Study Abroad in Maynooth, Ireland

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Study Abroad in Maynooth: Courses

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Students can choose up to 6 courses though we strongly recommend a maximum load of 5 courses. AIFS students can select a wide range of courses from Maynooth University’s curriculum. Some of the most popular courses chosen by international students are shown below. Prerequisites may be required for some courses. Recommended credits are shown in parentheses.

Please note that the University of Maynooth issues ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits. The number of ECTS credits will be shown on the transcript to allow each student’s home institution the ultimate decision in the awarding of U.S. credit. Recommended U.S. semester credits shown in parentheses next to each course on the course description pages are based on 15 classroom hours per semester credit and are not a conversion of ECTS credits. Students should consult with their university advisors prior to participating in the program to have course credit pre-approved and ensure that they are taking the appropriate amount of credits.

For a full and current list of available courses, contact the AIFS Admissions Officer.

International Program


AN 156 (5) spring only
The Anthropology of Zombies and Aliens: The Near-Human and the Uncanny in Culture
How humans imagine creatures both like and unlike themselves who also pose existential dangers to their own societies. Using recent ethnography, popular media and classic theory, we examine this near-abroad of human anxieties, speculations and even humor.

AN 229 (3) fall only
Medical Anthropology: Affliction and Healing

Offers an introduction to medical anthropology. If sickness and suffering are universal aspects of the human condition, it is also true that disease and illness are always experienced within historically specific sociocultural frameworks. Putting sickness into social context, in this course we tarry with the proposition that disease is never just about biology.

AN 230 (3)
Area Studies I

Intertwines an overview of the anthropology of North America with an intellectual history of American cultural anthropology, with a specific focus on race, militarism and the history of labor in the United States.


BI 201 (3) fall only
Biochemistry I

This module will have a strong emphasis on proteins, the regulation of their activity and their participation to cellular processes. There will also be a focus on essential metabolic pathways, which will be described in detail, but also presented within a physiological context. An effort will be made to present simple experimental evidence for essential concepts. Tutorials will focus on developing problem-solving and analytical skills.

BI 204 (3) spring only
Evolutionary Biology

Topics covered include: origin of life; origin of eukaryotes; origin of photosynthesis; origin of animals; the colonization of land; origin of amniotes (including mammals, birds, and reptiles); species concepts and modes of speciation; macroevolutionary patterns and key evolutionary transitions; evolutionary trends and emerging phylogenetic relationships in animals and plants; population genetics: the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium; evolutionary forces in natural populations - mutation, migration, natural selection and genetic drift.

BI 303 (3) fall only

Topics covered include: Soil ecology and the role of microbes in nutrient cycling; the interaction of climate and soil in the formation of the 10 principal global biomes; vegetation change through succession: patterns, mechanisms and examples from bogs and sand dunes; Lotka-Volterra modeling of organism and population interactions; intra-specific competition within species; inter-specific competition between species; predatory-prey relationships; density-dependent and density-independent selection mechanisms; gradients and patterns of global species diversity. Along with a lab-based practical component there will be a weekend field course to introduce field observation of ecological processes.


EQ 202 (3) fall only
Equine Leisure and Tourism

Topics addressed include the economic and social importance of tourism generally and in particular the Irish equine leisure and tourism industry. The Irish equine leisure and tourism sector will also be looked at in the context of the international leisure and tourism industry. Students will learn about and have the opportunity to discuss current and/or topical issues of concern with staff and industry experts.

MN 215 (3) fall only
International Business

Focuses on international aspects in management theory and literature, which are relevant across international cultures and borders. There is a particular focus on comparing the institutional context and cultures of countries. This serves as the basis for analyzing managing in international environments, considering approaches to ethics, negotiation, motivation, and management and leadership across countries.

MN 312 (3) spring only
Global Supply Chain Management

Addresses the core functions and process of global supply chain management. This module aims to ensure students understand the role of supply chain management function within an organization and the global impact supply chain management has on all aspects of the business.


MC 102 (3)
Understanding Conflict: The Irish Experience

Helps students understand the nature and impact of conflict, with special reference to the Irish situation. It addresses the problem of how humans manage conflict and instills an understanding of the nature and impact of conflict in society. 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 towards a transformative peace.


PD 201 (3) spring only
Design History and Culture

An overview of design history and culture from the turn of the 20th century to date. Gives students an introduction and deep understanding of the design of man-made artefacts and how this influences future design. It will show design as an evolving and cyclical concept. Topics include: the Industrial Revolution and Arts and Crafts movement in design and society; stylistic and decorative movements of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modernism and Bauhaus, Post Modernism in design; the changing face of design in consumer society, design in popular and youth culture, and forecasting design for the future.


EC 217 (3) fall only
Economics of the European Union

Examines the economics of the European Union. Topics covered may include the theory of the positive and negative effects of the customs unions on welfare; the benefits of the single market; the theory of optimal currency areas and monetary union; European labour markets; the Common Agricultural Policy; competition policy; EU trade policy; and Brexit.

EC 327 (3) spring only
Economics of Sport

Introduces students to the economic issues involved in the organization and undertaking of sporting and sports-related activities. Topics that may be analyzed include: demand for sport; pricing of sports events; Pareto efficiency; organization of clubs and leagues; competitive balance; labor markets in sport; broadcasting of sport; public finance and sport; cheating in sport; gambling and sport.

FN 309 (3) spring only
International Finance

Reviews the different types of exchange rate regimes and then discusses the current workings of the foreign exchange market. The connections between international assets markets, the ‘’parity conditions’’ are examined in some detail. The core of this course is the issues surrounding exchange rate hedging; when it is required; how much of a hedge is needed and how it should be achieved. Finally, the impact of economic policy on exchange rates is examined.


EN 204 (3) fall only
Literature of Place

Examines the geographies of literature and looks at how literary culture reflects on and shapes the places which it inhabits.

EN 303 (3) spring only
Experimental Forms

Examines how literary forms change rapidly and radically through experimentation and asks why this happens.


FR 216A (3) fall only
French Politics and Society in the 20th and 21st Centuries
An examination of French political culture and its development over the 20th century up to the present day with special reference to the concept of the Republic and its significance in France.

FR 217 (3) fall only
From Teenage Kicks to Teenage Angst

A survey of French film makers, films and techniques.


GY 275 (3) spring only
Geographies of Sport and Leisure

Leisure activities and sport are not only expanding global businesses, they are aspects of our everyday landscapes and lives. This module will introduce geographical concepts of scale including, global, national, regional, rural, urban, home and bodies. Exploring the relationships between sport, leisure, place, space, landscapes, environments, and embodiments the module will investigate the constitution of sportscapes and leisure landscapes. Lectures will involve discussions, activities and group work. Students will be encouraged to engage with new concepts using their experiences, understandings and perceptions of sport and leisure activities.

GY 326 (3) fall only
Medical Geography

Explores issues relating to the biological and social causes of human disease and considers the importance of geography in the context of medical/health data and the uses of and challenges involved with using such data. Considers the various ways that environment influences health, including the relationship between early life exposures and disease in later life. The module also explores “popular epidemiology” and real versus perceived disease patterns. It reflects on the relationship between poverty, inequality and health and examines the role of social capital.

GY 339 (3) fall only
The City in Film

Films reflect the remarkable changes in urban life that have occurred since the turn of the 20th century and represent the promises and failures of globalization, urban development, and living with strangers. Students will gain an understanding of such themes as: urban aesthetics, design, and planning; urban form and technology; social and cultural conflict in cities; political and economic processes tied to urbanization (including colonialism, globalization, real estate development, deindustrialization); changing racial and gender relationships; and utopian and dystopian views of urban futures.


HY 104 (3)
Ireland since 1800

A general outline of the history of the period and an introduction to some of the core themes in the political, social, economic and cultural history of the period.

HY 213 (3)
Early Modern Ireland and Great Britain: the Four Nations

Examines the impact of the 16th-century Protestant and Catholic Reformations on Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales and the wars and rebellions of the early 17th century.

HY 230 (3) fall only
History of Health and Medicine

Provides an introduction to the history of health and medicine.

HY 276 (3) fall only
Gender and History

The module takes a thematic approach to the study of gender in history.

HY 353 (3) fall only
The Holy Roman Empire 1495 to 1648

Begins with the medieval origins of the Holy Roman Empire during the time of Charlemagne. We then consider its evolution, constitutional structure, ethnic diversity and social development during the tumultuous era of Protestant Reformation ending with the Thirty Years War. Students participate actively in a series of in-class discussions, role-plays, panel discussions on historical documents and oral reports, composing an essay for submission at the end of the semester.


KD 303 (3) fall only
Food, Nutrition and Climate Security

Looks at the root causes of food and nutrition insecurity, how climate change is contributing to increased vulnerability of the poor, particularly in the Global South, and how “adaptation to climate change” is essential for any efforts to promote sustainable food systems and food, nutrition and livelihood security. This module will also introduce the “Sustainable Livelihoods approach” (SLA) to poverty reduction and how SL thinking can inform community based climate change adaptation strategies and food security planning.

KD 353 (3) fall only
Development and Conflict

Current events around the world, including conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, South Sudan and Yemen, highlight once more the devastating effect that conflict can have on the lives and prosperity of millions of people globally. This course will explore the relationship between development and conflict. Drawing from a diverse range of disciplines, it will examine different perspectives in conflict and conflict resolution processes, tying this literature to issues of development and security, with a particular focus on human security.


LW 272 (3) fall only
Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice

Introduces students to key questions of gender in the study of crime, punishment and the criminal justice system. Adopting a critical criminological perspective, the role of gender in offending behavior, crime victimization and criminal justice responses are examined. These topics are also explored using the concept of intersectionality, which looks at how other factors such as race and class are felt alongside gender.

LW 631 (5) fall only
Criminology and Criminal Justice

Provides an introduction to key theories underlying the field of criminology against the backdrop of criminal justice policies and processes. It investigates the nature and origins of the discipline of criminology and provides an insight into the complex trends and theoretical paradigms which shape the study of crime. A broad overview of the operation of the criminal justice system is provided, and its functioning considered in the context of criminological theory.

LW 635 (5)
International Human Rights

Introduces students to international and regional systems for the protection of human rights. The module covers the various pathways for the enforcement of human rights at national, regional and international levels, in order to understand how these various jurisdictions attempt to curb state and corporate power and to bolster rights protection. It examines the different categories of human rights and analyzes the international treaties and conventions and judicial interpretations that have contributed to the evolution of human rights jurisprudence.


MD 216 (3) spring only
History and Theory of Documentary

From the earliest actualités to YouTube, factual filmmaking has encompassed a heterogeneity of practices that are linked by their supposed special relationship with the reality they represent. The ways in which these practices are interpreted, however, have relied on audiences’ reception of them, and definition of the term documentary remains open. The module will examine key historical developments and theoretical articulations of documentary as a form encompassing the first films through wartime propaganda, ethnographic film, city-symphonies, cinéma vérité/direct cinema and both more recent feature documentaries and a wide array of non-fiction television genres. It will consider the work of such documentarists and theorists as Dziga Vertov, Robert Flaherty, John Grierson, Leni Riefenstahl, Joris Ivens, Jean Rouch, Fred Wiseman, Errol Morris, Claude Lanzmann, Werner Herzog, Michael Moore, Nick Broomfield and Alex Gibney.

MD 240 (3) fall only
Film and Screen Studies

Provides an introduction to film as an aesthetic, economic, and cultural phenomenon. Mastering the vocabulary associated with narrative, editing, cinematography and sound, which are the fundamental tools required for the close analysis of film texts, lays the groundwork for the interpretive analysis of film texts.


MU 265 (3) fall only
Introduction to Irish Traditional Music

Provides a general introduction to the various forms of Irish traditional music, both instrumental and vocal, through a historical survey of the tradition.
Pre-requisites: No prior knowledge of Irish traditional music is required, but you must be able to read and write music notation.


PO 203 (3)
International Relations

Introduces students to the main theoretical approaches to and contemporary issues in the study of International Relations (IR). The module begins by outlining the key theoretical frameworks which inform IR debates. It then introduces the key debates within the world of contemporary international politics, including Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History, Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilisations, the relationship between Islam and the West and the U.S. “war on terror”, and the nature and significance of global economic structures. The mixture of theoretical and empirical analysis will allow students to develop ideas about the international political system, what it is made up of, how states interact with each other and with wider structural forces.

PO 312 (3) fall only
Gender and Politics

Provides an assessment of the key debates about the relation between gender and politics in the Western political tradition. It will explore how gender has shaped and been shaped by key political ideas (including the public-private distinction, the idea of contract, political representation, rights, justice, identity and equality), connections between conceptual debates institutional politics and, more specifically, gender inequality and political representation.


PS 251 (3) fall only
Cognitive Psychology

Theories and processes in perception; the visual pathways; object and face recognition; visual attention; memory structures and processes; working memory; long-term memory and amnesia; learning and forgetting.

PS 254 (3) spring only
Personality and Intelligence

An introduction to psychometric testing including the principles of psychological test design, administration and interpretation. Some well-known theories of personality and intelligence/ability. Applications of individual differences theory and research. The measurement of human abilities and associated questions/debates. The role of genetic and environmental factors in personality and intelligence.


SO 209 (3) fall only
Sociology of Health

In many countries medical sociologists are among the largest specialty groups in sociology. Sociology frequently forms parts of the curriculum of health care disciplines but among sociologists there has also been a concern to maintain a critical distance from the subject they study and to ensure that lay, as well as professional, perspectives are explored. This course lays emphasis on policy relevance in its exploration of this sub-field of sociology.

SO 212 (3) spring only
Community and Class

An examination of the relationship between social class and community, with special emphasis on particular topics such as working class communities.

SO 214 (3) spring only
Northern Irish Society

Introduces the ways in which contemporary Northern Irish society is organized, experienced and represented. The major social and political divisions within Northern Irish society are analyzed.

SO 311 (3) spring only
Sociology of Development

Seeks to describe and explain the dramatic and growing inequalities in power and wealth. What it means to be a ‘’developed’’ society, the ways in which the west has conventionally constructed what is often described as the ‘’third world’’ and the recent radical transformations at work in the global economy, politics and culture as well as a number of contemporary issues in the field of development studies.

SO 312 (3) fall only
Sociology of the Family

Contemporary trends in Irish family life, placing them in comparative historical perspective. Sociological explanations of those trends, the consequences for individuals, groups and society as a whole. Changing patterns of family formation, changing gender roles, reconciliation of family and work life, family violence.

SO 338 (3) spring only
Sex, Law and Society

In this course we move beyond common sense and “natural” explanations of sexuality to show how it is a social construct of competing scientific, religious and legal discourses. We examine resistances to this regulatory code governing sexuality and how it has contributed to the construction of sexual identities and social movements. The course also focuses on contemporary debates around the political economy of sexuality exploring controversies around the criminalization/decriminalization of sex work and the sexualization of children.

Theology Modules

Students studying at Maynooth University will also have the option of studying Theology Modules through St Patrick’s College which is located on the beautiful South campus with its stunning gothic buildings. St Patrick’s College opened as an educational institution in 1795 and specializes in the teaching of philosophy and theology. Courses offered in the past include:

  • Christianity and World Religions
  • Faith and Practice in Everyday Living
  • History of Early Christianity
  • Introduction to the Bible and its Worlds
  • Philosophy of Religion and Secular Thought
  • The Celebrating Church

Download PDF with full program details on all AIFS Ireland programs! Offerings!

Download PDF with full program details on all AIFS Ireland programs!

Download PDF with full program details on all AIFS Ireland, Maynooth programs!