The Belfast / Good Friday Agreement

Together we will explore its successes, failures and lessons, over two decades after its conclusion.

Photo by Frankie Quinn


The Belfast Agreement, also known as the Good Friday Agreement, was reached in multi-party negotiations and signed on 10 April 1998. It concluded a period of violent conflict – the Troubles – which spanned over thirty years and claimed the lives of thousands in Northern Ireland and beyond.

This course introduces you to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement — its historical context, the negotiation process from which it emerged, its content and implementation. Together we will explore its successes, failures and lessons, over twenty-five years on from this landmark moment in British-Irish history.

Good Friday Agreement

While it is referred to as a peace agreement, the Good Friday Agreement was in fact a political agreement between the British and Irish governments, and most of the political parties in Northern Ireland, on how Northern Ireland should be governed following the decades of conflict in the region and the history of British rule on the island of Ireland. It provided, and continues to provide, a general template for the political progress in Northern Ireland and hope for peacebuilders across the globe.

Photo by Frankie Quinn

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone wishing to learn more about British-Irish history and explore one of the world’s most renowned peace processes that continues to be a template for political and social progress in Northern Ireland as well as inspiring peace builders throughout the world.

Learning Outcomes

Module 1

the Agreement

Module 2


Module 3


Module 4

the Agreement

Course Creators

This course has been developed by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building with support from Dormant Accounts NI.

The Centre for Democracy and Peace Building is a charity registered in Northern Ireland, which aims to support the peace process and share its lessons with the international community.

This course has been created by:

Mark Devenport

Former political editor for BBC Northern Ireland and BBC UN correspondent.

Professor Peter Shirlow

Director of University of Liverpool’s Institute of Irish Studies and visiting research professor at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

Dr William Beattie (Bill) Smith

Former civil servant, public policy analyst and writer.

Zachary Hutchinson

Programme Manager at the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building.

Irka Laskowska

Graphic designer at the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building.

Frankie Quinn

Frankie was born into the Short Strand/Ballymacarrett community. He began taking photographs in 1982.

Photos by Frankie Quinn

Key Information

Four modules

Thirteen lessons


On demand

4 to 8 weeks