Carmel is a recent graduate of the MA in History of the Family (online), Carmel resides in Australia and describes her experience of completing the MA remotely and her student experience in UL.
What made you choose the MA in History of Family at UL?
I had previously (2017/2018 academic year) studied a Certificate of History of Family at UL (both online and while present in Ireland) and this further higher qualification consolidated and further developed my academic learning and research skills in the field of Irish history and genealogy.
What did you learn on the course?
The course exposed students to academic articles and journals and taught us how to support and present arguments, or historical theory in a comprehensive and well documented frame work. The introduction and familiarisation of primary and secondary resources gave further support to a well-rounded exposure of materials.
What is unique about the programme?
The opportunity to study both online (in real time via the big blue button interface) and while residing in Ireland is a unique way of learning and caters for flexibility and further opportunities for students catering to their own individual needs. This flexibility allowed me to take leave from work in Australia to reside in Ireland and feel a part of the UL student community.
The opportunity to study both online and while residing in Ireland is a unique way of learning and caters for flexibility and further opportunities for students catering to their own individual needs
Can you take us through your experience of studying online from Australia; can you describe the experience of interacting with your classmates from another continent and time zone?
Studying online does have its frustrations and difficulties and does require commitment and self-discipline. Listening and interacting to lectures and discussions at 2am in the morning was at times difficult however, the technology offered face to face interaction and made me feel a part of my student cohort. My lecturer/s addressed me personally and confirmed that I could hear and see the relevant course presentations. As the student representative for our study group, I was able to email fellow students, or chat with them via ‘whats app’ as needed.
Can you tell us about your own personal experience of the course, the benefits/ challenges etc?
The course developed my research skills, and ability to examine material in a comprehensive and confident manner. The dissertation research allowed me the challenge of further discovering the history of Nenagh, county Tipperary; my ancestral homeland and its landed gentry during the mid-Victorian era. People, places, customs and religious affiliations grounded me and offered me historical insights and understanding to undertake a micro-study of a diary written by a woman from the town.
Would you recommend the MA to others?
The MA programme caters for individual learning and offers great support from the lecturers and the History department. It is a stepping stone for those wishing to pursue further academic studies but also teaches skills and experience that can be valuable in many workplace environments. These skills and newly learned constructs can be transposed in other non-related fields and therefore are life-long requisites.
The MA programme caters for individual learning and offers great support from the lecturers and the History department
What do you plan to do/have done post-graduation?
I hope to offer a genealogical research service concentrating not only on ancestry, but also the broader historical context of place in Ireland where forebears resided. Without research and scholarship of geographic place, a huge part of ancestral story is missing or misinterpreted. To offer this understanding and history of Irish county/townland or village to Australians could make a valuable contribution to their narrative.
To learn more about the MA in The History of the Family (Online) and to apply, please click here
Our main lecturer, Dr Rachel Murphy was brilliant in not only her presentation of lecture material but also in crafting and modelling her passion of history to each of us. Her demonstration of the scope of material and resources that can be researched to contribute to a comprehensive knowledge of academic scholarship was tremendous and I am very proud to have been part of this MA programme.