HIS31720 Irish Emigration and the Diaspora, 1800-2012

Academic Year 2020/2021

Whether Irish emigration has been described as a ‘life style choice’ or ‘enforced exile’ it has always been controversial. This module will explore the patterns, influences and perceptions of Irish emigration between 1800 and 2012. It will examine how emigration became an expected part of the life cycle for so many Irish people by the end of nineteenth-century considering the social, economic and political factors involved. Various issues relating to the process of emigration will be considered, for example, the ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors at various points in history and the forms emigration took from voluntary to organised/and or enforced. A particular focus will be placed on the emigrant experience using various primary sources, such as emigrant letters and commissions of inquiry. This module will also explore how the perception of emigration changed over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries both at home and abroad. For example, it will consider how the Irish were received in Britain, America and Australia and how the view of emigration in Ireland evolved. Upon completion of this module students should have a thorough understanding of the historical patterns and significance of Irish emigration.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should a) have developed study, writing and communication skills appropriate to level 3; b) have developed a critical understanding of the history of Irish emigration and the experience of the Irish Diaspora during this period; c) be able to assess a range of relevant primary and secondary historical sources through writing essays and participation in seminars; d) be able to analyse and present historical arguments appropriate to level 3.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This is a small-group, seminar-based module. It is taught through a one-hour weekly lecture and a two-hour seminar. The weekly lecture provides an overview of the week’s topic, focusing upon key historical trends, debates and events. The weekly seminar is focused upon individual active / task-based learning by means of class debates, discussion and student presentations. Advanced research, writing and citation skills are developed through an individual student presentation, a written document analysis, and a semester-long 4,000 word research project. Autonomous learning is advanced through student-led debate and discussion each week. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
HIS31290 - Gender, Sexuality and Family

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: 4,000 words Week 12 n/a Graded No


Essay: Document analysis essay (1,500 words) Week 6 n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: contribution; class presentation Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on the 1,500 document analysis will be given in writing on the returned hard-copy. Feedback will be provided on an ongoing basis on preparatory plans for end-of-semester Research Project Assignments. Feedback on the end-of-semester Research Project Assignment will be given by appointment in one-to-one meetings.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 11:00 - 11:50
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Tues 09:00 - 10:50