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MA History of Family

University of Limerick

The central purpose of the MA in the History of the Family is to combine the strengths of two traditions: that of the independent researcher into family history and that of established disciplines in history particularly the well developed sub discipline of the history of the family. The objective is a history that is fully contextualised, culturally significant and academically grounded.

Students who sign up for this course seek to obtain formal training in the methodologies and concepts of history of family.  They enjoy the course because it allows them to develop key academic skills while being supported in their quest for intellectual and moral autonomy. A key attraction of the course is the wide range of themes that are covered in each of the modules, and the feeling of community that undertaking research as part of a class engenders.

Over the course of the year students will master the art of academic writing and develop advanced research skills through in-class training and via field trips to libraries and archives conducted in both semesters.  By the end of the course successful students will have acquired the necessary skills to present historical research to a publication standard, and to conduct historical research at a doctoral level.

The students

Students come from a range of backgrounds; some come directly from studying towards an undergraduate degree in History or associated disciplines, others come to it after a break from formal study; often they have an interest in genealogy or family history research but want to build on this in an academic context. This diverse range of students makes for an engaging classroom where everyone’s experience is valued, and everyone has something to contribute.

The online course attracts students who are based in Ireland but unable to attend on campus, as well as overseas students who are interested in history of family within an Irish context and would like to benefit from studying at an Irish university.

Online students are invited to attend on-campus orientation if they wish, and many overseas students decide to arrange some time in Ireland during the year in order to conduct research, though this is not a requirement of the course. During this time they are welcome to attend the classes on-campus.

The course

The course is unique in that it is delivered in both in a classroom and online context.  Students who study online will also interact with colleagues that are based in Limerick, via audio- or video-conference during in-class lectures which provides and enriched experience for everyone..

All students have access to Sulis, the University of Limerick’s virtual learning platform, which provides easy access to lecture materials and other resources, as well as interaction with other students. Students are assessed by regular weekly assignments and end of term essays.

Online students are able to engage with lectures in real-time through audio- or video-conferencing software, or to listen back to lectures via podcasts. Dissertation supervision is conducted via Skype and email.

For further information on the MA programme and to hear from graduates of the programme, watch the latest History of Family webinar here: 

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Listed below are the documents required to apply for this course.
1 year


Sep 2024

Start Month

Aug 2024

Application Deadline

Upcoming Intakes

  • September 2024

Mode of Study

  • Full Time