B.A. (Honours) in English & History

CAO Code



NFQ Level 8

242 - 478

Places Available



3 Years

Course Fees

Why Study This Course?

Two Majors

Immerse yourself in two subjects from foundation to specialisation


Interdisciplinary modules each year exploring topical themes such as EDI and Climate Change

Employable Skills

Employability modules enhance skills and experience in professional areas


The B.A. (Hons) in English and History is an exciting 3-year, Level 8 degree (validated by Quality & Qualifications Ireland, QQI), where students explore the outstanding literature of the English language and its cultures and immerse themselves in the history of Ireland, Europe and the wider world. The degree provides students with crucial tools needed for the twenty-first century by developing their critical thinking by cultivating strong digital, oral and written communication skills, and by fostering the value of creativity.

An exciting and comprehensive programme
The structure of the programme gives students a solid foundation in both English literature and History in Year 1, including an interdisciplinary module examining Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. From Year 2, students begin to curate their own degree studying a range of mandatory and elective modules. In Year 3, students select from a broad range of elective modules across both majors and will undertake a Research Thesis in English, History or a combined interdisciplinary dissertation.

What can you expect to learn?
The programme equips students with the essential tools needed for the 21st century by nourishing critical thinking, developing communication skills and fostering creativity. It also prepares graduates for life after college by teaching them employability skills through special career skills and career practice modules.

Work Placement
Students have the unique opportunity to engage in work placement in Year 3 through the Career Practice module. This module aims to enhance students’ employability and skills through real-life work experience in a variety of career paths.

Year One: Study a range of mandatory foundation modules in both English Literature and History, including an interdisciplinary module examining Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Year Two: Students begin to curate their own degree studying a range of mandatory and elective modules.

Year Three: Students select from a broad range of elective modules across both majors and will undertake a Research Thesis in English, History or a combined interdisciplinary dissertation.

Year 1

All mandatory modules

Subject Group Semester 1 Semester 2
  • Introduction to Literary Studies (M)
  • Writing Modern Ireland: From Independence to the Celtic Tiger (M)
  • Fiction, Criticism and Interpretation (M)
  • ‘The Play’s the Thing’: Introduction to Drama and Theatre (M)
  • Virtues of Poetry (M)
  • History
  • Debating and Doing History (M)
  • Discovering Medieval Europe (M)
  • Natives and Newcomers: Medieval and Early Modern Ireland (M)
  • Ireland 1700- 1850 (M)
  • The Atlantic World in the Early Modern Period, 1742-1770 (M)
  • Common & Interdisciplinary Modules
  • Academic & Digital Skills (M)
  • The Post-War Dispensation: The Question of Identity (M) – Interdisciplinary 1 (EDI)
  • Year 2

    Students will study four mandatory modules each semester and can choose a further two elective modules each semester.

    Subject Group Semester 1 Semester 2
  • Reading Romantic Poetry (M)
  • Theatre of European Renaissance (M)
  • Critical Approaches to Literature (E)
  • Gothic & Horror (E)
  • Inventing America: 19th Century American Literature (M)
  • Digital Storytelling (E)
  • Irish Studies: Literature and Revolution in Ireland 1890-1937 (E)
  • Literature of the Victorian Age (E)
  • History
  • Revolutions in the Transatlantic World, 1763-1877 (M)
  • Society & Change in 19th Century Ireland 1800-1890 (M)
  • Public History, Cultural Heritage & Commemoration (E)
  • Tyrants, Traders & Towns: The Vikings & Ireland (E)
  • Nation States, Empires & Global Conflicts, 1877-1945 (M)
  • Insurrection to Independence: Ireland 1900-1925 (M)
  • The Emergence of the City in 19th Century America (E)
  • Women & Gender in Medieval Europe (E)
  • Common & Interdisciplinary Modules
  • Literature, History & The Environment (E) Interdisciplinary 2
  • Research & Writing Skills (M)
  • Year 3

    Students can select four elective modules (20ECTS) in Semester 1 and up to five elective modules (25ECTS) in Semester 2.

    Subject Group Semester 1 Semester 2
  • Contemporary Irish Writing (E)
  • Creative Writing: Advanced Poetry (E)
  • English Special Topic Seminar^ (E)
  • Modern Drama in Performance (E)
  • Reading Modern Poetry (E)
  • Beyond the Human – From Postmodernism to Posthumanism (E)
  • Creative Writing: Fiction (E)
  • Reading Post War British & American Poetry (E)
  • World Literatures (E)
  • History
  • Healing the People: History of public health and medicine, 1800-2023 (E)
  • Power & Belief: The Cult of the Saints in the Medieval World (E)
  • The Rise of Fascism (E)
  • The Troubles, 1968-1998 (E)
  • History Special Topic Seminar^ (E)
  • Impact of Migration on an Island Nation, 1700-2000 (E)
  • Propaganda & Politics: Ireland 1918-1937 (E)
  • Power & Control in the Cold War Era, from 1945 to Brexit (E)
  • Building the Nation: Ireland 1920s-2000s (E)
  • Common & Interdisciplinary Modules
  • Dissertation* (M)
  • Career Skills (M)
  • Dissertation* (M)
  • Workplace Learning Experience (E)
  • American Dreams & Nightmares: Post-War American History & Literature* (E) – Interdisciplinary 3
  • * Denotes 10 credit modules
    ^ Cyclical modules

    Please note: this programme is currently under cyclical review and revalidation for 2024, therefore programme structure and content is subject to change.

    Past graduates have progressed to a wide range of careers, including: Teaching (Primary and Secondary), Media and Media Production, Journalism, Marketing, Digital Communications, Advertising, Public Relations, Librarianship, Archives, Information Technology, Management, Finance, and the Civil Service.

    Further Study

    If postgraduate study is your aim, this degree gives you the academic grounding you need for successful postgraduate study. Our graduates have successfully gone on to a wide variety of Level 9 postgraduate courses in areas such as English and Literature, Creative Writing, Irish History, Journalism, and Marketing. Some also successfully continued their academic studies through to Ph.D. level.

    Graduates have also continued onto Professional Masters in Education to qualify as post-primary teachers. This course is designed in line with the Teaching Council’s curricular subject registration requirements for English and History.

    Karmel Knipprath | M.A. English Studies (Gothic Studies) at Manchester Metropolitan University

    I initially chose the B.A (Hons) English & History programme at Carlow College, St. Patrick’s for its wide range of specialized modules and its outstanding reputation for high-quality and supportive learning. The College also offered a much more personal setting to those of bigger institutes, allowing me, as a mature student, to feel more comfortable returning to education. The staff here are always friendly and welcoming which is an invaluable asset, and the institution itself has a vibrant student body that works hard towards maintaining that unique sense of communal solidarity.
    Like so many students that pass through its doors, my time at Carlow College was extremely rewarding. I gained so much confidence and learned so much, both inside and outside the classroom. My role as Class Rep, in particular, allowed me to hone a range of interpersonal skills in a formal setting, while my participation in the College’s Reading Society provided me with a casual space where I could critically flesh out thoughts and ideas with my fellow classmates.
    The annual Student Literary Awards was great fun. I really enjoyed having something outside of coursework to work towards each year, and there is always great excitement on campus in the run-up to the Award Ceremony.

    By my fourth year of the English and History programme at Carlow College, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in academia and the lecturing staff across all departments were very supportive. Fourth-year students are encouraged to dig deep into their own, individual interests and so are permitted to adapt assigned assessments to suit these passions. For me, this was a wonderful opportunity to immerse myself in textual and filmic Horror, my primary research area. This period of immersive study also allowed me to present an undergraduate research paper at the Popular Culture Association of America conference which I achieved with the help and support of my dissertation supervisor, Dr. Eoghan Smith. The PCA conference was a fantastic experience and one which allowed me to put into practice all the academic skills and knowledge I had built up through four years of exciting modules, lectures, assessments, and independent research.
    Since graduating with a first-class honors degree from Carlow College, I have taken up a place on the MA English Studies (Gothic Studies) programme at Manchester Metropolitan University where, in 2022, I hope to undertake a PhD in the Post-Millennial Gothic. Of course, it goes without saying that I am deeply indebted to all the staff at Carlow College for helping me achieve my goals, and for getting me to where I am today.

    Like so many students that pass through its doors, my time at Carlow College was extremely rewarding. I gained so much confidence and learned so much, both inside and outside the classroom.

    Aine O’Neill | TV Producer, Peninsula Television

    Why English & History?
    I choose to study English & History as I loved the variety of subjects within the disciplines. I also think the course instantly stands out on a job application. When people see English they think; well-read and good writer. When they see History they think: good at researching and an interest in detail. These are qualities that make you an attractive candidate to employers.

    What did you enjoy most about the programme?
    The lecturers offered me guidance on a daily bases, BUT for me, I found that they were flexible with me doing extra work outside of college. As I was trying to build a career in TV, it was vital to work as much as possible. This in turn meant I sometimes needed to miss a lecture or two, and the lecturers were very supportive, helping supply notes etc. This allowed me to work in the area I wanted to work in, and still keep on top of my college work.

    How would you describe your time at Carlow College?
    At Carlow College you very much feel like you’re part of something, part of a community. You get to know people on a more personal, meaningful level. You feel like the lecturers take a personal interest in each student. I never felt like I was just another number that came through the college.

    Favourite memories of Carlow College?
    The memories I made will forever make me smile. I walked into Carlow College with little education, not much confidence and no academic strengths. I skipped out with lifelong friends, a degree in English and History and the confidence to pursue the career I really wanted. I will be forever grateful to the staff and lecturers of Carlow College for that.

    What advice would you offer to people considering to study at Carlow College?
    DO IT!!! Apply and get ready to unveil your potential to the world.

    What did you do when you graduated?
    I was lucky enough to go straight into a job that I had wanted since I was a young girl. I finally had the confidence to apply and I had the education to back me up. I started working on various shows for RTE and TV3.

    Have you worked on any exciting projects since you began working?
    So many. I’ve been really lucky. I’ve worked on quite a few TV shows: entertainment, reality, observational docs, hidden camera etc… I have worked on the IFTA red carpet 4 or 5 times. I love that, I interviewed so many different people!

    What are you doing now?
    I am currently working as a TV Producer with Peninsula television. I am Assistant Producer on the TV show, Evidence of Evil on CBS Reality. I also run a small casting agency called O Neill Casting. I cast for plays, TV Shows, TV Adverts, Movies and other media work.

    Judy Bolger | PhD Candidate, Trinity College, Dublin

    I cannot emphasise how my time at Carlow College, St. Patrick’s has since shaped my life academically, socially, and employability wise. The one-to-one support I received at Carlow College has given me the academic advantage over my peers in regard to writing coherent historical analysis.
    Carlow College has a very close-knit environment, where lecturers know students by name, yet the level of teaching is still on par with larger institutions, where such intimacy is not possible. Learning in this atmosphere is engaging and productive for students.
    I initially sought out the programme as I had a keen interest in history. I did not expect to enjoy the English modules as much as I did. The components of the degree compliment each other well. In regards to the lecturers, library staff and academic support team, advice and guidance was always conveniently available, so you’re not isolated within the academic workload.
    For anyone interested in a career in academia, Carlow College teaches you the relevant skills, while also offering public lectures from some of the biggest names in history. I’m currently a PhD student at Trinity College, Dublin and my degree from Carlow College has laid the appropriate academic foundation necessary to approach such a large project like a PhD.

    I cannot emphasise how my time at Carlow College, St. Patrick’s has since shaped my life academically, socially, and employability

    Minimum Entry Requirements
    Two grade H5 and four grade H7/O6 including English, Irish or a foreign language. Mathematics is not required.

    Further information on Entry Requirements and application processes available here

    Fees & Grants
    Information on Fees & Grants can be found here

    Student Testimonials

    Course Contact

    Dr Simon Workman
    Programme Director
    The lower number is the CAO cut-off and the higher is the highest points achieved by a student who accepted the course in 2022.