Institution / University College Cork
City scape

Geography - Cities Space & Culture

This is a new one-year taught Masters degree started in September 2015 on both a full-time and part-time basis at University College Cork. The aim is to provide a broad academic and professional training in urban, social and cultural geography. The programme will offer an interdisciplinary lens through which to explore a diverse range of contemporary urban, social and cultural issues, such as: urban policy and innovation; the creative economy; difference and divisions; politics and identity; culture, heritage and the built environment; gender and sexuality; technology and social media; and, everyday practice and experience in the city. It provides students with the skills and knowledge to be effective innovators in a diverse range of urban policy and projects. This MA is designed for those who wish to pursue careers in the public, private and non-governmental sectors, or who wish to pursue PhD research in the field of urban, social or cultural geography. Developing graduates who can critically analyse a range of urban, social and cultural issues, and communicate knowledge in diverse ways, including both traditional and digital media, is a core objective for this programme. The programme is student-focused and research-led.

Entry requirements

Students should possess a primary degree to second honours level grade 1 or equivalent from a recognised third-level institution, in one of the following disciplines: Geography, Sociology, Urban Planning, Architecture, Archaeology, Politics, Literature & Languages, Music, Anthropology, Folklore, History, Heritage Studies. Candidates who hold a 2.2 level may also be considered, based on the information provided in a supplementary statement and interview acceptable to the Department selection committee. Applications will also be considered from graduates in other disciplines who have a demonstrable interest and/or experience in human geography, as assessed by the programme coordinators. All applicants will be interviewed.


1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years

Careers or further progression

Skills and Careers Information
Graduates will be able to apply a critical awareness to a range of social and cultural issues in contemporary society, which are highly relevant to a diverse range of employment fields in the public and private sectors, educational roles and non-governmental organisations. Graduates of this programme will have advanced competency in a range of transferrable skills that are a core component of this MA, such as report writing, policy analysis, oral presentations, digital and technological literacy, project management skills, and organisational and time management.

Graduates of this programme will find employment in the following areas:

Careers in consultancy: opportunities in social science research, managing solutions and innovations;

Private and public sector positions working on urban, cultural and community development issues in the heritage and environmental areas;

Diverse careers in the national and international NGO sector;

Graduate entry positions in the creative industries: online business, the arts, advertising, publishing and media;

This MA increases opportunities for entry into funded international PhD programmes.

Starting Salaries
Salaries vary in both the public and private sectors, and depend on both the institution concerned and the employee’s qualifications and experience. In the public sector salaries are scaled and details may be obtained from the Public Appointment Service (

Further enquiries

Further Contact Information:
Dr Therese Kenna,
Department of Geography,
University College Cork, Ireland.
Phone: 00 353 21 490 2326

Subjects taught

PART I (50 credits)

Core Modules: 40 credits

GG 6519 Conceptualising Society, Space and the City (15 Credits)

GG 6520 Research Strategies & Practice in Geography (10 credits)

GG 6521 Critical Approaches to Urbanism & Culture (15 credits)

Elective Modules: 10 credits maximum

Postgraduate Modules

AT6011 Design Research: Culture & Context (5 Credits)

AS5307 East Asia: History, Geo-politics and Political Economy (10 Credits)
AS6111 Contemporary Korean Society (10 Credits)
CH6104 Creative Industries in China (10 Credits)

EN6050 Space and Place in Irish Writing and Film (10 Credits)

GG6403 Case Studies in migration and Diaspora Studies (10 Credits)

GG6503 Cartography and Visualisation (5 Credits)

GG6522 Digital Geographies (5 Credits)

IT6214 City, Region and Nation (10 Credits)

PD6110 Introduction to Planning and Sustainable Development (5 Credits)

PD6116 Urban and Metropolitan Spatial Planning (5 Credits)

LL6016 Mediterranean Cultures: Encounters (10 Credits)

SC6638 Rethinking Borders: Global Challenges to Social Justice (10 Credits)

SS4304 Applied Housing Research ( 5 Credits)

SS5026 Sexuality and Society ( 5 Credits)

Undergraduate Modules (all 5 credit modules)

AT3008 Urbs & Civitas
AT3004 Landscape Theory & Design
EC3138 The Role of Place for Innovation
EC3147 Economic Growth and Competitiveness
FL3001 Exploring Material Culture and Folklore
FL3011 The Ethnographic Interview: An Introduction

GG3010 Global Urbanism
GG3027 Regional and Local Planning Issues and Policies
GG3037 Geography of Heritage
GG3038 Geographies of the Irish Diaspora
GG3043 Historical Geographies of the City
GG3046 Geopolitics and Geostrategies
GG3048 Environmental Economic Geography
GG3049 Historical Geographies of Ireland
GR3028 Greek Art and Architecture
HS3054 Gender, Violence and Power on the US-Mexico Border
HS3058 Latin American Human Rights in an Historical and Cultural Context
HS3023 Catalan Cultural Studies
LL3002 Travel Writing
SC3036 Living Spaces: Social Construction of Habitat
SC3029 Sociology of the Environment
SS3005 Housing and Homelessness
SS3008 Poverty and Social Exclusion
SS3009 Communities, Activism and Development

PART II (40 credits)
GG 6523 Dissertation (40 credits)

Students will write a 15,000-word research dissertation on an approved topic of their choice relevant to the MA.

Candidates who pass at least 30 credits of taught modules may opt to exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Geography: Cities, Space and Culture.


The part-time MA Geography: Cities, Space and Culture runs over two calendar years (24 months). Students take core modules to the value of 40 credits in Part One (running across Semesters One and Two of Year One). In Part Two students take elective module(s) to the value of 10 credits and a research dissertation (40 credits), which is submitted at the end of the summer in Year Two.


Unique Aspects of the Course
The rapid changes to our economies, culture and cities will present us with our greatest challenges and opportunities in the coming decades. This degree equips graduates to thrive in this environment. It develops unique insights into the major transformations in urban life, and provides students with the analytical skills and competencies to devise innovative perspectives and creative solutions. This degree represents a unique offering for postgraduate study in urban, social and cultural geography. This MA offers access to modules across an extensive interdisciplinary platform, addressing concerns in Architecture, Film Studies, Asian and Hispanic Studies, Travel Writing, Heritage, Social Policy, Town Planning and GIS, in addition to other social science and humanities courses. It is the only offering of its kind in Ireland. The programme builds on a strong research cluster in the Department of Geography at UCC that focuses on the social and cultural geography of cities. Students will participate in an engaging, contemporary, research-led MA programme. The staff involved with the programme promote a student-focused teaching and learning experience. We aim to produce confident and polished graduates with the flexibility and creativity to find success in the next phases of their careers.

Course Practicalities
Lectures will take place from September to March. Students will attend a mixture of seminars, lectures, tutorials during the programme. There will be approximately 6 hours of lectures/seminars per week, which will take place primarily on a Monday to allow a greater flexibility to students taking this programme. This in-built flexibility will also facilitate the research intensive, inquiry-led components of this programme to offer greater time and freedom for research activities during the week. Most weeks, students will have around 15 -18 hours of reading to do before the respective classes.

Who Teaches This Course
Staff from the Department of Geography, including:

Dr John Crowley
Dr Therese Kenna
Dr Denis Linehan
Dr Piaras Mac Éinrí
Mr Ray O’Connor
Dr Colin Sage

Assessment method

Student work is marked via a mixture of continuous assessment, including essays, reports, presentations, online projects, field reports and a research dissertation (15,000 word thesis).

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!