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Irish university launches new family history course

An Irish university is offering a “unique” online course that allows people across the world to study Irish history, family history and genealogy.

The University of Limerick, Ireland’s University of the Year for 2019, is now accepting enrollments for its MA History of Family course, allowing students to develop family history skills.

This year’s course will commence study in September.

The course, the college said, will appeal to anyone with an interest in Irish history, family history or genealogy who would like to “take their research a stage further and study towards a Master’s degree”.

“Students study the family within its broader context of social, cultural and economic history. A key attraction of the course is the wide range of topics covered,” the university said.

Among others, the course will cover topics such as families and migration, families and communities and Irish cultural history, as well as academic writing and advanced research skills. Students will also be expected to write a dissertation based on their own research.

The course is delivered both on-campus and online. Online students interact with colleagues in Ireland via audio-conference and through the University of Limerick’s virtual learning environment.

“Some students join the course straight after finishing their undergraduate degree, but several have joined following a long break from formal study. They have often developed an interest in Irish history through researching their own families and may have done a few courses in genealogy or family history,” said Dr Ciara Breathnach, the course director.

“They now feel ready to take this study further, in a more academic environment. The programme is designed to appeal to those wishing to upskill, reskill or conduct continuing professional development and is sensitive to busy lives and those working full-time”.

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The course may be studied full-time (one year) or part-time (two years).

Dr Rachel Murphy, one of the course lecturers, added: “Because the course is taught both online and on campus, our students are based not just in Ireland but also from all over the diaspora including America, Australia, Canada and the UK. This provides a really enriching environment in which to teach and learn, as students share their wide range of experiences.”

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