A Glimpse at our History: An Introduction to the UCC History Postgraduate Blog Series

In the coming weeks, the UCC International Students Blog will feature testimonials from UCC’s postgraduate programs offered by the School of History. To introduce these programs, and this exciting new blog series, I yield the keyboard to Dr. Mervyn O’Driscoll of the University College Cork School of History. Read on to learn more!

-Caela Provost, North American Officer and US Representative, University College Cork 

University College Cork’s School of History has a longstanding graduate education programme extending back into the 19th century. This venerable heritage inspires the unit and propels its continuing efforts to remain relevant and innovative in graduate education. It is a strong and diverse unit. The School has a tradition of high profile and high impact staff influencing public debates about Ireland, Europe, America, and the world. Numbered among many of its alumni are government ministers, ambassadors, entrepreneurs, leading public servants, top journalists, academics, and humanitarians. Many who have embarked on a history graduate education before you at the School of History have risen to the pinnacles of their chosen careers across the world and not simply in Ireland, Europe, and America. The current Irish Ambassador to the United States is a graduate of UCC’s School of History, while several leading politicians at national and European level were fashioned by the School’s challenging and stimulating programmes.

The School has a multinational student population and a clear-cut habit of serving North American students on its Masters and PhD programs. In recent years this North American cohort has expanded significantly. This is a reflection of the School of History’s high quality provision and focus on the individual. Its high calibre graduates have an enviable reputation for rigour, intellectual flare, and critical thinking. They ask the ‘hard questions’ and do not rest until they find the answers. Unsurprisingly, such a tradition and a drive has made it one of the largest academic units in the arts, humanities, and social sciences in the university. It is ambitious for its graduates.

Therefore, you will have a world of choice and find yourself among friends. There is not alone our new comprehensive and broad-ranging MA in History. This has a strong emphasis of the Public History and the value of historians in wider society. But we also possess several niche MAs that may suit your tastes and needs including the:

  • Cutting-edge two-year part-time MA in Strategic Studies (online)
  • Time-honoured MA in International Relations that blends history, theory and policy
  • Ground-breaking and unique MA in Renaissance Latin Culture at the Centre for Neo-Latin Studies
  • Fascinating MA in the Irish Revolution that builds on the School’s recognised expertise in this area
  • MA in Medieval History with its expertise on western medieval culture and the ‘island of saints and scholars’
  • Highly successful MA in Local History (two years part-time)

The opportunity to go on work placements is an essential part of many of the School’s taught Masters (MA) programs. Such residencies with relevant hosts are designed to cultivate practical work skills associated with the specific program that the student has enrolled in.

And you can crown it all off by progressing to a PhD in all of these, and other, areas.

Add to that the university’s position in the heart of Cork City. It has been listed in the Lonely Planet guide as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit. As the Lonely Planet suggests ‘Ireland’s second city is first in every important respect’ and it is ‘a liberal, youthful and cosmopolitan place’ that still has its ‘happily traditional’ dimensions.  Cork possesses the enviable position as an attractive tourist destination and it is a bustling university city. The city retains an attractive ‘Irish charm’ and humanity, but still possesses all the facilities and services of any modern city. Access the whole of Western Europe with short flights from Cork’s International Airport. Escape to the unspoilt landscape of the Wild Atlantic Way just minutes away.

-Dr Mervyn O’Driscoll, BA, MA (NUI), PhD (Camb.) | Senior Lecturer | Coordinator MA in History & MA in International Relations | School of History | University College Cork | Cork, Ireland

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