Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Britain and Ireland: War, Politics and Security from the Act of Union to the 21st Century
Academic Year
Semester 1
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 5 x 1 Hour Seminars
Lecture 16 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  (2,500 words)  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  (2,500 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

​1. Critically evaluate the principal debates about Britain and Ireland at crucial junctures.

2. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the dynamics of British-Irish relationship.

3. Critically evaluate and explain the role of coercion and violence in British-Irish relations.

4. Critically evaluate and explain contending explanations for the end of the 'Troubles' in the 1990s.

5. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of emerging approaches to the study of the British-Irish relations including the study of culture and the use of critical oral history.

Brief description

The module examines debates about the origins and dynamics of the relationship between Britain and Ireland since the Act of Union in 1800. The course will provide an opportunity for the study of this relationship in times of peace and conflict. The course will be interest to political scientists and historians, as well as students of intelligence and strategy. It explores the role of diplomacy and coercion in British-Irish relations and examines debates about the evolution of the relationship between the two countries over two centuries. Students are encouraged to critically reflect on how British and Irish history is studied and how emerging methodologies provides fresh insights, perspectives and debates.


British Ireland: the Rebellion of 1798 and the the Act of Union

Catholic Emancipation and the Famine

The question of Home Rule

The First World War and the Easter Rising

The Anglo-Irish War, 1919-21

Treaty, Civil War and Free State

Britain and Ireland in the Second World War, 1939-1945

The origins and evolution of the Troubles

Loyalist and Republican terrorism; British counter-terrorism

The Good Friday Agreement and its aftermath

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. The presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the convenor and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and seminar discussion topics. The need to meet coursework deadlines will focus students’ attention on the need to manage their time.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work electronically through the Blackboard VLE. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web. Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on the Blackboard VLE.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. Moreover, the written work includes writing clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of an essay and preparation for seminar discussions will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research for all elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing media and web sources, as well as more conventional academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather appropriate and interesting resources and materials.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: • Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module. • Ability to evaluate competing perspectives. • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques. • Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and political problems.
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars and workshops. Use of Blackboard facilities such as message boards and forums will be encouraged.


This module is at CQFW Level 6