Gaelic Literature - Online

Course Outline
Our MA in Gaelic Literature (Online), offered by the Department of Modern Irish at UCC, provides students with an in-depth introduction to a distinctive body of literature, giving expression to the many identities of the Gaelic world, and extending over 1200 years, from monastic to modern times.

This course will take you on a literary journey across place and time as we examine sources (manuscripts) and literary texts from the early Christian period to the modern era. This emphasis on place – both local and international – informs the historicity of Gaelic literature studies.

We also create links over time between authors such as Colum Cille and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Gofraidh Fionn and Seán Ó Ríordáin. This allows us to consider Gaelic literature as an organic entity – redefining and reinventing itself as each historic challenge is encountered and overcome.

Course Delivery
The programme is delivered online through English (using texts in translation) by acknowledged experts in the fields of Gaelic language and literature: this coordinated, panoramic approach to the study of Gaelic literature will address and develop the various themes and influences that feed into and inform this literature, including mythology, spiritualism, historic events, landscape, and diasporic studies.

A highlight of our cross-module approach to course content and delivery is the exposure of the student to the primary sources for Gaelic literature, especially manuscript sources in Ireland and abroad. The treatment of the development of Gaelic Ireland as an international entity, and the panoramic approach to the study of Gaelic literature over time are innovative features of this programme.

Why Choose This Course
This is the only online course offering a comprehensive programme in Gaelic literature from early times to the present, delivered by recognised academic experts in the field. All the subjects dealt with in the different modules are placed in their historic context. For instance, the module on Women's Poetry in Gaelic Society references poetry and song through its historic phases in tandem with contemporary material.

Subjects taught

Programme Modules
The online MA in Gaelic Literature is an online programme running for 12 months (full-time), or for 24 months (part-time), from the date of first registration for the programme.

- In Part I students take 60 credits consisting of core and elective modules.

- In Part II students complete a Research Dissertation worth 30 credits.

These modules cover all aspects of Gaelic literature from the first appearance of poetry in the margins of Latin manuscripts in the ninth century, to an exploration of the sense of place in the work of Irish authors of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Lectures will be recorded, and both they and ancillary lecture material (notes, slides, bibliographies etc.) will be made available via Canvas, the online teaching platform used by University College Cork.

Part-time option: Students taking the part-time option complete 60 credits of taught core modules in Year 1. In Year 2 they complete the 30 credit dissertation module.

Part I
Core Modules
GA6012 The Social and Cultural History of the Irish Language, 1200-2000 (10 Credits)
GA6013 The Transmission and Interpretation of Gaelic Literature (10 Credits)

Elective Modules
GA6010 Beginners Irish Language (10 Credits)
GA6014 The Phases of Gaelic literature (10 Credits)
GA6016 Placenames and Sense of Place in Gaelic Literature (10 Credits)
GA6032 Women's Poetry in Gaelic Society (10 credits)
GA6033 Fionn Mac Cumhaill in Gaelic Tradition (10 credits)
GA6040 Literature in Translation (10 Credits)

Part II
GA6019 Dissertation in Gaelic Literature (30 credits)

Please see the University Calendar (MA Gaelic Literature-Online) for more information and learning outcomes.

Postgraduate Diploma in Gaelic Literature
Students who have completed and passed modules to the value of at least 60 credits in Part I and who fail or do not wish to proceed to Part II may exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Gaelic Literature.

Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Entry requirements

Applications will be considered from graduates of all disciplines. Successful applicants will normally have a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or the equivalent.

Candidates who hold a Second Class Honours Grade 2 in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) will also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), based on the information provided in a supplementary statement and/or interview acceptable to the Department selection committee.

- For North American students a cumulative GPA of 3.2 is normally expected.

Applicants must complete a short personal statement outlining their academic background and interests and reasons for applying to the programme.

Technical expertise
As most of this course will be delivered online, it is understood that students will have constant access to internet-delivering technology. Elementary computer literacy will be required of the students. Technical guidance and support provided by UCC will be available to the students at all times.

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland:
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.

International/non-EU applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Application dates

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

- Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC

- Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.

5. Rounds
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates.

Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

- You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

- Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

- Please add the names and addresses of two referees.

The closing date for non-EU applications is 15 June.


1 year Full-time, 2 years Part-time online.

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
Upon successful completion of the MA in Gaelic Literature a student may elect to pursue further study to doctoral level. If such study is to be undertaken at UCC, students may choose to spend time abroad as part of their programme. Students with this qualification will also be in a position to apply for scholarships to study for further degrees at overseas universities. See the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences for more information on a PhD in this area.

In addition, the MA in Gaelic literature is an ideal qualification for those wishing to pursue careers in sectors such as heritage, local history, broadcasting, and media.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    MA/PG Dip

  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ),Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider