Program Overview

IRELAND: Maynooth

Sunday, July 29 to Sunday, August 26, 2018 (4 weeks)

This will be the second year that the University of Toronto has offered a summer course in Ireland. Students will earn a full-year history credit in four weeks while living and learning in Maynooth, the country’s only university town. This course will benefit students interested in learning about Irish history in an international context.

The summer program in Ireland is hosted by the National University of Ireland Maynooth, more commonly known as Maynooth University.


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. The course aims to provide students with a deep understanding of Irish history from 1798 to the present.

HIS389Y0 Topics in History: From Famine to Freedom: Irish History in an International Context

This course explores Irish history from 1798 to the present within the context of Irish migration and settlement across the globe. Key themes include British-Irish relations, the plantations of Ireland, wars of religion, the Great Irish Famine and the Revolutionary Period in 19th and 20th century Ireland. Through primary documents, visits to historic sites and research assignments, students will examine the results of voluntary and involuntary Irish migration that came as a result of economic dislocation, religious persecution, political struggles and the Famine. Notable will be the continued engagement of the “diasporic Irish” in Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States with the unfolding of events in Ireland.

Prerequisites:1 FCE in History or relevant academic preparation
HIS389Y0 Course Outline

Field Trips: Field trips, which are designed to complement the focus on Irish history and events since 1798, include visits to sites such as New Grange, the Battle of the Boyne Site, Strokestown Park, the National Museum of Ireland and the General Post Office (GPO) Museum. The total cost of the field trips is CAD$910, paid to U of T for all entrance fees, guides and return bus transportation.

Instructor: Professor Mark G. McGowan is a Professor and Deputy Chair of History at the University of Toronto. From 2014 to 2017 he served as the Senior Academic Advisor to the Dean of Arts & Science on International matters. From 2002 to 2011 he served as Principal of St. Michael’s College and in 2013 worked as Acting Vice-Provost (Students) for the University of Toronto. He was the founder of the Book & Media Studies Program and currently teaches in the Celtic Studies Program and he has also won four university teaching awards. Mark specializes in Canadian, Irish, and immigration history, particularly the Irish Famine migration to Canada in the 1840s and Irish participation in World War I. In 2009, his book Death or Canada was the basis for a joint award winning Canada-Ireland docudrama on the Famine, aired in Canada, Ireland, the USA and Britain. His books on Ireland, Canada, immigration, and religion have won numerous prestigious awards. His fourth book, The Imperial Irish: Canada’s Irish Catholics Fight the Great War, 1914-1918, was published in June 2017. His latest research is on Irish Famine orphans in Canada in the nineteenth century.

Program Details

Sunday, July 29 to Sunday, August 26, 2018 (4 weeks)

The summer program in Ireland is hosted by the National University of Ireland Maynooth, more commonly known as Maynooth University. Maynooth University was formally established as an autonomous university in 1997, yet traces its origins to the foundation of the Royal College of St. Patrick in 1795, making it, simultaneously, Ireland’s youngest university and one of its oldest educational institutions. Students will be housed in an on-campus residence, and the campus is well serviced by bus and rail routes.

Being a university town, Maynooth is known for its warm and friendly nature. The town is always buzzing with people going out to lunch, going to work or out with friends.

The most important historical buildings in the town are within the university campus, some of which were built before the foundation of the college, while others are in the late Georgian and neo-Gothic revival style. The “new range” of university buildings were erected by A.W.N. Pugin, one of the most distinguished British architects of the 19th century.

Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is a short train or bus ride away. It is located on the east coast of Ireland, overlooking Dublin Bay. Dublin City is surrounded by the greater Dublin area, or Dublin County, where you can find an abundance of picturesque seaside villages, rolling mountains and rural hinterland, all within half an hour of the city centre.

Program Activities

• Welcome dinner
• Orientation of Maynooth
• Maynooth campus orientation
• Faculty led visits to select local historical sites
• Farewell Dinner

Accommodation and Meals

Housing is available in River Apartments, an on-campus student residence. Students will live in single rooms with a private (en-suite) washroom. Wi-fi, weekly housekeeping and all utilities are included. Students will have access to shared kitchen facilities, a dining room and lounge area, and token-operated laundry machines. There will be an option to select a breakfast-only option or a full meal plan from Monday – Friday. Students are able to access all facilities on campus.

Ireland – Residence Information Sheet

Group flight

No group flight is available for this program; students must make their own travel arrangements. Please note that if you choose to arrive earlier or leave later than the available dates for the accommodation option you have selected, you will be responsible for arranging your own arrangements.

The Summer Abroad office will send recommended flight details to admitted students.

Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO)

All students admitted to the Summer Abroad program are required to successfully complete an online PDO, which will provide information and advice on international health and safety issues. Students must also attend the in-person Ireland PDO, at which you will receive a course syllabus, Student Handbook, and detailed program information (e.g., about accommodation, services, facilities, and travel instructions to and from the airport).

Students are also strongly encouraged to attend the in-person Ireland PDO, which will take place on May 1, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


The deadlines for fees payable to the University of Toronto are as follows:

  • Application fee: due February 1, 2018
  • Non-Refundable Deposit of $1,000 due two weeks after admission notification
  • All remaining fee: due April 19, 2018

Cost of Studying in Ireland

Amount Details
Application Fee $200 Paid at time of application
Course Fee
Domestic Students $2,660 Includes $1,000 deposit
International Students $3,815 Includes $1,000 deposit
U of T Incidental Fees $175 Estimate based on 2017 part-time summer fees
Field Trip Fees $910 Includes transportation and entrance fees
Airfare $1,008 Estimate – cost will depend on departure location and purchase date
Accommodation $2,000 Based on single room accommodation
Meals $600 Estimate – paid on site for purchased and self-prepared meals
Medical Travel Insurance variable Students must provide proof of medical travel insurance
Miscellaneous Expenses variable All students should budget for miscellaneous expense (e.g. travel, gifts, etc.)
Approximate TOTAL Program Cost INCLUDING field trips
Domestic Students $7,603 This figure does not include mandatory medical travel insurance
International Students $8,758 This figure does not include mandatory medical travel insurance

Financial Assistance

The following assistance is available for eligible students in this program. For additional awards and further details please see the Financial Aid section of the Summer Abroad website.

• Summer Abroad Bursary (two awards at $3,000 each)

Information Session

A detailed information session for the summer program in the Ireland will be held on the UofT St. George campus in January. This session provides an excellent opportunity to hear from the instructor and previous participants, see photos, and ask any questions that you may have.

Date: Monday, January 14, 2019 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Location: Woodsworth College Residence, in Waters Lounge, 321 Bloor Street West (SE corner of St. George and Bloor)


See information session listings for all UofT programs and campuses.