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History in Arts

  • 20-02-2013 9:38pm
    Registered Users Posts: 10

    Doing Arts in September with the hope of getting into teaching. After consulting with a guidance teacher, he said to get into teaching from Arts, the vital thing to do is take two teaching subjects after 1st year which seems fairly obvious anyway. So I got into examining the various subjects and subject groups. Going to do IT and Phsycology with Geography as the first teaching subject. Here's where the problem is. Have no interest in Maths and I'm hopeless with languages so there off the table. Economics became a possibility but the fact is is that it is a declining subject in many secondary schools. That leaves History. Did history for the Junior Cert but not for the Leaving. I have an interest in it but the fact I didn't do it for the Leaving worries me. My Guidance teacher said a lot of people take history for the first time in 1st year Arts but I'm not sure if I'll be able for it. What i want is advice. As in, is it manageable? How hard is it? I feel I'd be prepared to work in order to get a grasp on it but if you were in my situation, would you advise taking History despite not having done it for the LC? Thanks in advance!


  • Registered Users Posts: 292 ✭✭Fooker

    Hi there,

    You should maybe think about taking on another teachable subject as having done it in first year makes you qualified to teach it up to Junior cert. History and Geography are especially subjects that many people pick who go into teaching. It would probably be best to pick all teachable subjects to make yourself more employable if you became a teacher and maybe not have to teach the same subjects and topics all the time.

    Doing languages are not that hard it's mainly about work, again are very employable and there could be a year abroad for you. See what new subjects are being brought in aswell as there could be a shortage of teachers to teach them.

    As a student of history I personally love it. I don't think you need any prior experience for it other being able to present the facts well, if you are ok at LC English you'll be fine. There is a bit more reading than most courses but unless you have no general knowledge of the periods or do absolutely no work you'll be fine.

    P.S. Philosophy is in general an easy subject to do, although I myself never did it(Put off by an introductory lecture).

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 178 ✭✭Manco

    I did History throughout my undergrad and am now doing the History MA in NUIG. If you have an interest in the subject and apply yourself by attending tutorials and lectures you'll be absolutely fine, the majority of history undergrads don't take the subject at LC level, and there's a big leap between History at LC and 3rd level, so it's not an absolute necessity. The workload is reasonable enough, and the course is very interesting, especially Niall O Ciosain on the 1798 rising. There's a good mix of interests among the staff in the Department, so you get a good bit of choice in 2nd and 3rd year in picking subjects that interest you. I also did Philosophy throughout my undergrad and would highly recommend it to anyone, although if you're thinking of going for teaching I don't think it would be of use to you personally.

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭Caiseoipe19

    Few things...

    Yes History is manageable in first year. No need to worry about that if you're willing to put in a bit of work. A hell of a lot of people pass that do damn all.

    Secondly, there is no such thing as being qualified to teach a subject up to Junior Cert. You either are qualified to teach a subject up to Leaving Cert Higher Level or you're not qualified to teach it at all. Saying that, if you think you'd have an interest in it, fire ahead.

    Thirdly, keep you're options open as much as possible. As in, if there's another subject you think you would have an interest in, but has nothing to do with teaching, I'd say take it for first year instead of one of the subjects you intend to drop. Speaking from experience, you'd be as well off keeping your options open in case you decide not to go into teaching after you get a taste for something else in college. When I was in Leaving Cert I was certain I wanted to become a teacher so I did Arts, picked suitable subjects etc. Come December of final year, I realised I had made my decision too early and should have kept more of an open mind when picking my subjects in first year. Go to lots of introductory lectures for the first few weeks and see how you like different subjects. You'll have five years till you become's a long time and a lot can change in that period!

    Fourthly, if you want to be a teacher, I would advise being sure about your subjects. If it all goes to plan, you'll be studying these for the next 3/4 years and then teaching them for years to come.

    Fifthly, I second that Niall Ó Ciosáin's lectures on 1798 Rebellion are absolutely brilliant. Four years on, they are still by far the most interesting lectures I've attended.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,029 ✭✭✭Lockstep

    I did history in NUIG and personally, I loved it.
    There's a great variety of subjects on offer so whether you're interested in military history or the American civil war.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 tinasbarry


    I was in the exact same position as you 4 years ago. I did History up to my junior cert and dropped it for my leaving. I too wanted to be a teacher so had to pick two subjects. I ended up picking Geography and History.

    I went to UCC. First year history is very straight forward to be honest. Just go to your lectures and tutorials and you'll be grand. Second year allowed me to pick modules that interested me along with a Core module. You can learn loads of things you would never have thought you could have. For example History of media in Ireland, such a great module and the exam was easy because it was so enjoyable. Definitely preferred 2nd and 3rd year more because you got to specialize and pick modules that you found interesting. I promise it is completely manageable but as the guys say above you need to put in the effort as well to get the rewards. I'm doing my Hdip now in September and can't wait.

    I wish you all the best. I wouldn't worry at all at all. You should look up the colleges online you've applied to and look up the history department syllabus to get a better idea of what you'll be doing. Believe me with a bit of research you'll feel a lot better.


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