Diploma in Arts (History & Politics): Ireland, a decade of centenaries

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Fees
  • Next Steps

shutterstock_129602879 (1)

Click here to view provisional Autumn 2017 timetable.


This is a timely and topical course designed to creatively and critically engage with the culture and practices of commemoration at the present moment of Irish history and to offer participants a closely guided first stage initiation into the art of writing history. Taught by a working professional historian, it explores the major issues and debates that surround the current decade of centenaries, provides an introduction to a range of historical writing forms and conventions, and develops key skills in historical research and presentation.

Programme Aims & Objectives

This is a course about enabling people to produce history for themselves. Its primary purpose is to inspire, support, direct and guide participants in the development of their own historical projects, whether that be histories of their own families, localities, or communities, or of other aspect of history of particular interest or concern to them. By the end of the course, student will be able to:

• Locate, access and use a range of primary source materials

• Interpret research findings

• Produce an appropriately structured and formulated piece of historical written work

• Identify some of the cultural and historiographic arguments relevant to the present moment of Irish history.

Course Content

While classes are exploratory and open ended in nature, and the specific content of each class will be partially directed by the particular interests and concerns of participants, the syllabus will be delivered within the following general structure: 

• Writing History: Academic and personal histories

• A decade of centenaries: Memory, politics, debates and controversies

• 1913-1923: History and human experience

• Historical research: Finding and using primary resources 

• Field trips: The National Library, the National Archives, the Military Archives

• Interpreting primary resources

• Literature reviews: Harnessing and critiquing secondary sources

• Writing history: Forms and conventions

• Editing to publication standard: Review and polishing of written pieces

• Course finale: Publication of course booklet


To meet the requirements of the Diploma in Arts (History & Politics) students will be required to produce a historical research article or project for inclusion in the course book and, possibly, for publication in other outlets (100% each).

Please note this programme is not on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).


The course is delivered in a series of 12 weekly three hour classes which incorporate interactive lectures and discussions, field trips and writing workshops. The firm emphasis throughout is on the production of history and students will be very closely advised and supported in the formulation and development of their own piece of historical writing and research. This will culminate with the publication of a class booklet containing the best of the writing from the course. Those judged to be of sufficient standard and interest will be put forward for consideration by the Dictionary of Irish Biography and other publications.

Career Opportunities

The course will be useful to anyone with a general interest in Irish history, culture and politics; to those interested in local, community and family histories; and to anyone looking for a short and engaging encounter with academic study within a third level environment.


The fee for this Diploma is €300. This is inclusive of tuition, registration, exam fees and DBS library membership. View all DBS Evening Diploma Fees here.

The fee for this Diploma is €
00. This is inclusive of tuition, registration, exam fees and DBS library membership. View all DBS Evening Diploma fees here.
The fee for this Diploma is €
00. This is inclusive of tuition, registration, exam fees and DBS library membership. View all DBS Evening Diploma fees here.

Next Steps

Visit Us

Open days are a great way to help you make your decision about your course of interest. The open day will give you the opportunity to receive one on one advice and direction from leading academics in your chosen subject area, meet current students and also have your questions answered on entry requirements, student support and the admissions process. Find out when our next Open Event is taking place. The Admissions Office is located in our Aungier Street campus and you are welcome to visit the college to speak with a member of our admissions team from Monday to Fridays, 8:45am – 5:15pm. 
Alternatively, you can contact us by email.

DBS Diploma students can also avail of a wide range of facilities to assist them in every aspect of their studies, please see below for more details.

DBS Student Facilities

• Online Notes System (DBS Moodle)- is an eLearning system designed to provide you with a range of course material which will enhance and support your learning experience within DBS. 

• DBS Library Aungier Street- the Library provides a programme of classes in the areas of Library resources, essay writing skills, avoiding plagiarism and referencing to assist you in your studies.  

• DBS Careers and Appointment Service- which provides a range of services for Diploma students such as career advice and workshops in CV writing and interview skills. 

• Subsidised Parking- DBS provides subsidised parking arrangements for students, which provides easy access to all main public transport routes in and out of the city centre. 

• Subsidised Student Canteen- Diploma students can avail of the Student Canteen which is open in the evenings and offers a wide variety of choices on its menu.

  • Arts
  • Professional Evening Diplomas
  • Part-Time

Course overview


Schedule: One afternoon or early evening per week
Intake: October
Duration: 12 weeks

Contact Us

We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2020. Contact our admissions team for more information

Email: admissions@dbs.ie
Phone: 01 417 7500
Opening times:
Monday to Friday
8:45am to 5:15pm