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Irish Folklore & Ethnology

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MA Irish Folklore and Ethnology is a recently established programme which offers students the chance to acquire in-depth knowledge of a unique and vibrant aspect of Irish culture – that of oral tradition and folklore, representing the history and heritage of Ireland at vernacular level. Modules are available on a wide range of topics, including research theories, the study of oral narrative (storytelling), traditional music and song, fieldwork and archival methods, social tradition, popular belief systems, material culture, folk medicine, and Irish and European ethnology. The programme also offers students a chance to complete an internship in a related cultural institute or a Masters thesis.

Who should Apply?

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes

International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes

International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes

International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes

International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No ???

This degree is aimed at students who want to explore Irish vernacular culture and popular tradition at graduate level, as part of their career development, as a pathway to further study, or for their own personal interest.

Entry requirements

In the normal course, entry requirements will consist of an undergraduate degree in the Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences with a minimum 2.1 or an equivalent of a UCD GPA of 3.08 (NFQ Level 8). The School may also consider applicants with equivalent qualifications/professional experience for the Pathway Programme.

Applicants are required to submit original academic transcripts.

Applicants are also required to submit two references, preferably both relating to academic performance.

For applicants with equivalent professional qualifications, applicants will be required to submit a focussed statement of 500 words stating why this particular programme is right for the candidate at this point in their career (to be part of the online application).

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit evidence of their language proficiency. Applicants will have reached an overall 7 in IELTS with no individual band lower than 6.5, or equivalent. The School is willing to consider applicants who achieve IELTS 6.5 if they attend a five-week pre-sessional language course offered by the UCD Applied Language Centre.

A basic reading knowledge of the Irish language is recommended for MA students. This can be acquired concurrently with the student's MA studies.


1 Year Full-Time (Z253) or 2 Years Part-Time (Z254).

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Careers & Employability

Given the nature and reach of the subject, graduates in Irish Folklore and Ethnology can be found across a broad range of occupations and organisations, including heritage institutions, tradition archives, museums and cultural bodies. Graduates have also found employment in teaching, research, the media and journalism. The MA in Irish Folklore and Ethnology can also act as a pathway to higher degrees in Irish Folklore, involving further in-depth research of a chosen topic.

Further enquiries

Contact Name: Michael Wallace

Contact Number: 01 716 8105

Subjects taught

This programme involves two core modules, Advanced Research I and II, both of them taught modules which provide you with a grounding in the methodologies, practicalities and theoretical frameworks of Folkloristics and Folklore Studies. Your remaining taught modules will be selected from a range of options in Irish Folklore and related subjects, including but not limited to:

Stage 1 - Core

Advanced Research 1 IRFL40130

Advanced Research 2 IRFL40190

Stage 1 - Option

Communicating Heritage


Practical Experimental Archaeology ARCH40850

Cultural Heritage ARCH40990

Museums & Heritage Policy CULP40290

Scéalta Fiannaíochta 1300 - 1900 IR40050

An Béal Beo IR40480

Healers and Healing IRFL20050

Social Life and Legend IRFL20060

Music and Words: Identity in the Irish Context IRFL20070

Folk Religion and Belief IRFL30060

Aspects of Ethnology IRFL40110

Folklore and Folkloristics IRFL40120

Interpreting the Oral Text IRFL40140

Folklore in Focus: themes and case studies IRFL40150

The Life Cycle IRFL40160

The Narrative Art IRFL40170

Calendar Custom IRFL40180

Collectors of Music & Song IRFL40200

Internship in Archival Methods IRFL40220

Work placement and Report IRFL40250

Dissertation IRFL40260

Application date

The following entry routes are available:

MA Irish Folklore & Ethnology FT (Z253)

Duration 1 Years

Attendance Full Time

Deadline Rolling *

MA Irish Folklore & Ethnology PT (Z254)

Duration 2 Years

Attendance Part Time

Deadline Rolling *

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

Course fee

MA Irish Folklore & Ethnology (Z253) Full Time

EU fee per year - € 7315

nonEU fee per year - € 19900

MA Irish Folklore & Ethnology (Z254) Part Time

EU fee per year - € 4390

nonEU fee per year - € 9950

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website.

Irish Folklore offers a number of scholarships for graduate students in the subject, including the Máire Mac Neill Scholarship, the Onfel and Isobel Thomas Scholarship (for students wishing to incorporate a course of study at a Scandinavian university as part of their MA studies), and the Dónall Ó Móráin Bursary (for students wishing to pursue their studies on an aspect of Folklore pertaining specifically to the Irish language). For further information please see .

Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 2020/2021 September

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!