Award Type and NFQ level : TAUGHT MASTERS (9)

CAO/PAC code : MHP55

CAO Points :

Closing Date : 30 August 2024

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‘Local History’ is the study of a particular place or region in the past, including its people, culture and events. It is the foundation upon which a sense of community and belonging is built. It examines closely how historic incidents and individuals have affected the development of the region in question, providing a deeper understanding of the past and how it has shaped the present.

The MA in Local History at Maynooth University prepares students to research their chosen place, identifying and analysing sources, compiling evidence, structuring a dissertation and producing a final written thesis. An interdisciplinary approach grounded in history draws on complementary fields such as anthropology, archaeology, geography and sociology. This focus on specific places and communities has the potential to uncover previously unknown or overlooked aspects of history, while there is a parallel emphasis on understanding the past in relation to the present.


Students who have an honours degree with a 1:1, a 2.(i) or high 2.(ii) grade in History before the programme begins will be offered a place. Other applications will be considered depending on available spaces. Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study. For information about English language tests accepted and required scores, please see here. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and International applicants.

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850

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The MA in Local History (part-time) is a two-year programme (90 credits) in which participants complete a combination of compulsory and optional modules as well as a minor thesis on a topic agreed with the programme director and an assigned expert supervisor. 

This programme comprises two parts: taught modules in year 1, and a minor research thesis in year 2 (90 credits in total).

Year 1 [50 credits]
Core modules introduce participants to key elements of historical research including literature review, historiography, theoretical concepts, methodological and ethical issues, bibliography, referencing and presentation. Lectures, seminars and in-class discussion illuminate the nature and main classes of evidence for local history, the background and biography of the sources, their potential and limitations, and the skills required to identify, assemble, examine and interpret them professionally and effectively. 

Optional modules (10 credits each) cover aspects of Irish history from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, typically including the following topics: heritage, conservation and cultural tourism; the evolution of the urban landscape; landed estates and designed landscapes; domestic architecture; war and revolution; rural settlement; the archaeology and history of medieval Ireland.

Year 2
A total of 40 credits are awarded for thesis preparation (semester 1, 10 credits) and thesis completion (year-long). Students will be assigned a research supervisor on an individual basis in year 1, but do not complete the thesis preparation module or the thesis itself until year 2.

Course Duration: 2 years part-time


Course Duration: 2 years part-time

Studying and researching Local History can help to preserve and promote cultural heritage by highlighting the unique traditions, customs and landmarks of an area. It fosters community engagement and encourages active participation in the preservation of local heritage, as well as playing a role in economic development by promoting tourism and preserving historic sites.

The skills and experience acquired on the MA in Local History programme apply to a variety of fields, especially history, archaeology and cultural heritage. The programme provides participants with a good basis for pursuing a career in academia, arts administration, the civil service, the diplomatic service, education, journalism, law, politics, public administration, public relations or research, as well as job opportunities in museums, heritage organisations, local government.

PAC Code

MHP55 (Part-time)

Online application only

The following documents should be forwarded to PAC, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway or uploaded to your online application form:

Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for all non-Maynooth University qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed. Non-Maynooth University students are asked to provide two academic references and a copy of their birth certificate or valid passport.

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