The University of Toronto will offer one course in Ireland, worth one full-year credit. The course has limited space and is contingent on adequate enrolment. Classes will take place Monday through Thursday mornings. Mandatory field trips may take place outside of regular class time.

POL300Y0 Topics in Comparative Politics: Understanding Conflict – The Irish Experience

This is a highly interactive problem-oriented Peace and Conflict Studies Module designed to help students understand the nature and impact of conflict, with special reference to the Irish situation. This class addresses the problem of how humans manage conflict and introduces students to negotiation techniques and skills. The class uses the prism of the long and intractable conflict in Ireland as the basis and primary case study to explain the issues involved. This approach will maximize the benefit of the students’ experience of being on the ground in Ireland to give the material a unique authenticity, immediacy and relevance.

By looking at the Irish conflict from historical, political, sociological and international perspectives, students will explore how it is possible to move from a situation of violent conflict toward a transformative peace. It will relate the Irish experience to concepts of general application.


Prerequisites: 1.0 POL credit or relevant academic experience.
POL300Y0 – course outline 2020

Field Trips

Excursions include an overnight two-day visit to Belfast in Northern Ireland a day trip to Dublin City as well as a day trip to the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation located in the picturesque Wicklow Mountains. The cost of the trips is CAD$710 which includes entrance fees, transportation and guided tours.


Brendan Farrelly has worked with Maynooth University for a number of years and is currently the Project Manager for executive residential courses for EU public servants, conducted in association with the ESDC, on Crisis Negotiation/Mediation at the Edward M Kennedy Institute, Maynooth University. Mr. Farrelly has a distinguished career, which included working with the Irish Military as Director of Defence Forces Training. Mr. Farrelly then moved on to the position of Deputy Irish Military Representative to European Union in Brussels, Belgium. Mr. Farrelly has delivered the Understanding Conflict class for the Maynooth University International Summer School for a number of years, which consistently receives outstanding reviews from all students involved.