Womens Studies

University College Cork

Womens Studies

Course Outline
Our MA in Women's Studies programme is offered by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences (CACSSS) at University College Cork (UCC).

This MA course has been offered in UCC for over 20 years and is an inclusive course ideally suited to Irish, international and mature students. The Women's Studies MA involves a wide variety of possibilities for interdisciplinary study, and for contact with the community and other organisations dealing with women's and gender issues.

We cover a range of themes including representations of women in history, literature and popular culture (music and film); gender and sexuality; women and politics; women, work and family; and gender violence.

You will be provided with training in research skills and introduced to theoretical material that will enhance your personal research in Part II of the course, the dissertation.

For further information please see our Women's Studies page.

Course Practicalities
You will normally have a minimum of six contact hours per week from September to May and there are additional, timetabled, research skills training hours.

The part-time option will be taught during evening hours over 2 years.

You will participate in seminars, directed reading, research skills training, essay and report writing, maintaining the reflective journal, student presentations, and one or two field trips. You will also have the opportunity to attend some sessions with visiting speakers.

In December and March, the review weeks provide you with an opportunity for research, revision, reading, and essay writing. From May to September, you will concentrate on completing your thesis, under the supervision of a dedicated member of staff. This will allow you to develop your research skills and your knowledge of an area of particular interest or passion.

Who teaches this course
The teaching team is drawn from a variety of college disciplines and may vary slightly from year to year. The following areas are usually involved: English, Film Studies, Philosophy, Sociology, Applied Social Studies, Folklore, Hispanic Studies, Italian, German, Law, and History.

Connected Curriculum

Our learning approach reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections across the disciplines.

Why Choose This Course
Our MA Women's Studies course suits students from a wide range of academic disciplines and employment backgrounds. As well as those whose life and work experience directed them towards Women's Studies, we have had mathematics, science, business, and law, as well as social science and humanities, graduates among our students.

On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

formulate arguments that reflect a critical and comprehensive, interdisciplinary knowledge of feminist debates around social and cultural issues;

communicate those arguments effectively both orally and in writing;

apply concepts, theories, and methodologies appropriately at the postgraduate level;

assess how differences (race, ethnicity, class, sexual identity, time, place, values, etc.) inform theoretical positions;

critically evaluate evidence drawn from existing research and scholarship;

design and pursue independent research;

& use the transferable skills developed through engagement with the self-directed learning, research and academic writing aspects of the course.

Subjects taught

The MA in Women's Studies is offered as a full-time interdisciplinary programme running for 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme or as a part-time programme taken over 24 months from the date of first registration for the programme. The teaching team is drawn from a range of departments/schools which may vary from year to year but has usually come from among the following: Applied Social Studies, English, Folklore, French, History, Law, Philosophy and Sociology.

Students take 90 credits as follows:

Part I

WS6002 Feminist Theory (10 credits)
WS6003 Gender and Society I: Contexts (5 credits)
WS6005 Gender and Society II: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (15 credits)
WS6007 Research Skills Part I: Feminist Methodologies (5 credits)
WS6008 Research Skills Part II: The Literature Review (10 credits)

Part II

WS6004 Dissertation in Women's Studies (45 credits)
See the Academic Calendar (MA Women's Studies) for more information on course and module content for this programme.


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

To apply for this course, you will have a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or the equivalent

If you have relevant experience in the areas of community work, industry, or professions, you can also apply.

You will be asked to submit an essay of at least 1,000 words on a book, experience, or personal contact which stimulated your interest in women's studies. Further examples of your work may be requested. It is likely that you will be required to attend an interview.

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

The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023

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:

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.
In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.

Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

Please detail your computing/technical/IT skills.

Please upload a short analytical/critical/report writing sample or essay (1,000 words approx.) on a book, experience, or personal contact, which stimulated their interest in Women's Studies. The essay provides an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their referencing skills and it should have a bibliography attached.


90 credits


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 7 September 2020

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
You will develop skills that enhance your employability, including critical thinking; analytic skills; innovative approaches to social issues; gender expertise; understanding of power dynamics and diversity; awareness of social justice and legal issues.

Our graduates enter a wide range of occupations in the public and private sectors, including equal opportunities/equality advisory; research and education; non-governmental/civil society organisations; journalism and the information sector; and the social and health sectors.

There are also academic possibilities such as studying for a PhD, and some students enter further professional training, e.g. studying law, training as a social worker or counsellor, moving into the equality or community sectors.

Many graduates suggest that the course reinforces their self-confidence and encourages them to become involved in community or political activism.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider