St Brigid's College, Loughrea



St. Brigid’s College History Department

History is now a compulsory subject provided at Junior Cycle and an option at Senior Cycle with modules provided in TY. History deals with the experience of human life in the past. The study of history involves an investigation of the surviving evidence relating to such experience. Students will gain an insight into other ways of life, other ways of thinking, and other solutions to recurrent problems.


Claire Casey

Lisa O Connell

Diarmaid Gallagher

ICT is widely used in the teaching of History. All general classrooms have data projectors with internet access which can be used to show relevant clips to compliment the content being taught in class. Studyclix access is provided as extra support for all students.

Junior Certificate


  • Students who study History should acquire knowledge of and understanding about human activity in the past.
  • They should understand the present world through the study of the past.
  • They should develop the ability to think independently and develop a range of skills essential for the study of History.
  • It is essential that students are objectives and accept that people and events must be judged in the context of their values and times NOT our values and times.
  • Students are encouraged to develop an appreciation for History and for their heritage from the past.

Structure of the Syllabus

The syllabus is presented in three strands: strand one is The Nature of History, strand two is The History of Ireland and strand three is The History of Europe and the Wider World.

Strand One: The Nature of History

Strand 1 is a formational strand, supporting students to explore the concepts, practise the skills and consider the values and attitudes that inform the discipline of history and the work of the historian.

Strand 1 will help students to acquire a ‘big picture’ of the past and an understanding of the importance of evidence that will enhance their historical consciousness. Therefore, discrete time can be dedicated to realising learning outcomes.

Strand 1 is also a unifying strand, whereby the learning outcomes can be achieved through engaging with the context provided in strands 2 and 3 in relation to personalities, issues and events.

It should be noted that strand 1 does not equate to a first-year course – the learning outcomes will be realised while engaging with the historical context of strands 2 and 3 over three years.

Strand Two: The History of Ireland

Students should be able to:

Recognising Key Changes

  • Recognise how a pattern of settlement and plantation influenced identity on the island of Ireland, referring to one example of a pattern of settlement, such as the growth of towns, and one plantation.
  • Investigate the role and significance of two leaders involved in the parliamentary tradition in Irish politics.
  • Explore how the physical force tradition impacted on Irish politics, with particular reference to a pre-twentieth century example of a rebellion.
  • Examine the rise and impact of nationalism and unionism in Ireland, including key events between 1911 and 1923.
  • Identify the causes, course and consequences of the Northern Ireland Troubles and their impact on North-South and Anglo-Irish relations.

Exploring People, Culture & Ideas

  • Consider the historical significance of Christianity on the island of Ireland, including its contribution to culture and society in the Early Christian period.
  • Investigate the causes, course and consequences, nationally and internationally, of the Great Famine, and examine the significance of the Irish Diaspora.
  • Describe the impact of war on the lives of Irish people, referring to either World War One or World War Two.
  • Explain how the experience of women in Irish society changed during the twentieth century.
  • Examine how one sporting, cultural or social movement impacted on Irish life.

Applying Historical Thinking

  • Make connections between local, personal or family history and wider national and/or international personalities, issues and events.
  • Debate the idea that the 1960s was an important decade on the island of Ireland, referring to relevant personalities, issues and events.
  • Analyse the evolution and development of Ireland’s links with Europe.

Strand Three: The History of Europe & the Wider World

Students should be able to:

Recognising Key Changes

  • Investigate the lives of people in one ancient or medieval civilisation of their choosing, explaining how the actions and/or achievements of that civilisation contributed to the history of Europe and/or the wider world.
  • Evaluate the impact of conquest and colonisation on people, with particular reference to Portuguese and Spanish exploration.
  • Examine the causes, course and consequences of one revolution in pre-twentieth century Europe and/or the wider world.
  • Discuss the general causes and course of World War One or World War Two and the immediate and long-term impact of the war on people and nations.
  • Recognise the importance of the Cold War in international relations in the twentieth-century world.

Exploring People, Culture & Ideas

  • Explore life and death in medieval times.
  • Appreciate change in the fields of the arts and science, with particular reference to the significance of the Renaissance.
  • Consider the historical importance of religion, with particular reference to the Reformation and the actions of one Reformer.
  • Examine life in one fascist country and one communist country in the twentieth century.
  • Explore the significance of genocide, including the causes, course and consequences of the Holocaust.

Applying Historical Thinking

  • Explore the contribution of technological developments and innovation to historical change.
  • Evaluate the role of a movement or organisation, such as the European Union or United Nations, in promoting international co-operation, justice and human rights.
  • Debate the idea that the 1960s was an important decade in Europe and the wider world, referring to relevant personalities, issues and events.
  • Illustrate patterns of change across different time periods in a chosen theme relating to life and society (such as, Crime and punishment; Food and drink; Work and leisure: Fashion and appearance or Health and medicine).

Classroom-Based Assessments in History

There are two Classroom-Based Assessments in History. They are assessed at a Common Level. They relate to specified learning outcomes and are scheduled to be undertaken by students in a defined time period within class contact time to a national timetable (as advised by the NCCA) in the school calendar. Following the second of these assessments students will complete an Assessment Task which is marked by the State Examinations Commission as part of the state-certified examination in History. The Classroom-Based Assessments for History and indicative timings are outlined in Table 1 below.

Classroom-Based Assessments (CBA)


Student preparation


The Past in My Place



Group, pair or individual

During a maximum of 3 weeks with support/guidance from teacher.

Towards the end of Year 2

A Life in Time




During a maximum of 3 weeks with support/guidance from teacher.

Term 2 of Year 3

Transition Year programme

As global citizens we will look at how our backgrounds can affect the way we look at the role played by important historical figures and events from different perspectives. Using the skills developed in the JC History programme while complementing the understanding of the world in preparation for LC History. It will help the students to have a greater understanding of the world by being sensitive to cultural differences.

Leaving Certificate

  • To develop knowledge and understanding of human activity in the past and promote understanding of the present through the development of a historical perspective of issues of contemporary importance.
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of Irish, European and World history while at the same time developing students’ understanding of historical concepts.
  • To develop an awareness of different interpretations of particular historical issues and a range of skills essential for the study of history.
  • To develop an ability to think critically and to develop a positive attitude to the study of history.
  • To develop in students an informed and critical awareness of their historical inheritance.

Syllabus (Higher and Ordinary Level)

The new History syllabus is divided into 12 topics.

  • Students must study 4 topics (one of this is prescribed by the SEC, this rotates every two years).
  • Students must also submit a Research Project which has a value of 20%.
  • Students study TWO Irish topics and TWO European topics.

Students taking the Leaving Cert in 2024 & 2025 will study:

  1. Europe Topic 6: The United States and the world, 1945-1989.
  2. Ireland Topic 5: Politics and society in Northern Ireland, 1949-1993.
  3. Ireland Topic 6: Government, economy and society in the Republic of Ireland, 1949-1989.
  4. Europe Topic 4: Division and realignment in Europe, 1945-1992.

Some Career Opportunities for students that study history:


An Garda Siochana



Community Work




Human Resources


No events found
Out TY rugby 7’s team got to the TUS cup semi-final yesterday after beating Summerhill Sligo 25-0 and Rochfordbridge 20-15, unfortunately they lost narrowly to Newbridge College in the semi-final. Well done lads.
All of our first year students visited Petersburg Outdoor Adventure Centre this week for team bonding and outdoor education.
Well done to our junior girls volleyball squad who qualified for the All-Ireland Finals next week in UL beating Eureka College, Kells and Cross and Passion College, Kildare.
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St Brigid's College, Loughrea
Co. Galway,

091 841 919

Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board
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