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UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - Folklore

Course Fact File
CodeSubject available through multiple programmes
Subject TitleFolklore
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBA (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 7
FeesStudent Contribution + Capitation: €3,138 See Fees and Costs for full details.

Course Outline

Ireland has one of the world's largest folklore archives. Folklore has been a vital aspect of Irish identity for hundreds of years, contributing to its literature, history and culture. Folklore, however, is not just in the past or in the countryside, it’s also in the contemporary world and in cities. It remains a significant element in the ongoing cultural process of popular traditions and expressions.

Folklore at UCC introduces the main areas of the discipline, such as narratives, stories, festivals, rituals, tools, technologies and material culture, before developing the theories, ideas and methods of Folklore, including the theories of fieldwork, original research, archives and community identity.


Year 1 Module

FL1004 Introduction to Irish Folklore and Ethnology (15 credits)

This module will introduce you to the subject from the beginning. Moving from art to artifice, from the natural to the supernatural, it presents a colourful range of narratives and stories, festivals and rituals, not forgetting the tools, technologies, and material culture so essential to human life.

You will be introduced to the study of human culture as it expresses itself through language, behaviour, and artefact. This module encompasses stories and storytelling, rituals, popular religion and festivals, material culture, and lifestyle.

Year 2 Modules

We offer 30 credits, three 5-credit modules in Semester 1, and three 5-credit modules in Semester 2:

Festival and Ritual in Popular Culture; Singers and Songs in Irish Tradition; Exploring the Otherworld; Popular Belief and Symbols; What is Folklore? Paradigms and Theories; Archives and Folklore in Ireland; Special Topics in Folklore.

Year 3*/4 Modules

We offer 30 credits, three 5-credit modules in Semester 1, and three 5-credit modules in Semester 2:

Exploring Material Culture and Folklore; Studying Stories, Theory and Method; Musical Traditions and Cultural Contexts; Indigenous Knowledge: Herbs and Healing in Irish Folklore; Fieldwork and Folklore; The Ethnographic Interview: An Introduction

*BA International students spend their third year studying in an approved foreign university in a country of the student's major language or subject and return to complete their final year in UCC in year 4.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture hours: In Year 1 you will have 3 hours of lectures a week, and tutorials will also be available.

In Years 2 and 3 all modules are two hours per week. Lectures, Reading Lists and Assignments are made available on Canvas.

Field trips: Students may be requested to contribute to the cost of field trips if such are organised.


  • Year 1 is examined by a combination of continuous assessment and one end-of-year examination.
  • In Years 2 and 3, modules are examined by a combination of continuous assessment or a written examination. Methods such as presentations, research reports, journals and fieldwork are also used to assess practicals.

Why Choose This Course

This is a great programme for learning practical research skills, solid methods and approaches, as well as innovative perspectives...

Pádraig Ó'Dálaigh, BA, Folklore

Folklore is one of very few courses that makes culture its main interest. Fewer again do it with a serious anthropological and ethnographic perspective as we do at UCC. Folklore is a unique subject and discipline in this sense alone, in which you will have the opportunity to seriously consider Irish narratives, rituals, festivals, symbols or beliefs. UCC is one of only two universities where you can do this comprehensively.

By studying folklore, you can add the rich tapestry of tradition, culture and everyday life to other disciplines that seem to consider everything else except these. The cultural context and background will fill in the gap in your knowledge like nothing else will. It will help you to understand the role of culture in both past and present societies.

Ireland has one of the largest folklore archives in the world. The Department of Folklore at UCC is a leading institution nationally and internationally for the study of folklore and ethnology. Yet folklore one of the newest academic disciplines, with a wealth of information and knowledge at its disposal.

Culture surrounds us like the air we breathe so why not study it, explore it, test it and research it. This subject is unique in placing culture in the centre of things. It offers opportunities to enter a rich and varied discipline, using unique resources in the archive and outside it, in original research and community settings.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study abroad: Folklore has long-established links with folklore departments in Lithuania, France, Iceland, Scotland, Finland and Sweden for undergraduate and postgraduate exchanges. 

Work placement: If you study through the BA or the BA International, you will have the opportunity to avail of a work placement in Year 2.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduates from this course have pursued careers in the following areas:

  • academia
  • media (audio-video)
  • primary and secondary school teaching
  • archive assistance
  • heritage sector (museums, with the Heritage Council)
  • translation
  • writing
  • community-based folklore and arts
  • local history projects.

The course also equips you with a range of useful transferable skills for journalism, television production, urban planning and environmental planning.


Refer to CK101 and CK108

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Refer to CK101 and CK108

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact