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CACSSS Research Areas

Applied Psychology

The School of Applied Psychology has set itself three challenges to inspire research:

  • Healthy Development and Ageing
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • People and Technology

External Research Quality Reviews have rated research activity overall and submitted published output of staff in the School as work of very good standard internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour that has had or is likely to have a significant impact on research and/or policy agendas. The most recent Review rated our Postgraduate Research Education as internationally excellent, reflecting a vibrant community of postgraduate researchers, excellent facilities and completion rates, and a very good funding track record.

Research funding comes from Science Foundation Ireland, the Road Safety Authority, the Irish Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences and the European Union, as well as from research activities with community partners. The School has had significant success in Irish Research Council PhD Scholarships. 

Applied Social Studies

The School of Applied Social Studies provides a rich educational and research environment, which promotes a culture of critical intellectual and practice enquiry in the social sciences, based upon participation, inclusion and diversity. Since its establishment in 1990, the School has developed a national and international reputation for social science research focused on the challenges and changes in contemporary Irish society in both its European and global contexts. It has strong traditions of cross-disciplinary research (with scholars in fields such as law, education, geography, nursing and music), international collaboration and community engagement in the public sphere. The School is a co-founder of the Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21).

There are seven specific areas of research expertise within the School: Civil Society; Gender and Sexuality; Health, Disability and Ageing; Irish Social Policy; Migration; Planning; Social Work.


The School of Education supervises a large number of PhD students. Its academic support for doctoral students has been noted by several international experts as pioneering and exemplary in the academy. Research generally in the School of Education informs the School’s key programmes in Initial Teacher Education, including a general preparation at post-primary level (PME), BEd (Sports Studies and PE), BSc (Science Education) as well as work in early years and pre-school education through its BA (Early Years and Childhood Studies). Research also informs our highly sought-after in-service programmes for teachers such as the MEd and our Department of Education and Skills funded PDSEN (Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs). In addition staff contribute to the MA Applied Psychology (Guidance Counselling).

The School has a vibrant research culture as evidenced by the range of scholarly activities pursued individually and collectively by staff members. We promote collaborative research and encourage joint publications. We combine a traditional focus on high-quality, authored book projects alongside competitively-won, externally-funded projects. The School of Education engages in and publishes research in the following three key areas:

  • Pedagogies, Learning and the Politics of Curriculum

  • Teacher Education and Professional Learning

  • Schooling, Inclusion and Changing Childhoods

English and Digital Humanities

The School of English and Digital Humanities in UCC sustains a rich and productive research culture and was recognised as excellent in the last institutional Research Quality Review. Research Quality Review Panel N Report

Across the School, researchers investigate the ways in which meaning is embedded in form and shaped by historical, cultural and political contexts. The School is active in close and engaged analyses of texts across the full range of English as a subject and beyond, from Old English through to twenty-first century literature, creative writing, and digital media. The School offers PhD training in all these areas. The School is also committed to enriching cultural and intellectual life, nationally and locally, through our research-based public engagement activities.


Research Strategy

Research in the School is divided across chronological periods but united by shared interests in areas of theoretical inquiry such as gender and sexuality, postcolonialism, poststructuralist theory, cultural history and transnationalism. A strong tradition of high quality individual research continues in the School; alongside dynamic interconnections in such areas as Irish Studies, book history, Digital Humanities and transnationalism. The research environment benefits from these separate and intensive initiatives, and focuses on two main strands, each of which crosses periods and cultures and is sustained via conferences, research seminars and graduate education, as well as staff publications. These strengths underpin and sustain the excellent, research-led teaching that we offer to our undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Literature and Place

There is a nexus of research expertise in the School that relates to the culture, history and theory of space and place. Instances include research into regional, national and transnational identities; postcolonial theory; transoceanic and transatlantic literatures and cultures; eco-criticism; creative writing; the short story; theories of space and place.

Literature and the Past

Research in the School currently represents the main periods of literature across its centuries of development. The fullness of our coverage animates a distinct and successful strand of School research into the transmission and transformation of cultural texts across time, and is very important in defining our identity in national and international terms. The School has strong theoretical interests in such issues as historiography; cultural history; materiality; reception, influence and intertextuality; mediation; and adaptation; while research in creative writing includes historical fiction and memoir.

Additionally, the School has distinctive constellations of activity in Creative Writing and a growing presence in Digital Humanities.

Research strategy is organised through the School’s Research Committee, chaired by the School Research Officer, Dr Clíona Ó Gallchoir.

Film, Music and Theatre

The School of Film, Music & Theatre has a thriving, forward-looking, and diverse research culture. Rooted in the strong national and international reputations for research excellence of its three constituent departments – the Department of Film and Screen Media, the Department of Music, and the Department of Theatre – the School is a major focus for creative research in the University and the city of Cork.

The School is committed to an innovative, exciting research agenda that combines its impressive range of vital contributions to new critical perspectives in the humanities with its cutting-edge work in creative practices across all three subject areas. The School is motivated by the ambition to deeply influence and renew the research landscapes within which it works by re-imagining the interface between critical thought in the arts and research through practice.

The School is home to a thriving scholarly and graduate studies community. It has hosted a notable number of Irish Research Council doctoral scholars, IRC and Marie Skłodowska-Curie–funded postdoctoral fellows, and Fulbright visiting scholars. Its staff have held external funding awards from a wide range of national and international bodies, including the European Research Council, the Irish Research Council, the Arts Council of Ireland, the Wellcome Trust, Enterprise Ireland, Creative Ireland, Cork County Council, the China Education Ministry, Music Generation, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, among others. The School also supports creative practitioners in their innovative work through the Film Artist and Traditional Artist in Residence programmes jointly funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and the Theatre Artist in Residence jointly funded by Cork Opera House.

A major player in the city and region, and the lead partner within the University in the creative partnership it enjoys with the Cork Opera House, the School has an active impact agenda. It takes pride in its outward-looking knowledge-sharing ethos and culture of collaboration, in keeping with the creative and critical practices that characterise the disciplines of which it is composed, and is open also to collaborations with the whole range of disciplines that make up the contemporary university.

Specific areas of excellence, supervision and mentorship, past and current research projects, major publications and outputs are detailed in the research pages of the Department of Film and Screen Media, the Department of Music, and the Department of Theatre

History and History of Art

The School of History conducts research in all aspects of Irish history, most notably Monastic Ireland, the Middle Ages, Tudor and Stuart Conquests, the Famine, the Irish Revolution, Irish Social, Economic and Media History and in the writing of Irish history itself. It also has strengths in Insular Studies, Renaissance history, Women’s History and in the history of Germany and the United States with a particular emphasis on international relations.

The School hosts several important research projects of international importance.  These include:

  • CELT (Corpus of Electronic Texts of Ireland) is the longest established and largest digital resource for Irish Studies in the World. (website:

  • ArCH project is concerned with the reproduction of historical Irish manuscripts and associated scholarly research. Two beautiful volumes on the Schaffhausen Adomnán and the St. Gall Gospels have been produced to date.

CNLS dealing with the neglected Neo-Latin literature of Ireland holds a famous weekly seminar and has produced three original texts and a book of general essays.

The Department of History of Art is committed to the pursuit of research excellence across a range of artistic media drawn from different historical periods and geographical areas. Our academic staff and research students contribute to national and international scholarly debate through the publication of high quality books, peer-reviewed articles, and other outputs. In short, we offer a rich, lively and pluralist research environment. Read More:

Irish Learning

Roinn an Bhéaloidis: the Department of Folklore and Ethnology conducts teaching and research bilingually on traditional, popular, indigenous cultural expression within historical and emergent theories and methods of folkloristics and ethnology. Its core strengths lie in directing and conducting original research and teaching on folklore and ethnology nationally and internationally as well as fostering ethnographic engagement at community level through its research projects and ongoing staff research. These consist of collaborations in both languages, in both rural and urban settings. The department places community, locality, identity and cultural expression(s) at the heart of its research and teaching. Through theseprojects its aims to development primary, original sources (archives, repositories, research monographs) in tandem with on-going elaboration and early dissemination of results.

The department publishes a leading research journal, Béascna: UCC Journal of Folklore and Ethnology since 2002 encouraging postgraduates to participate as editors.

One of Ireland’s most remarkable and most under-exploited cultural treasures is its rich medieval literature. Accordingly, the primary research commitment of staff in the Department of Early and Medieval Irish is to the editing, translation, analysis and interpretation of early Irish texts. Within this framework, there are several areas on which research activity tends to concentrate: the history and culture of the church; secular legend and narrative; the interaction of indigenous and external elements in the culture as a whole; and the study of placenames. These concerns are broadly reflected in the range of projects which the Department hosts, or in which it participates:

The Department collaborates with the Department of Modern Irish and the Irish Texts Society in holding an annual seminar, dedicated to the reassessment of various of the Society’s publications. The proceedings of each seminar are published in time for the seminar of the succeeding year.

The Department  administers three MA programmes, along with PhD programmes in Celtic Civilisation and in Early and Medieval Irish.

Research interests in the Department of Modern Irish include: Irish manuscripts and palaeography, 12th century to 19th century; the poetry and prose of Early Modern Irish; Literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; traditional songs of love and lamentation; Literature of the nineteenth century, particularly prose of the pre-Famine era; linguistic and dialectal studies of Irish, particularly Munster Irish; placename studies; and modern Irish literature: especially the poetry of Seán Ó Ríordáin and the work of contemporary Irish writers. Members of the Department are engaged in two key projects:

  • The Mac Niocaill Project
    • To publish the legal documents in Irish, 1493-1621, previously edited and translated by the late Professor Gearóid Mac Niocaill.
  • The Irish Watermark Project
    • A major project to record watermarks in paper in Irish documents is being piloted in the Department of Modern Irish, under the direction of Professor Pádraig Ó  Macháin:

Human Environment

UCC has been a leading centre for teaching and research in Archaeology ever since the  first professor of the discipline, Bertram Windle, was appointed in 1909. Research features prominently in the work of the Department, driving the creation of knowledge about the human past, as well as informing our teaching programmes and the training of professional archaeologists. Staff members are actively involved in numerous research projects, both within Ireland and abroad, and also collaborate widely with other universities and institutes.  Over the years we have gained a reputation for solid performance in teaching and research, with strong academic output to a high standard, as well as impressive income generation. Our strengths include architectural heritage and industrial archaeology, bioarchaeology, environmental archaeology, later prehistory, and Viking and early medieval studies

The Department is known for innovative fieldwork, and for its engagement in research and rescue excavation. Within the Irish university sector we have been leading proponents of scientific archaeology, with current strengths in physical anthropology, remote sensing and palynology.

The Department of Geography is currently reconfiguring its research clusters but going forward is likely to organise its work around three broad themes designed to optimise opportunities for collaboration amongst staff:

  • Social and spatial justice
  • Geoinformatics applications
  • Heritage, environment and the Irish landscape


The Department has a strong record of research funding and can demonstrate projects that are currently or have been recently funded by European programmes including: Horizon 2020, Marie Curie Excellence, Norface, and COST Action. National funding is or has recently been secured from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Irish Research Council, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Marine, and Teagasc.

The research of the Department of Classics focuses on the history and culture of the Roman empire from the beginning of the Roman Imperial period into Late Antiquity (i.e. from the 1st century AD until the 7th century AD). Dr David Woods specialises in Roman history and numismatics with a particular interest in the Julio-Claudian dynasty (31BC-AD68), the Constantinian dynasty (AD306-363), and the Heraclian dynasty (AD610-715). Dr Catherine Ware specializes both in the study of late antique imperial panegyric, particularly the speeches in honour of Constantine I in the Panegyrici Latini, and in the study of late antique epic also, with a particular interest in the poetry of Claudian.

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

The Department of Asian Studies engages in a broad variety of research relating to various aspects of societies, cultures, business, languages and the arts across the wider Asian region, with a particular focus on China, Korea and Japan. The department established the Irish Association for Asian Studies ( and the Irish Journal of Asian Studies ( Both initiatives promote Asian Studies in Ireland, and help to advance research through the critical and analytical study of Asia and Asia-related topics by providing a forum for scholarly activity. They also foster a variety of academic activities, such as conferences, seminars, workshops and publications.

The Department of French’s research strengths encompass the following fields: Art and Music Theory; Early Modern, Modern and Contemporary Literature and Ideas; Francophone Postcolonial Studies; Francophone Africa; French Philosophy and Theory; Heroism Studies, Modern and Contemporary Theatre; Sociolinguistics and Second Language Acquisition; Translation Studies; Women’s and Gender Studies.

This range makes the Department a major international centre for the study of French as a multidisciplinary subject and also an important focus for a range of interdisciplinary networks. These core areas of research support teaching at undergraduate level and across the various postgraduate programmes to which the Department contributes. The Department has hosted numerous international conferences in each field of research. Staff have published widely in these fields, are actively involved in research associations and networks in their respective areas, and regularly present as key-note speakers at (inter)national conferences.

Core research disciplines in the Department of German span from drama pedagogy and performance studies, critical theory and literary studies (Goethezeit and modernism) to screen studies, international communication and German-Irish relations.

Staff in the German Department are engaged in a number of different research clusters, including Performance – Performance as Culture and Violence, Conflict and Gender. Staff members are also in the process of collaborating on new research clusters provisionally entitled Nation, Memory, Screen and European Thought and Global Inspiration.

At a College level colleagues are committed to the Research Cluster on Identities. In terms of intra- and inter-institutional collaborations projects have been developed with colleagues and creative bodies from across and outside the College on new trends inautobiography, creative writing, adaptation, representing disability and theatre productions. These collaborations have resulted in numerous conferences, book projects, cultural events (plays) etc.

Members of the Department have also collaborated with colleagues from international institutions on a variety of projects, including e.g. literary and cultural anthropology (University of Zadar, University of Washington: two conferences and book publications), the SCENARIO FORUM network (online journal and symposia in cooperation with Indiana University), online intercultural collaborative Teaching and Learning project (with the Technical University of Cologne), and academic book series (Kulturwissenschaft und Ästhetik with the German publishing house Francke Verlag).

The Department of Italian at University College Cork is a centre of excellence in Ireland for research in modern and contemporary Italian culture. Individual staff and the Department collectively have distinguished themselves in a wide range of areas within Italian Studies and Film Studies, with cutting-edge, theoretically-informed research contributions, thus placing Italian at UCC on the international map for modern and contemporary literature and film studies, and other, complementary areas. The lecturing staff hold international qualifications (Hull; Strathclyde; Università Cattolica di Milano; Toronto; Johns Hopkins) and are equally comfortable presenting and publishing in both Italian and English. Staff systematically disseminate their research in peer-reviewed publications and regularly organize conferences.

The Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies (SPLAS) is a dynamic centre for events and activities in the south of Ireland and has driven collaborative initiatives with a range of partners locally, nationally and internationally. Core research interests of staff in the Department span; Medieval and Golden Age, Modern and Contemporary Spanish literature; theatre; film; visual arts; translation, including specialist interest in the diverse languages and cultures of the Iberian Peninsula (Catalan and Galician); . In Latin American Studies the Department has long-standing strengths in the study of Mexican and US Latino/a culture and society, and has been further developing expertise in the Southern Cone, especially Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. The international impact of our work in these areas is underpinned by the research ethos of the two local-global centres for research that are housed within the Department – the Centre for Mexican Studies and the Irish Centre for Galician Studies.

Society Politics and Ethics

The Department of Sociology, University College Cork is recognised internationally for the excellence of its research which has been independently evaluated through two university wide reviews which ranked the Department in the equivalent top 10-15% in Europe. The Department has been in existence since the 1960s and has established research strengths on the following themes: Political Sociology; International Political Anthropology; Critical Theory; Feminist Sociology; Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization; Organized Crime.

Staff are involved in two renowned research centres: Moral Foundations of Economy & Society; Centre for Planning Education and Research.

The Department of Philosophy supports UCC's mission as a research-intensive university. Department members and postgraduate students aim to advance human knowledge and achieve meaningful impact on society and policy in Ireland, the European Union, and the world.

The department's research interests are broad, with researchers working in most major areas of philosophy.We have particular strengths in contemporary issues in philosophy, from Ethics to Philosophy of Science. Our Department is the only one in Ireland to offer several courses in East Asian philosophy to undergraduates. Recent and current projects include: (Read more) Philosophy in Schools and related joint project with The Collaborative (Canada); Political Philosophy Looks to Antarctica – Territorial Rights, Climate Change and International Legal Theory applied to the ocean and landmasses of the Antarctic. Funded by the Norwegian Research Council, 2017-2020; Territory and Rivers – Territorial rights and global justice theories applied to international rivers. Funded by the IRC, 2014-2015; C. D. Broad’s philosophy of mind Funded by the University of Cambridge and the Templeton Foundation, 2016-2017; Welfare as Life-Course Risk Management- a project, joint with the Center for Economic Analysis of Risk (CEAR), inspired by the increasing dimensions of insecurity arising from technological change and labour market volatility, involving reconceptualization of relationships between welfare and other aspects of well being, based on incentivised laboratory experiments in multiple countries;  Measuring and Responding to Gambling Addiction- a project, joint with the Center for the Economic Analysis of Risk (CEAR), aimed at increasing accuracy in measuring the impact on addiction prevalence and harm to public health of new commercial gambling technologies (electronic gaming machines and internet gambling); Assessing Risk Preferences of African Elephants- a project, joint with the Center for Economic Analysis of Risk (CEAR), that involves, as a philosophical component, testing the hypothesis that elephants fall short of full personhood not due to lesser intelligence but to deeper behavioural conservatism; The Philosophy and Practice of Improvisation – a networking project, joint with several Scandinavian Universities, aimed at elucidating the cognitive and practical ability of improvisation by looking into the professional and artistic practices in which this ability figures most prominently (2016-2018); The Method of Phenomenology – a networking project, joint with the University of Okayama and the University of Hiroshima, aimed at investing phenomenological methodology and its relation to contemporary approaches to the philosophy of mind (2017-18); Social Self-Conscious Emotions - a networking project, joint with the University of Okayama and the University of Hiroshima, aimed at investing emotions of self-assessment, like shame and pride, and the way in which they are impacted by society and culture (2016-17)

Criminology at UCC is an innovative research led discipline that offers academic and professional courses for a diverse range of students. Our team of criminologists conduct theoretical and empirical research examining pressing social issues of concern to both local and global communities. Recent staff research projects in the discipline include an examination of the ‘Crime-Terror Nexus’ in Ireland, Dissident republicanism and the Irish Diaspora in the USA, Feuding Gangs in Ireland (North and South), Technology and societal control, The Irish DNA Database System and Developing and redesigning Youth Justice.

The research conducted in UCC’s Study of Religions Department focuses on the academic, non-confessional study of religions in the contemporary world (19th-21st centuries). Research interests cover diverse religions (Islam, Hinduism, indigenous and minority religions, neo-paganisms, Orthodox Christianity and new religious movements) and regions (Ireland, South Asia, Eastern Europe, Brazil).  Members of staff are specialists in a range of approaches such as gender and masculinities (Dr Amanullah De Sondy), anthropology and ethnography (Dr Lidia GuzyDr James KapaloDr Jenny Butler) and area studies. Shared areas of expertise include indigenous and minority religions (Dr GuzyDr KapaloDr Butler), religions in South Asia (Dr De SondyDr Guzy) and folk/vernacular religion in Europe (Dr ButlerDr Kapalo). We pride ourselves on linking our research directly to our teaching; this results in a highly active and stimulating teaching and research environment for staff and students alike. Our contemporary focus has also enabled us to make significant contributions to the understanding of the contemporary religious landscape and religious history of Ireland. The department hosted the major IRC-funded project Muslims in Ireland, and has expertise in the study of contemporary neo-paganism, Islam and Orthodox Christianity in Ireland.

The department hosts the Marginalised and Endangered Worldviews Study Centre – MEWSC which brings together specialists from South Asia, Latin America and Eurasia to focus on questions of the devaluation of the worldviews of indigenous and minority peoples.

The Department of Government and Politics has a broad based research philosophy and an exceptional research track record. Research structures in the Department are supportive and flexible and designed to encourage research across the discipline, using varied theoretical and methodological approaches. Government and Politics has a strong record of public engagement. The Department has particular research strengths in International Politics and the European Union; Democracy and Governance and Irish Politics.

The Department is involved in a number of important research projects at present which include:

College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences

Coláiste na nEalaíon, an Léinn Cheiltigh agus na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta

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