Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Irish in Britain, C.1830-1922
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 10 x 2 Hour Seminars
Seminar 10 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Semester Assessment 1 x document analysis of 1,500 words  10%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   1 x two-hour exam  40%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x document analysis of 1,500 words  10%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   1 x two-hour exam  40%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Display an understanding of the social and cultural history of the Irish diaspora in Britain during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Comprehend and assess the different historical debates and analyses evident in related texts.

Read, analyse and assess a range of different types of historical evidence, including the evidence of various forms of propaganda.

Express understanding and discuss related issues through writing in an academic context.

Work independently and as part of a group and take an active part in group discussions.

Brief description

Between 1801 and 1921 a total of more than eight million men, women and children left Ireland for destinations in Britain, North America and Australia. As a result, Irish migrants have had an enormous impact on societies as far apart as those of North America and Australia, a development that has come to be known as the 'Irish Diaspora'. Against this global perspective, the Irish have been the largest immigrant group in Britain for the past two centuries. During the period c.1830-70 the Irish were often considered to be a 'problem' minority in British society, alienated and set apart by social position, culture and religion. This has always been a partial view of Irish migrants and their descendants at that time, and in later decades they were not perceived to be quite so separate or problematic. Consequently, one overarching theme in this module is an exploration of how racialized and demonized ethnic minorities were integrated in the wider society.


Special Subjects provide third-year students with an opportunity to study a particular period in great depth and partly on the basis of primary sources. They are intensively taught, and particularly high standards of precision, creativity and knowledge are expected from students. Together with the dissertation and the general historical problems module, they provide final-year students with an opportunity to demonstrate the maturation of their historical and other skills and of their intellectual sensitivity. The range of special subjects reflects the range of teaching and research interests on the part of departmental staff. As in other core courses, a wide choice of periods and approaches is made available.


This module is taught in 20 seminars (10x2 hour and 10x1 hour) There are three hours of teaching per week. The seminar titles are as follows:

1. Week 1: A. Introductory talk. B. Documentary sources
2. Week 2. A. Pre-famine migration B. Ballads and folk tradition
3. Week 3. A. Pre-famine settlement B. Social commentary of the 1830s
4. Week 4. A. The Great Famine B. Documents relating to the Famine
5. Week 5. A. Settlement patterns B. Investigative journalism
6. Week 6. A. Family and kinship B. Images of the Irish
7. Week 7. A. Patterns of criminality B. Evidence of crime
8. Week 8. A. Racism and hostility B. Cartoons and caricature
9. Week 9. A. Politics B. Evidence of political involvement
10. Week 10. A. Integration or alienation? B. Autobiography

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Read a wide range of both primary and secondary texts; improve listening skills during the lectures, and consequently develop skills in note taking; demonstrate and develop the ability to communicate ideas in two essays; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars.
Improving own Learning and Performance Show awareness of own learning styles, personal preferences and needs; devise and apply realistic learning and self management strategies; devise a personal action plan to include short and long-term goals and to develop personal awareness of how to improve on these.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to access sources of electronic information and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be encouraged to word-process their work. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Develop awareness of personal skills, beliefs and qualities in relation to course in progression; plan and prepare for future course / career.
Problem solving Identify problems and factors which might influence potential solutions; develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving; evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions.
Research skills Understand a range of research methods and plan and carry out research; produce academically appropriate pieces of written work.
Subject Specific Skills Develop a knowledge of, and familiarity with, a range of different late modern sources, including unpublished and published documents; develop the ability to use appropriate historical research tools effectively.
Team work Understand the concept of group dynamics; contribute to the setting of group goals; contribute effectively to the planning of group activities; play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars); evaluate group activities and own contribution.


This module is at CQFW Level 6