Covering the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland

Delve into the history of The Troubles of Northern Ireland, and tell the stories of conflict, peace and religion. Covering the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland is a four-credit, semester-long course during spring semester that brings students from The Media School, the School of Global and International Studies and the Department of Religious Studies together to analyze journalistic representations of religion and produce original reports from the field. The class includes spring break travel to Dublin, Ireland, and Belfast and Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Taught by professor of practice Elaine Monaghan, former Dublin chief correspondent for Reuters, with guest lectures by Winni Sullivan, a professor in religious studies, the course will introduce students to best practices in foreign correspondence and provide context on past coverage of religion in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Before the reporting trip, students will conduct preparatory interviews, read deeply into the religiopolitical context of Northern Ireland’s conflict and develop a deeper understanding of how The Troubles emerged, the inner workings of the peace deal and the ongoing challenges to peace.

During spring break, students will meet with journalists, diplomats, academic experts, politicians and activists, and they will visit and report on important sites including EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, political institutions and organizations supporting refugees. They will also participate in a special event at Seamus Heaney HomePlace, a new site dedicated to the life and work of the Nobel laureate.

Based on their pre-trip preparatory work and their reporting abroad, students will produce a high-quality journalistic report related to the themes of the course.

The course is part of the American Council of Learned Societies-funded project, “Perceptions of Religion,” in which Monaghan is principal investigator.


To apply for the course, you must:

  • be on track to be a sophomore by credit hours (30 hours completed) by the end of fall 2017 semester.
  • have a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • be on track to be admitted to The Media School, the School of Global and International Studies or the College of Arts and Sciences as a religious studies major by the end of the fall 2017 semester.

Master’s degree students also may be eligible to take the class for graduate credit. Contact Amy Cornell, director of student services, for more information.

In addition to financial support from The Media School, students’ travel costs will be subsidized by grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the IU Foundation and IU’s Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council.

  • Full program costs: $2,915
  • Scholarship from grants: $2,365
  • Course fee after scholarship: $550

The course fee covers round-trip transportation from Bloomington, lodging, all required activities, health insurance and some meals. We recommend students have at least $400 available during the trip to cover meals and personal expenses. These expenses can be reduced through other scholarships and grants, such as the Hutton International Experiences grant.