 1960s
  • China 1911-1949: from Republican Revolution to Communist Revolution
  • The French Revolution
  • List II modules – these are broader thematic and analytical modules. Some will have a particular focus on historiography – on how different historians have tried to understand a period or problem.

Some examples include:

  • Race and ethnicity in American thought since 1940
  • Renaissance Florence, c.1347-1527
  • Constitutional nationalism vs. Republicanism: Ireland 1782-1916
  • The Crusades
  • Eighteenth-century Dublin

In any given year there will be around fourteen List I and eighteen List 2 modules to choose from. They include a huge range of types of history – including political, social, cultural or intellectual history – as well as ranging in time from the Viking era to the post-1945 world, and including Irish, European, American and Asian history modules.

For fuller details on all our modules see: www.tcd.ie/history/undergraduate/modules

Students are assessed through both examinations and coursework in each year of the programme. In the Sophister years the balance is approximately 50% exams and 50% continuous assessment.

Study abroad

The Department of History has Erasmus exchange agreements with a wide range of European universities including the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), the Sorbonne (Paris), the University of Vienna and Charles University in Prague. The Department also has an exchange agreement with the University of Tokyo, and students of History can also arrange for a year abroad in other countries, notably the U.S.A., Australia and Canada, where some recent examples would include the University of California, the University of Sydney or McGill University (Montreal).




Tel: +353 1 896 1791 / 1020

What our graduates say

Eleanor Neil

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York City and am a fourth year student studying TSM History and Classics. I always knew I wanted to study History. Learning the story of where we came from has always been fascinating. Wanting to do something completely new was a factor in my choice of Trinity, but the level of education sealed the deal for me. The wonderful professors and tutors that I have had in History have been the cornerstone of my experience at Trinity.

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