English - Irish Writing & Film

The MA in Irish Writing and Film will introduce you to an exceptionally rich body of cultural texts whose breadth and diversity continues to generate scholarly debate. With expert guidance, you will discover the historical and cultural contexts that inform Irish culture up to the present day, and engage in debate on a wide range of issues. You will read key texts from the eighteenth century to the present and be encouraged to engage with some of the most influential critical and theoretical models currently being applied in the analysis of Irish literature and film. You will also develop independent research in the field under the expert guidance of our academics, many of whom are themselves authors of important studies of Irish culture.

Why Choose This Course
This course will provide you with a comprehensive analysis of Irish literature and film while also encouraging you to develop as an independent and creative researcher and writer. The MA is taught by a deeply committed team who are actively engaged in research and who have international reputations in the study of Irish culture. Our team will guide and mentor you in your choice of dissertation topics and provide strong academic support throughout the degree.

The MA in Irish Writing and Film draws on rich academic expertise from our School of English. The course is unusual in integrating the study of Irish literature and film within a carefully designed academic programme and in teaching the entire history of Irish literature and film from the early eighteenth century to the present within innovatively designed modules. This course will offer you a unique opportunity to receive expert teaching in Irish culture while advancing new research and developing your own critical voice.

Our School of English has a high concentration of staff with expertise in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Irish cultural theory, the study of Irish modernism and the study of gender and sexuality. We also offer innovative teaching in such cutting-edge approaches as ecocriticism, pscyhogeography and transnational poetics.

Entry requirements

To be considered for admission to an MA programme within the School of English, an applicant will normally possess a primary degree result of Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2H1) level or higher or equivalent qualification in English or a cognate subject. All candidates must satisfy a Selection Committee who may request applicants to provide letters of reference.

For North American students a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 is expected.

The selection committee for the MA in the Department of English, University College Cork also attaches strong importance to the additional special supplementary online questions and the online 500 word personal statement for the

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 click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .


One year, full time

Careers or further progression

This course will prepare you for a career that demands skills in independent thinking, effective writing, critical and creative approaches to problem-solving and an understanding of culture in a broad sense.

The MA lays strong foundations for study at higher degree level and on graduation, you can opt to go on to PhD study and to an academic career. Other career paths that emerge from this high quality and flexible graduate course include journalism, digital media, arts management, marketing and secondary and further education, publishing and information sciences.

Skills gained as part of this course include effective writing, an ability to undertake independent research, strong communication skills, excellent organisation and creativity and independent thinking.

Further enquiries

Contact details for this course
Dr. Maureen O'Connor
+353 (0) 21 4902586

Subjects taught

The MA in Irish Writing and Film is made up of five taught modules (Part I) and a dissertation (Part II), which together form 90 credits.

Writers studied include Jonathan Swift, Edmund Burke, Maria Edgeworth, Gerald Griffin, James Clarence Mangan, Sheridan Le Fanu, James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Beckett, Kate O'Brien, Frank O'Connor, Brian Friel, John McGahern, Éilis Ní Dhuibhne, Anne Enright, Marina Carr and Colm Tóibín. Classic Irish films such as Man of Aran and This Other Eden are studied alongside more recent texts, while you will also engage with the work of such notable new Irish filmmakers as Lenny Abrahamson.

Taught Element
The subject modules and the Literary Research Skills module comprise the taught element of the MA and run from September to March. The subject modules introduce students to the specific thematic area of their choice. The Literary Research Skills module aims to equip MA students for the development and implementation of their research strategy through the acquisition of a range of research skills.

Research Element
Dissertation: the dissertation will be written between March and the end of August, and will be submitted in September. It will be supervised by a member(s) of staff, after consultation and agreement, and will be 15,000 to 17,000 words. Supervision will take place between March and the end of August.

Part 1
EN6009 Contemporary Literary Research: Skills, Methods and Strategies (10 credits)
FX6010 Irish Cinema: History, Contexts, Aesthetics (10 Credits)

Three of the Following four Modules:
EN6047 Irish Culture: Colonial, Postcolonial Transnational (10 credits)
EN6048 Gender and Sexuality (10 credits)
EN6049 Gothic to Modernism (10 credits)
EN6050 Space and Place in Irish Writing and Film (10 credits)

Note: Subject to the approval of the MA programme co-ordinators, students may substitute one 10-credit module with a 10-credit module from one of the other two English MA programmes: Modernities and Texts and Contexts: Medieval to Renaissance.

Part II

EN6017 Dissertation (40 credits)

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


Course Practicalities.
The course involves a combination of seminars, information sessions, directed study, consultation, presentations, self-directed study and associated reading and research. You will undertake independent research for your dissertation in close consultation with your supervisor.

Assessment method

Continuous assessment of written assignments, in-class assignments, seminar participation and presentation, research journal, literature and IT review, and research presentation.

Application date

Applications for 2019 start dates will open on November 1st 2018.

EU Applicants: UCC operates a rounds closing date system for the majority of postgraduate taught courses, which means we offer places four times a year on a rolling basis. Some courses have one specific closing date, please check your course prospectus page for this information.

The UCC rounds EU application system closing dates for postgraduate taught courses are below. We advise applicants to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications:

For all completed applications received by January 11th 2019
Offers will be made:Offers will be made by January 25th 2019

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2019
Offers will be made: Offers will be made by March 15th 2019

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2019
Offers will be made: Offers will be made by May 15th 2019

For all completed applications received by July 1st 2019
Offers will be made: Offer will be made by July 15th 2019

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

While there is no official closing date for Research courses applicants are advised to submit their application at least two months ahead of their proposed start date. There are four official Research start dates – September/October, January, April and July.

Non-EU Applicants:

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

The closing date for non-EU applications is 15th June

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date 9 September 2019

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