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Womens Studies

The MA in Women's Studies course has been offered in UCC for over 20 years. It is ideally suited to Irish, international and mature students (male and female) and this contributes to a dynamic mix in classes.

This is a challenging course that involves a wide variety of possibilities for interdisciplinary study and for contact with community and other organisations dealing with women’s and gender issues.

Unique Aspects of the Course
The MA in 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 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

Entry requirements

To apply for this course, you will have an honours primary degree at 2.2 level or the equivalent.

If you have relevant experience in the areas of community work, industry, or the 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 for an interview.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please view college webpage under "Detailed Entry Req" (link below) to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


Full-time 1 year
Part-time 2 years evening hours

Number of credits

90 credits

Careers or further progression

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.

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.

Further enquiries

Dr. Maeve O'Riordan
MA in Women’s Studies Programme Coordinator
P: 00 353 21 490 3654

Subjects taught

The course covers 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.

During the taught months of the course, from late September to May, themes like those above are explored in lectures, seminars and on fieldtrips, and are addressed by guest speakers.

Students take six modules over one year (full-time) or two years (part-time):
Modules (90 credits)
WS6002 Feminist Theory (10 credits)
WS6003 Women in Society I (Contextualising Women in Society) (5 credits)
WS6004 Dissertation (45 credits)
WS6005 Women in Society II (Interdisciplinary Perspectives) (15 credits)
WS6007 Research Skills in Women's Studies (Part 1: Feminist Methodologies) (5 credits)
WS6008 Research Skills in Women's Studies (Part 2) (10 credits)

For further details and module descriptions, see the Postgraduate College Calendar.


You will have a minimum of six contact hours per week with staff from September to May (most classes will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5pm to 7pm. Please note that hours of delivery are currently under review) and there are additional, timetabled, research skills training hours.
You will participate in seminars, directed reading, research skills training, essay and report writing, maintaining the reflective journal, student presentations, and one or two fieldtrips. 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.

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

While UCC operates a rounds system for Postgraduate Taught courses (detailed below) we would advise you to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications: Offers will be made:

For all completed applications received by January 16th 2017 Offers will be made by January 30th 2017

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2017 Offers will be made by March 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2017 Offers will be made by May 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by July 3rd 2017 Offers will be made by July 17th 2017

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU fees: €6,000 full-time; €3,000 per year part-time

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!