MA in Irish Studies @ UCC

A unique opportunity to investigate how the complex and contested pasts of Ireland and its diaspora speak to the present and to possible futures.

Why University College Cork?

University College Cork is home to a vibrant group of researchers and teachers in the field of Irish Studies, including Claire Connolly, Linda Connolly, Patricia Coughlan, Mel Mercier, Piaras Mac Éinrí and Pádraig Ó Macháin. Irish Studies research at UCC is at the cutting edge of new scholarly developments, and a rich variety of Irish Studies conferences, seminars and lectures take place there each year.

This research builds on a long and distinguished tradition exemplified by the seminal work of scholars such as Daniel Corkery, Seán Ó Tuama, Seán Ó Riada, James Hogan and Michael O’Kelly. Current research and teaching is embedded within the rich cultural context of Cork city and region, an area alive with historical resonances which regularly hosts festivals and celebrations of literature, film and the visual arts. UCC has a beautiful historic campus with state-of-the-art study resources. It is an internationally acclaimed university ranked in the global top 2%, while Cork city is among Lonely Planet’s top ten places to visit in the world.

A different kind of Irish Studies

A flagship Irish Studies programme at UCC is the MA in Irish Studies: Identities and Representations. This one-year full-time programme gives participants a unique opportunity to investigate how the complex and contested pasts of Ireland and its diaspora speak to the present and to possible futures. It draws on an unparalleled range of disciplinary perspectives within a strong framework of relevant theories and methodologies. The contributing disciplines include English, History, Irish, Sociology, Music, Geography, Archaeology, Folklore, Government, Politics and Art History.

What will I be studying?

Core modules explore over a thousand years of Irish culture and history through the unifying theme of “identities and representations”. Carefully selected case studies offer contexts to deepen your knowledge of Irish Studies and develop your research interests.

One of the seminar-based core modules focuses on medieval and early modern Ireland. Beginning with the complex identity of St Patrick, we progress onto the beginnings of Irish literary culture and the Golden Age of Irish art, examine Viking and Anglo-Norman identities, and interrogate representations of the Irish by early modern writers such as Edmund Spenser. Another core module focuses on the theme of ‘identities and representations’ as it relates to the post-1800 period. Case studies include the legacy of the Famine and of emigration, diaspora identities, selected writings of Yeats, Joyce and contemporary authors, formations of gender and class, and the aftermath of the Celtic Tiger.

A module entitled Irish Studies Fieldwork is structured around a programme of study tours to a range of spectacular and evocative sites and landscapes. Participants explore in the field how Irish identities have been shaped by literature, art, music, landscapes, and material culture. Thus, unlike other Irish Studies programmes, field work, landscapes and materiality are central to the learning experience.

The single most important element of the course is a 15-20,000 word dissertation which students develop in consultation with the programme coordinator and their academic supervisor.

Your future

This programme has been designed as a stepping stone both to further study and to a wide range of career opportunities. It imparts crucial transferable skills valued by employers in the private and public sectors, including critical thinking and analysis, communications expertise, cultural awareness and global engagement.

Scholarships and further information

Each year a number of scholarships are available to US students. For further information on these and other aspects of the course see http://www.ucc.ie/en/irishstudies/or email irishstudies@ucc.ie

 For more information about studying in Ireland please visit the Education in Ireland website

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