Irish Mythology & Folklore

University College Cork

Irish Mythology & Folklore

Our MA Irish Mythology & Folklore (Online), offered by the Department of Early and Medieval Irish and the Department of Folklore & Ethnology at UCC, explores Irish tradition, focussing both on the earliest and the most recent sources: medieval tales evoking the pre-Christian past; and the folklore of the last few generations.

Apart from Latin, Irish is the oldest literary language in western Europe, reflecting the vigorous cultural self-confidence of the early Irish themselves; and a wealth of Old Irish and Middle Irish tales, poems, and other texts speak of the culture and beliefs of the pagan period, evidently drawing on the materials of ancient myth.

Ireland is also unusual in the energy and thoroughness with which its folklore has been collected, especially in the early part of the twentieth century. The Department of Folklore and Ethnology embrace this in our department collaborations with ongoing research projects across both the University and community.

Despite the many changes brought by its eventful history, Ireland's traditions have been remarkably durable, and continuities can be identified by linking the popular lore of modern times with the world of primeval myth. Various course modules trace these continuities, examining enduring themes such as gender, kinship, and the supernatural.

Subjects taught

This is an online programme running for 12 months (full-time), or 24 months (part-time), from the date of first registration.

In Part I students take 60 credits consisting of six core modules

In Part II students complete a research dissertation worth 30 credits
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: Part-time students will complete a minimum of 40 credits and a maximum of 60 credits in Year 1. In Year 2, they will complete their taught modules as well as submit the 30-credit dissertation by the end of the second academic year.

Part I

Core Modules (60 credits)

CC6024 Tales of Kings & Heroes in Medieval Ireland (10 credits)
CC6025 Celtic Paganism & its Irish Legacy: The Medieval Evidence (10 credits)
CC6027 Gender Perceptions in Medieval Ireland (10 credits)
FL6011 Doing Irish Folklore: Archival Collection & Dissemination, Past & Present (10 credits)
FL6012 The Gaelic Otherworld: Stories &Theories (10 credits)
FL6013 Feminine Genealogies from Myth to Folklore (10 credits)
Part II

Dissertation in Mythology or Folklore (30 credits)

CC6026 Dissertation in Irish Mythology (30 credits) or
FL6010 Dissertation in Irish Folklore (30 credits)

Course Practicalities

This is an online programme. The taught part of the programme takes place in Semesters 1 and 2. It comprises a judicious blend of lectures, directed study, mediated activities, and self-directed study. There is inherent flexibility around inquiry-led components, with ample time for research and critical reflection. Most weeks, you will have 15-18 hours of reading in addition to assignments.

We expect our online students to participate fully in the programme through sustained engagement with lectures and related materials, contribution to mediated online activities, reading and interacting with sources (a wide range of online publications in Celtic Studies and Folklore, and online cultural heritage repositories and resources), and preparing assessment submissions.

You will be expected to interact with each other's contributions via mediated online activities in a supportive and engaged manner throughout.

Technical expertise
As this course will be delivered online, it is understood that you will have constant access to internet-delivering technology. While elementary computer literacy is required, UCC also provides technical guidance and support.


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 II 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.

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.

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure 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.

Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.

Application dates

How Do I Apply
1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? 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:

Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

Please outline your academic background and interests and reasons for applying to the programme.


1 Year full-time, 2 years part-time Online.

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
An MA in Irish Mythology and Folklore is an ideal qualification for those wishing to pursue careers in sectors such as education, academia, heritage, librarianship, local history, broadcasting and media, creative arts, culture, archives, museums and cultural bodies.

This MA also allows you to pursue further research primarily in Irish Folklore, Early and Medieval Irish and Celtic Studies through the College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Science (CACSSS). Please see their CACSSS research page for more information.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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