This course is concerned with Early Irish language and literature in the period from 600AD to 1200AD, and focuses on the study of language, grammar, texts, and their historical and literary contexts. Students are encouraged to develop their skills in close reading of sources, and in close analysis of the medieval Irish language. You will also have the opportunity to study medieval Welsh and Latin, and to take advanced courses in literary studies, palaeography, and textual editing. Provision has been made for supervised independent research to allow you to broaden and deepen your scholarly interests, while a 20,000-word thesis gives scope to postgraduates to complete a significant piece of work in a specific area of interest.
For the full-time one-year option, you are required to choose modules to the value of 50 credits. Most modules have a value of 10 credits and involve weekly classes for the duration of the academic year (24 weeks). Depending on options, a full-time student will have a minimum of 5 classes per week (though many will also contain weekly assignments); students may also choose to attend the two-day palaeography workshop held annually in early September. For one-on-one supervised studies, and for the 40-credit dissertation, students are expected to meet with their supervisors on a regular basis.
After you have chosen the modules you wish to study, you are expected to attend regularly and participate fully in taught classes. Attendance at Old Irish language classes and the weekly Department research seminar is compulsory. In areas of supervised study, supervisors for the relevant modules will be organised by the teaching staff of the Department. The thesis topic and supervisor will be chosen by you in consultation with members of staff. The MA in Early and Medieval Irish entails a lot of reading and study happily; the library facilities in UCC are particularly good in our subject area.
Placement and Study Abroad Information
Upon successful completion of the Master of Arts in Early and Medieval Irish, students often go on to PhD degrees at home and abroad. In recent years, many of our students have received scholarships to study for further degrees in North America, Scotland, Germany and Wales, as well as in Ireland. As we have numerous formal links with higher education institutions overseas, students who avail of the opportunity to pursue their doctoral studies in UCC may elect to spend some time abroad as part of their course.
On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
- translate selected Early Irish texts
- comment grammatically on particular words, phrases or sentences within these texts
- transcribe Early Irish texts from manuscript sources
- write and present a research paper on an agreed topic
- translate selected Medieval Welsh texts
- submit the results of supervised research in a dissertation of 20,000 words, with full scholarly apparatus.
Unique Aspects of the Course
The MA in Early and Medieval Irish offers great training in the language, literature and culture of medieval Ireland, providing opportunities for postgraduates to study the medieval Irish language in depth, as well as receiving training in Latin and medieval Welsh. You can develop your scholarly potential by directed independent study and taught modules, working with staff who are internationally recognised in areas such as medieval Irish Christianity, mythology, palaeography, textual editing, and legendary history. MA students will join a large cohort of international and Irish students already engaged on postgraduate studies in the Department of Early and Medieval Irish, UCC.