M.Phil. Early Modern History (M.Phil./P.Grad.Dip)

Trinity College Dublin | Dublin , Ireland
The M.Phil course in Early Modern History offers well-qualified graduates in History, the Humanities and the Social Sciences an introduction to research in the political, social, cultural and religious history of Ireland, Britain and Europe across the early modern period. This one-year course (or two years part-time) is designed to introduce students to a wide range of issues in, and approaches to, early modern history. It also provides students with training in research methods and skills.



The M.Phil in Early Modern History offers well-qualified graduates in History, the Humanities and the Social Sciences an introduction to research in the political, social, cultural and religious history of Ireland, Britain and continental Europe across the Early Modern period. This one-year programme is designed to introduce students to a wide range of issues in, and approaches to, Early Modern History while also providing students with a rigorous training in research methods and relevant skills.

The programme is built around Trinity College Librarys unparalleled research resources for the period from the Reformation to the French Revolution and reflects the full range of exciting new research currently being undertaken in Early Modern history within the Department of History. The course may also serve as an introduction to graduate study for students intending to pursue doctoral studies in Early Modern History.


The course aims to provide graduates with a critical awareness of key issues and questions in Early Modern history and a firm foundation in the research process. Students will be trained in the analysis and the presentation of their research findings and introduced to the methodological challenges of conducting research at postgraduate level.

Each module within the degree programme introduces students to a defined theme or problem within Early Modern history, providing a tightly focused and in-depth introduction to a range of contemporary sources, interpretative problems and current debates. Through exploring these issues, approaches and methodologies, the M.Phil in Early Modern History is designed to equip students with both the analytical and practical skills required for independent historical research.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline 31st May 2015
Tuition fee
  • EUR 12808 Year (Non-EEA)
  • EUR 6338 Year (EEA)
Start date
Duration full-time 12 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time

Course Content

Students are required to attend seminars, to participate in class activities, to complete assigned tasks, and to make class presentations. They will also submit research-based essays. For the dissertation element of the degree, each student will be assigned a supervisor who will provide academic guidance on their research project. Assessment allows for the award of an M.Phil Degree (Masters in Philosophy) or, where a thesis is not submitted, a Postgraduate Diploma. Candidates are assessed on the completion of the courses detailed below.

1. Compulsory Core Course:

  • From Reform to Revolution: Cultural Change and Political Conflict in Early Modern Europe

This team-taught module is taught by means of a weekly two-hour seminar throughout Michaelmas and Hilary terms and assessed on the basis of students essays and assignments. 20 ECTS credits are allocated to this module.

2. Two Major Subjects of Study

Students must complete one major subject of study in both the Michaelmas and the Hilary Terms. Each subject will be taught by means of a weekly two-hour seminar and is worth 10 ECTS credits.
Availability of courses will alter from year to year and is also subject to student demand. These major subjects of study may include:

  • War and Society in Early Modern Ireland & Europe
  • Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Early Modern Europe
  • The war of ideas in the English Revolution
  • Accommodation, Resistance and Gaelic Power; The O'Neill Dynasty
  • Elizabethan Ireland: Contending conquests - the struggle for Mastery in Sixteenth Century Ireland
  • Gender, Identity & Authority in 18th Century France
  • Inventing the Modern Scots: Society, Culture and Nation, 1688-1832

3. Research Training and Skills Modules

This element of the M.Phil programme is designed to introduce students to the diverse resources and methodologies that historians encounter in their research while also equipping students with the practical language and paleography skills that are required for studying Early Modern history.

Compulsory Modules

  • Approaches to Historical Research. 10 ECTS.
  • Libraries and Archives. 5 ECTS.
  • Academic Mentoring 5 ECTS.

Optional Modules:

  • Palaeography - the English hand to 1700
  • A Modern Language Course. These are available at a variety of levels.
  • Latin. This course is available at a variety of levels.

4. Dissertation

Students seeking the M. Phil will be required to submit a dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words based on their own primary research. Those who opt not to submit a dissertation may be considered for the award of a postgraduate diploma. Students are advised to give some thought to possible dissertation topics in advance of registration for the M.Phil programme.


Applicants should normally have at least an upper second class (2.1) honors Bachelor degree or equivalent (for example, GPA of 3.3) in a relevant area. Since places on the course are limited, applicants may be interviewed or asked to submit a writing sample for assessment.

Offers will be made on a rolling basis from January 2015. The closing date for applications is 31st May. Should places remain unfilled, later applications may be considered

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

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