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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.

Unique Aspects of the 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.

All applicants whose first language is not English are required to sit either an IELTS test or a recognised equivalent test. The minimum requirement is an IELTS score of 6.5, with no individual section lower than 5.5. Further information on English language requirements can be found at

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.

A copy of these additional/supplementary questions are available to view on course webpage - see course webpage link below.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early for an early decision.

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 see course webpage (link below) to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


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

Dr. Heather Laird
Course Coordinator
T: +353 (0) 21 4902583

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, Thomas Moore, James Clarence Mangan, Sheridan Le Fanu, James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Beckett, Flann O’Brien, Kate O’Brien, Daniel Corkery, Seán Ó Faoláin, Frank O’Connor, Brian Friel, John McGahern, Seamus Deane, Éilis Ní Dhuibhne, Anne Enright 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 October 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 September, and will be submitted in October. 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 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

2017/2018 Irish/EU Fee: €6,000

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!