HST2510: The Northern Ireland 'Troubles' and Peace Process

20 credits (semester 2 - 2017-18) (semester 1 - 2018-19)

Module Leader: Dr Colin Reid



Pass in at least two of the Level One modules History Units HST112-121.


Module Summary

This module introduces you to one of Europe's most recent – and deadly – intra-state conflicts. The 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland, c.1968-98, were marked by the persistence and seeming intractability of a conflict that contained national, ethnic and religious dimensions. With the paramilitary ceasefires in the 1990s, a new era opened; but difficulties remain in moving from an absence of violence to a genuine peace. Students will consider the conflict as a low-level civil war within the United Kingdom, as well as a dispute over sovereignty. The module covers the competing political and paramilitary groupings and various initiatives to enhance peace.



The module has four broad aims:

  • To familiarise you with the modern history of Northern Ireland, and its place within the broader histories of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe.
  • To explore why violence has been a persistent feature in Northern Ireland, and the difficulties that beset the peace process.
  • To evaluate the impact of violence on political and cultural life in Northern Ireland and expressions of identity.
  • To develop the knowledge and skills to critically assess the role of competing groups and ideas within a deeply divided society.


Teaching and Assessment

The module is delivered via a lecture and seminar programme. Lectures provide an outline of the topic at hand, identifying major themes and historiographical interpretations to aid you in your independent study. Seminars provide a forum for you to discuss their ideas, tackle problems within groups, and engage with primary source analysis.

The module will be assessed in part by a 2,500 word essay based largely on secondary sources, which will allow students to advance their understanding of aspects of the module in more detail, to develop skills of analysis and argument, and to improve their writing. Formative feedback will offer advice on how to improve for the forthcoming summative assessment. A written examination will require students to demonstrate that they have absorbed and understood the material and that they can express this in clear prose and a structured argument.

Information on assessment can be found at: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/history/current_students/undergraduate/assessment/level2


Intended Learning Outcomes
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