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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3395 The Troubles: The Northern Ireland Conflict, 1968-Present

40 creditsClass Size: 14

Module manager: Dr Alan Macleod

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

For over 30 years, Northern Ireland was wracked by a bloody conflict, resulting in the loss of over 3,700 lives and injuring many more. 'The Troubles' witnessed the further polarisation of an already deeply divided society and the transformation of a civil rights movement into an ethno-sectarian conflict, resulting in the emergence of paramilitary organisations, regular terrorist attacks, the massive deployment of British troops, and the engagement of international actors, including the Republic of Ireland and the United States. This special subject will examine the causes and course of the Troubles. At its heart, the module will seek to give students an understanding of how each of the parties to the Troubles viewed the conflict and their role in it, and how they, in turn, interpreted the positions of other actors and how these may have changed over time. It will consider the importance of history to all sides of the conflict, and how this was often used as a justification for the position taken or actions of all sides. It will look at the development of paramilitarism, political initiatives and security policies, and international interventions, in addition to considering daily life during the Troubles and cultural manifestations of the conflict, such as parades and murals. A range of primary sources will be introduced, for example government papers from the British, Northern Irish, Irish, and US archives; political party sources; memoirs; and photographs and murals. Students will also be introduced to an extensive and often partisan historiography, helping them to develop their skills in picking through this and allowing them to develop their own views of the conflict.


The special subject aims to:
- Provide students with a thorough grounding in the history of the Troubles.
- Understand the differing positions of each of the parties to the conflict, how they understood this, and how they viewed the position of others, and the impact that this had on the course of events.
- To allow students to carry out concentrated study of primary source material.
- To allow students to develop knowledge and skills of historical research and develop further as independent researchers.
- To allow students to develop further key transferable skills, such as group/teamwork, interpersonal skills, presentation, and problem-solving skills.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate a mastery of the history of the Troubles.
- Identify particular historiographical interpretations of the conflict, evaluate them effectively, and form an individual viewpoint.
- Demonstrate advanced skills in the study, interpretation and use of primary sources.
- Further develop their skills of oral and written communication and visual presentation.


1. Introduction
2. Partition
3. A Divided Society
4. Civil Rights
5. Troubles
6. The IRA
7. Ian Paisley and 'Loyalism'
8. Internment
9. Bloody Sunday
10. Sunningdale
11. The UWC Strike
12. Everyday Life During the Troubles
13. The American Connection
14. Hunger Strikes
15. The Anglo-Irish Agreement
16. Libya and the IRA War
17. Sectarian Conflict
18. Murals and Parades
19. Peace Process
20. Good Friday
21. St. Andrews
22. Revision Seminar

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours352.00
Total Contact hours48.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Students will complete set reading, undertake self-directed study around the topic, and research and prepare material for assessed coursework and the end of module examination.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be monitored on their class contributions, participation in VLE activities, a presentation worth 10% of the overall class mark, and an assessed essay worth 40% of their overall mark.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4,000-word essay due by 12 noon Monday of exam week 2, semester 140.00
PresentationVerbal presentation10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:25:08


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