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Renaissance Latin Culture

The MA in Renaissance Latin Culture is a one year, full-time degree (or two year, part-time degree) that offers a unique approach to renaissance studies through reconstructing and re-enacting some of the training and perspectives of renaissance humanists. While acquiring cutting edge research, analysis and communication skills, students also learn to read and speak Latin, to design exhibitions that articulate renaissance world-views, and to write imaginary funding proposals from the perspective of renaissance humanists.

The programme examines the development of renaissance culture (art, literature, language and society), providing students with a deep understanding of the emergence of the modern world through a period of classical revival. As well as providing an historically-informed perspective upon modern debates about the purpose and value of a humanities education, the course equips students with the knowledge and skills to undertake sophisticated historical and linguistic analysis of renaissance history, language and culture.

Course Practicalities
The course is designed to encourage sustained, guided learning that evolves from skills training and acquisition of contextual knowledge in small groups to independent research and writing under close personal supervision. During the first two semesters, there will typically be around 8 contact hours per week. Students will consistently have homework for language classes and assigned readings to complete for historical modules. Required study time typically increases in advance of language tests and assignment submission dates.

Two more intensive periods of study occur at the beginning of the course (two days intensive training in palaeography for module CC6008) and at the beginning of the third semester (a week-long summer school involving immersion in Spoken Latin for module HI6079). Students will be advised of the dates for these intensive periods of study well in advance.

Entry requirements

Candidates should hold a primary degree with a Second Class Honours Grade 1 (or equivalent) in History, Classics, Art History or a related discipline. Candidates who hold a primary degree with a Second Class Honours Grade 2 will also be considered subject to the approval of the course selection committee. Some applicants who do not fulfil the usual entry requirements may be invited for interview to satisfy the selection committee of their suitability for the course.

English Language Requirements: IELTS 6.5 with no individual section lower than 5.5 or TOEFL equivalent.

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 the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


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

What can I do after I graduate with a [MA in Renaissance Latin Culture]?

The course provides students with advanced analytical, research, writing and presentation skills which may be employed in a diverse array of professional contexts, while also reflecting on how renaissance humanists promoted their own careers and educational reforms, providing students with case studies of how to market and develop ideas in the humanities. Graduates will be fully equipped to pursue further historical research either in education or for employers in the private sphere. They also receive training in exhibition organisation and funding applications which can launch them into careers in heritage or the arts. Spoken Latin skills are increasingly in demand for teaching the language at secondary school level. Potential career paths also include marketing and fund-raising, especially in the spheres of arts, heritage and education.

Occupations associated with [MA in Renaissance Latin Culture]

Within the sphere of arts and heritage, graduates could progress to careers as researchers, museum curators, fund-raisers and teachers.

The course also provides ideal training for those who wish to continue on to PhD study in any area of renaissance history and culture.

What are our graduates doing?
◾Graduates in this area have an exceptionally high success rate in attaining national funding for PhD and postdoctoral research posts.
◾One recent graduate in this area is working as a research fund-raiser, assisting in the design process and application procedure for research projects at Irish universities. She has been employed in research offices in several Irish universities, developing funding applications in the sciences, arts and humanities.
◾Another recent graduate attained a prestigious research post at a leading centre for Neo-Latin studies in Innsbruck, Austria.
◾A third recent graduate who participated in early pilot courses in Spoken Latin is now teaching History and Latin in a secondary school in Cork.

Placement and Study Abroad Information
The course offers a pathway towards pursuing further study abroad at leading History Departments and Neo-Latin centres in the UK or in continental Europe (especially Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria).

Placements are not part of the course programme, but graduates will be offered access to workshops and advice regarding job placement and employment options.

Starting Salaries
The employment experience of graduates varies greatly, reflecting the wide array of career trajectories that may arise from this area. By way of example, the starting salaries of two recent graduates were c.€30,000.

Further enquiries

Course Coordinator
Dr. Jason Harris
School of History
University College Cork
Tel: +353 (0)21 4903585

School Administrators
Deirdre O'Sullivan/Geraldine McAllister,
School of History
University College Cork
+353 (0)21 4902755

Subjects taught

This 12-month course consists of two parts – a taught component which focuses upon skills training and historical contextualization, and a supervised research phase in which students produce a 15,000 word dissertation on an aspect of renaissance history.

In part one, students take the following modules:

LT6001 First Year Latin (15 credits)*
CC6008 Palaeography and Manuscript Based Research (10 Credits)
HI6077 The Classical Revival 1250-1500 (10 credits)
HI6078 New Worlds, Ancient Texts (10 credits)
HI6079 Schola Latina (15 credits)

* If the student has already passed LT6001 (or its equivalent), s/he must take other modules designed to extend their knowledge of classical Latin:

LT2009 Reading Latin (5 credits)
LT3036 Advanced Latin Language (5 credits)



LT2025 Julius Caesar (5 credits)


LT3035 Virgil: The Aeneid (5 credits)

In part two, students work closely with an academic supervisor to complete a 15,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choosing within the broad area of renaissance studies, allowing them to pursue research on any aspect of the cultural, political and social history of the period.


Who Teaches This Course
Dr Jason Harris: specialist in renaissance Latin and in early-modern intellectual and cultural history

Dr David Edwards: specialist in early-modern Irish political and cultural history;

Dr Hiram Morgan: specialist in early-modern Irish political and intellectual history;

Dr Diarmuid Scully: specialist in medieval intellectual and cultural history;

Dr Flavio Boggi: specialist in Italian renaissance art history;

Dr Caitríona O Dochartaigh: specialist in medieval Irish and palaeography;

Vicky Janssens: Latin language teacher

Unique Aspects of the Course
This course is unique in offering students progression from beginners’ Latin to an immersion experience in Spoken Latin as part of a reconstruction of the lived experience of renaissance humanists within the wider context of historical study of the early-modern period. Students also explore humanist world views through collaborative exhibition design and imaginative funding proposals from the perspective of renaissance humanist scholars. This emphasis upon engaging with humanist lives and thought through lived experience and reimagining represents a ground-breaking pedagogical innovation to supplement and augment the acquisition of formal training in historical analysis.

Assessment method

Assessment in the taught component of the course consists of written assignments (essays, funding proposals), in-class language tests, oral presentations, and collaborative exhibition design.

The dissertation, worth half of the total mark, and undertaken under the supervision of a staff member, reflects the importance of independent research.

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 Fee: €6,000 full-time; €3,000 per year part-time

Enrolment and start dates

Next intake 11 September 2017

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