Irish Folklore & Ethnology

The MA Irish Folklore and Ethnology is a recently established programme which offers students the chance to acquire in-depth knowledge of a unique and vibrant aspect of Irish culture – that of oral tradition and folklore, representing the history and heritage of Ireland at vernacular level. Modules are available on a wide range of topics, including research theories, the study of oral narrative (storytelling), traditional music and song, fieldwork and archival methods, social tradition, popular belief systems, material culture, folk medicine, and Irish and European ethnology. The programme also offers students the opportunity to complete a Masters thesis or, for a limited number of students and where suitable work is available, the possibility of an internship in a related cultural body such as the National Folklore Collection or the Irish Traditional Music Archive.

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core
Advanced Research 1 - IRFL40130
Advanced Research 2 - IRFL40190

Stage 1 - Option
Heritage Presentation & InterpretationARCH40830
Practical Experimental ArchaeologyARCH40850
Nature & Culture: A bridgeARCH41250
Cultural Policy 2: IrelandCULP40310
Scéalta Fiannaíochta 1300 - 1900IR40050
An Béal BeoIR40480
Healers and HealingIRFL20050
Oral history and traditionIRFL20100
Popular religion and beliefIRFL30100
Aspects of EthnologyIRFL40110
Folklore and FolkloristicsIRFL40120
Interpreting the Oral TextIRFL40140
Folklore in Focus: themes and case studiesIRFL40150
The Life CycleIRFL40160
The Narrative ArtIRFL40170
Calendar CustomIRFL40180
Collectors of Music & SongIRFL40200
Internship in Archival MethodsIRFL40220
Work placement and ReportIRFL40250

Entry requirements

In the normal course, entry requirements will consist of an undergraduate degree in the Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences with a minimum 2.1 or an equivalent of a UCD GPA of 3.08 (NFQ Level 8). The School may also consider applicants with equivalent qualifications/professional experience for the Pathway Programme.

Applicants are required to submit original academic transcripts.

Applicants are also required to submit two references, preferably both relating to academic performance.

For applicants with equivalent professional qualifications, applicants will be required to submit a focussed statement of 500 words stating why this particular programme is right for the candidate at this point in their career (to be part of the online application).

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit evidence of their language proficiency. Applicants will have reached an overall 7 in IELTS with no individual band lower than 6.5, or equivalent. The School is willing to consider applicants who achieve IELTS 6.5 if they attend a five-week pre-sessional language course offered by the UCD Applied Language Centre.

A basic reading knowledge of the Irish language is recommended for MA students. This can be acquired concurrently with the student’s MA studies.

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes

Application dates

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:
MA Irish Folklore & Ethnology FT (Z253)
Deadline Rolling *

MA Irish Folklore & Ethnology PT (Z254)
Deadline Rolling *

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised.




Z253: 1 Year Full-Time
Z254: 2 Years Part-Time
Mode of delivery: Face-to-Face


MA Irish Folklore & Ethnology (Z253) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 7315
nonEU fee per year - € 19900

MA Irish Folklore & Ethnology (Z254) Part Time
EU fee per year - € 4390
nonEU fee per year - € 9950

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website.

Irish Folklore offers a number of scholarships for graduate students in the subject, including the Máire Mac Neill Scholarship, the Onfel and Isobel Thomas Scholarship (for students wishing to incorporate a course of study at a Scandinavian university as part of their MA studies), and the Dónall Ó Móráin Bursary (for students wishing to pursue their studies on an aspect of Folklore pertaining specifically to the Irish language). For further information please see .

Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2024/2025 September.

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
Given the nature and reach of the subject, graduates in Irish Folklore and Ethnology can be found across a broad range of occupations and organisations, including heritage institutions, tradition archives, museums and cultural bodies. Graduates have also found employment in teaching, research, the media and journalism. The MA in Irish Folklore and Ethnology can also act as a pathway to higher degrees in Irish Folklore, involving further in-depth research of a chosen topic.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider