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Irish - German Studies

The MA in Irish-German Studies is a unique programme harnessing particular strengths in UL thanks to the Centre for Irish-German Studies while combining it with attractive and complementary existing MA programmes in Ireland (Galway), Germany (Berlin, Lüneburg and Jena), Austria (Vienna) and Switzerland (Bern). It aims to attract highly qualified students who will benefit from a strongly interdisciplinary and internationally focused academic programme. All participating exchange programmes for the second semester, ranging from German, Austrian, English and Irish Studies to Teaching German as a Foreign Language as well as Cultural Studies and Intercultural Business Communication, have been chosen in order to provide students with expertise interrelated with and complementary to their studies in UL in semester one, giving students the chance to specialise in a range of contexts of the inter-relationship between Ireland and the German-speaking countries. The intellectual outcomes consist of in-depth knowledge of cultural, political, and historical dimensions of Irish-German relations as well as a high level of linguistic competence and intercultural skills, gained both inside the classroom and through international experience. The interdisciplinary academic dimension will contribute to the development of analytical and research skills needed for high-level international positions, whether in the fields of business, culture or politics and education.

• To provide students with the knowledge of cultural, political, and historical contexts of Irish-German relations and to explore the inter-relationship between Ireland and the German-speaking countries

• To enable students to evaluate critically theoretical approaches to the study of literature, culture, history and intercultural relations

• To enable students to hone their oral and written communication skills in German and in English

• To provide students with the knowledge and skills to design and conduct independent research required to proceed to doctoral degree studies

• To study themes and concepts that occur in the context of bilateral relations, i.e. identity, ethnicity, history, memory, language and home

• To give students the opportunity to benefit from the excellent research links of the Centre of Irish-German Studies in German-speaking countries and to study in an international setting and at different academic institutions.

Programme Content
Students will complete 60 credits of taught modules and complete a dissertation worth 30 credits in one year, making the programme worth 90 ECTS credits. In the autumn semester, students will take three modules of 9 credits each plus one 3-credit module at the University of Limerick. In the spring semester they will take modules for 30 ECTS credits at the relevant partner university. In exceptional circumstances (in line with current practice at undergraduate level in relation to exemptions for external study placements) students can remain in Limerick in the spring semester and take elective modules from programmes involved in semester one, following agreement with the course director. The programme combines lectures, tutorial discussions, film screenings, assigned and recommended reading and viewing and research-based critical writing both in Limerick and at another university. Attendance of guest lectures and readings by academics, writers, artists and practitioners in the relevant fields will be expected as well as student seminar presentations and individual library-based and, if applicable, archive-based research. Students also undertake a research dissertation during the summer at the University of Limerick under the guidance of a supervisor on a topic of their choice in the area of Irish-German relations (ca 15,000 words, Summer Semester).

Entry requirements

A primary degree (with first or second class honours) in an appropriate discipline e.g. Languages, Literature, Cultural Studies, European Studies, History, Politics. Applicants with an approved equivalent qualification will be considered. Good proficiency in English and German is essential. Note your degree must be an Honours (Level 8 - QQI) degree or equivalent. An oral and written assessment of applicants’ language skills (both English and German) may be part of the admission procedure.

What to Include with Your Application:
•Qualification transcripts and certificates
•English language qualification if English is not your first language
•Certified English translations of your transcripts/certificates where the originals are in a language other than English.
•A copy of your birth certificate (long document)

To ensure a speedy assessment of your application, please upload the above documents with your application form. Please title appropriately any documents you are uploading with the application form, for example "Supporting Statement", "Undergraduate Transcript", "Postgraduate Transcript", "English Language Certificate" etc.

English Language Requirements
Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of either prior successful completion of a degree qualification taught through the medium of English or meet one of the criteria below (no longer than two years prior to application):

Acceptable English Language qualifications include the following:
• Matriculation examinations from European countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved.
• Irish Leaving Certificate English –Ordinary Level Grade D or above
• TOEFL – 580 (paper based) or 90 (internet based)
• IELTS – Minimum score of 6.5* with no less than 6 in any one component.
• English Test for English and Academic Purposes (ETAPP) – Grade C1
• GCE ‘O’ level English Language/GCSE English Language – Grade C or above
• University of Cambridge ESOL –Certificate of Proficiency in English - Grade C / Certificate in Advanced English Grade A
• GCE Examination Boards – Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations – Grade C / Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate – School Certificate Pass 1-6


1 year full time.

Careers or further progression

Graduate Profile
Opportunities include international positions in the fields of culture, tourism, business, politics and education. The programme also provides a sound basis for doctoral research.

Further enquiries

Course Director
Dr Gisela Holfter
Tel: +353 (0) 61 202395

Subjects taught

Autumn Semester
- Irish-German Cultural Connections (9 credits);
- Literature of Migration (9 credits)

One of these research modules:
- Research Methodology in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (3 credits)or
- Research Methodologies in Applied Language Studies (3 credits)

Plus one of the following modules (each 9 credits):
- Cultural Constructions of the Past
- The European Nobility, 1500-1789
- Language Systems I
- Institutions and Policies of the European Union
- Government and Governance: Politics, Policy, and Practice
- SLA Theories and Classroom Applications

Spring Semester
Erasmus semester in one of the following (for students from English-speaking universities):
- Freie Universität Berlin (MA in DaF - German as Foreign Language)
- University of Jena (MA in IWPK - Intercultural Business Communication)
- University of Lüneburg (MA KuWi - Culture, Arts and Media)
- Universität Wien (MAs in Austrian Studies; Deutsche Philologie - German Studies and Anglophone Literatures and Cultures)
- Universität Bern (German Studies) (30 credits)

Mode B - Semester NUI Galway (for students from German-speaking universities)

Modules from MA in German Studies and MA in International Contemporary Literatures; also, if available, from MA in English (Literature and Publishing) (30 credits).

Summer Semester
Research dissertation in the area of Irish-German relations (ca 15,000 words, 30 credits).

*Places at the partner universities in Semester Two are allocated in consultation with the Course Director, Dr. Gisela Holfter.


The MA in Irish-German Studies is an exciting and innovative programme, combining study at Limerick and in selected complementary MA programmes in German-speaking countries.

Application date

Taught Programmes - Application Process
All applicants apply through the online application system by choosing a programme from one of the five faculties. If Non-EU applicants wish to contact the International Education Division first before completing an online application, they can do by filling out the International Education Division Enquiry Form. For more information visit the International Office website.

International Office:
Tel: +353 61 202414
Fax: +353 61 213062

Visit the International Office website

What to include (upload) with your application
•Certified results for all examinations mentioned on your application form and/or confirmation of the award of your qualification(s).
•Evidence of English language proficiency.
•Certified translations of your award and transcripts if they are not in English
•A copy of your birth certificate or passport

Please note that certain programmes request additional documentation such as personal statements and/or references. Please check the programme entry requirements to ensure you have included the required information.

What happens after I apply?
Once you submit your application online, you will receive an email acknowledgement. It is important that you upload all your documents at the time of application as you will not be able to upload these at a later stage. If you do not have your documents at the time of application, you will need to mail them to the Postgraduate Admissions Office once they become available.
Your application will then be passed to the Course Director who will decide whether or not to offer you a place. Some programmes require interviews and you will be notified of the date, time and venue.

Decision Letter
You will receive one of the following letters from the Postgraduate Admissions Office:
•An unconditional offer. You satisfy all of the academic conditions required and we are offering you a place.
•A conditional offer. You do not yet satisfy the academic conditions required before entry but you propose to do so. The conditions are listed in the offer letter and may include English language tests as well as degree results.
•Letter of regret. We are unable to offer you a place.

Please note that a decision is authoritative and official only if it has been sent in writing from the Postgraduate Admissions Office.

Accepting a place at the University of Limerick
To accept your offer you must pay your acceptance deposit and send in the course acceptance form, stamped by the bank, to the Postgraduate Admissions Office. On receipt of this acceptance form/deposit, the Postgraduate Admissions Office will change the status of your application to Firmly Accepted. You will receive an orientation pack in August. The orientation pack will provide you with full details of orientation and enrolment.

Deferring your offer
You cannot defer a place on a taught postgraduate programme without the permission of the Course Director. If you are offered a deferral, you will receive a letter from the Postgraduate Admissions Office confirming that a deferral has been granted. You should then contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office before March of the following year to confirm that you will be accepting your place. If you are not offered a deferral, then you must re-apply for the programme the following academic year.

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Graduate School
Foundation Building
University of Limerick
Tel: +353 61 234377
Fax: +353 61 233287

Course fee

Fee Waiver
There are normally two fee waivers on offer from the School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics and one specifically for the MA in Irish-German Studies. Please contact the course director for further information.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: 04/Sep/2017.

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