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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Historical Geography
Module Code GY309
School 68
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Jonathan Cherry
Semester 2: Jonathan Cherry
Autumn: Jonathan Cherry
Module TeachersJonathan Cherry
Grania Shanahan
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module introduces the field of historical geography and in particular the historical geography of Ireland. As historical geographers we are concerned with the geographies of the past and in this module we will examine the main phases of landscape change in Ireland from the Gaelic period through to the mid twentieth century, using an extensive range of case studies and examples drawn from across the country. Taking an interdisciplinary approach and drawing upon work from the fields of historical geography, history and landscape archaeology some of the central topics which run through the themes include: the processes and agents of landscape change; interactions between ‘natives’ and ‘newcomers’; land ownership and occupation; the development of Ireland’s urban network and settlement patterns; the impact of the Great Famine and the role of the state in shaping the rural landscape in the later 19th and first half of the 20th century. Together these themes and case studies will be used in explaining the complex regional nature of Ireland today. The module concludes by focusing on the historical geography of Dublin from the Viking period through to the late 19th century.

Learning Outcomes

1. Detail and explain the main phases of social and economic change in Ireland while assessing their impact on the Irish landscape from the Gaelic period through to the mid 20th century
2. Detail and assess the role of the state in altering the shape of the rural landscape of Ireland during the period c. 1890 to 1950
3. Chart the main phases of Dublin's growth and development from the Viking period through to the late 19th century, while identifying the primary agents of change and their landscape impact
4. Identify the legacy of past landscape change in the contemporary Irish landscape

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Attending and participating in formal lectures/seminars
Assignment Completion60Preparing, researching, writing and presenting assignments and / or preparing for online quizzes
Independent Study41Reading and preparing for lectures / seminars
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The Gaelic and Anglo-Norman legacy:
Landscape and societal organisation in Gaelic Ireland & Anglo-Norman landscapes

Plantation Ireland:
Laois/Offaly; Munster & Ulster.

17th century land settlements:
Cromwellian and Williamite

Landlordism in 18th and 19th century Ireland:
Landlord landscapes of town and country

Sources for the study of Irish historical geography:
Re-constructing historical Irish landscape

The geography of the Great Famine:
Regional variations in emigration and mortality

The changing landscapes of Ireland in the early 20th century:
Land legislation 1923-31 and the role of the Irish Land Commission

An Historical Geography

Reading the contemporary Irish landscape:
The historical legacy

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment50% Examination Weight50%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Loop QuizOnline Quizzes (x 2) and / or short written / mapping exercises.50%As required
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Aalen, F.H.A. et al (eds.): 0, Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape. (1997, 2nd ed, 2011)., CUP, Cork,
  • Barry, Terry (ed.): 2000, A History of Settlement in Ireland, Routledge, London,
  • Brady, Joseph & Simms, Anngret (: 2001, Dublin through space and time 900-1900, Four Courts Press, Dublin,
  • Clarke, H B: 2002, Dublin, part 1 to 1610. Irish Historic Towns Atlas, RIA, Dublin,
  • Dooley, Terence: 2004, The Land for the People: the land question in Independent Ireland, UCD Press, Dublin,
  • Duffy, Patrick J,: 2005, Exploring the History and heritage of Irish landscapes, Four Courts Press, Dublin,
  • Goodbody, Rob: 2014, Dublin, part III, 1756 to 1847. Irish Historic Towns Atlas, RIA, Dublin,
  • Graham, Brian (ed.): 1993, An Historical Geography of Ireland, Academic Press, London,
  • Lennon, Colm: 2008, Dublin, part II, 1610 to 1756. Irish Historic Towns Atlas, RIA, Dublin,
  • Morrissey, John et al (eds): 2014, Key Concepts in Historical Geography, Sage, London,
  • Smyth, William J.: 2006, Map-making, landscapes and memory: a geography of colonial and early modern Ireland c. 1530-1750, CUP & Field Day, Cork,
Other Resources

61353, Loop, 0, Online resources will be made available via Loop,
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