HIS20970 Early Medieval Ireland: Culture, Society and Politics

Academic Year 2018/2019

Ireland fully entered recorded history with the arrival of Christianity in the fourth and fifth centuries AD. Its culture was rooted in the native past as well as in contemporary Europe. These two influences, the old and the new, were creatively combined. The Irish developed a unique form of kingship and a complex social system. Their achievements in literature, art and religion were recognised across Western Europe, to such an extent that Ireland became known as the Island of Saints and Scholars. This module will introduce students to the history of Ireland between AD 400-1200. It will focus, in particular, on conversion to Christianity, changes in Irish kingship, the evolution of the Church and the impact of the Vikings. It will provide a framework through which the earliest years of Irish history can be understood.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to: a) understand the impact of conversion to Christianity at a formative phase of Irish history, b) have acquired historical and methodological frameworks in order to understand the organisation of Irish kingship and society, c) have acquired an understanding of the impact of the Vikings on early medieval Irish culture and society and d) be able to critically assess the impact of the Irish on European culture. These learning outcomes will be underpinned by an active student-centered engagement with primary sources, facilitated though seminar contribution.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Celtic Ireland (HIS30710)

Description % of Final Grade Timing
Examination: Written examination


2 hour End of Trimester Exam
Continuous Assessment: Document Analysis


Week 6
Attendance: Seminar attendance and contribution


Throughout the Trimester


This module is not passable by compensation

Resit Opportunities

In-semester assessment


If you fail this module you may repeat, resit or substitute where permissible

Name Role
Assoc Professor Roy Flechner Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Miss Krystal Carmichael Tutor
Mrs Claire Collins Tutor