UCC Undergraduate courses


About This Course

Fact File

  • Title


  • Code


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    3 or 4 years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BA (Hons)

  • Fees

    EU/EEA/Swiss State Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,138 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    2 x H5, 4 x O6/H7; O6/H7 in another language. See Requirements for full details.

  • CAO Points

    2022: 402

  • CAO Points Range


Course Outline

The BA in English programme offers you the opportunity to explore books, films, and theatre under the guidance of world-class scholars By studying English you will develop your knowledge, creativity and writing skills, and get more from the literature you love.

UCC School of English has a strong tradition of creativity and independent thinking. In choosing the BA in English, you will join a community of scholars who are passionate about literature and dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and reach your potential.

The BA in English introduces you to the subject in its fullest sense. Through reading, writing, discussion, and group and independent research, you will learn about literary genres, movements, and historical periods and develop a deep understanding of critical theories and current debates. You will also have the option of studying creative writing and digital literacy. The programme enables students to gain invaluable experience and skills in research, creative and critical thinking, effective communication, presentation, and teamwork. The BA in English is a challenging but rewarding programme of study that will help you to become a critical writer and creative thinker capable of contributing to Ireland’s vibrant cultural and intellectual life.


Year 1 Modules:

The programme offers a varied and stimulating introduction to literature and culture in the English language. You will be introduced to writing in a range of genres, including novels, poetry, and drama, from several historical periods, and will gain a solid foundation in key critical and cultural theories.

Year 1 Modules:

All modules 5 credits unless otherwise stated.

EN1002 - Literature and Society: Medieval to Renaissance

EN1003 -  Introduction to Modern Literature

EN1004 - Theories and Contexts in Literature

EN1101 - Contexts: the Production and Reception of Literature and Film

EN1103 - Problems in Literature (10 credits)

In addition students choose two subjects from the list below, with no more than one from each group.

Year 2 Modules:


Critical Skills Seminars; Introduction to Old English Language; Special Topics in Literature and Culture


Creative Writing; Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales; Eighteenth-Century Literature; American Cinema; Romance and Realism; Nineteenth-Century American Literature; Drama: Medieval and Renaissance; Women and Literature; Introduction to Shakespeare; Inventing Modern Drama.

Year 3 Modules:


Special Studies Seminars;  Dissertation


Creative Writing; Of Monsters and Men: Old & Early English Literature; European Cinema; Twentieth-Century American Literature; Romance: Medieval to Renaissance; Romantic Literature; Victorian Literature; Contemporary Irish Writing; The Irish Literary Revival and Modernism; Studies in Shakespeare; Modernism

See College Calendar for additional information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for further information on modules.

Course Practicalities

The BA in English involves lectures and small-group tutorials and workshops. During the course of your studies, you may also participate in online discussions, group projects, visit significant cultural sites, or even research manuscripts. Individual study is essential in an English degree: you will often have the opportunity to follow your interests, choosing which texts to study for major assignments, while learning to articulate what it is about them that interests you.

Why Choose This Course

While I got to delve further into particular areas of interest as the degree progressed, I now realise that I was acquiring many skills for my current job.

Sinead Murphy

BA, English

The UCC BA in English offers students the opportunity to study English literature in all its variety from its earliest inception to the modern day. Students also benefit from programme-specific modules on creative writing, digital literacy, and problem-based learning.

The BA in English offers a challenging and enriching range of courses and allows students to shape their degree according to their interests. Students gain a broad foundation, exploring the subject from its earliest beginnings in Old English right through to contemporary culture and Digital Humanities, and progress to select elective modules and engage in independent research under the supervision of our expert staff.

BA in English students also gain knowledge and transferable skills vital in any future career or programme of study. In exploring literature, our students learn to communicate clearly and persuasively; to think logically and creatively; to assess and apply critical theories; to engage in independent research; to formulate and evaluate arguments; and to understand key developments in society, politics, and culture.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study Abroad: You will have the option to add a year on to this three-year degree should you wish to spend a year studying abroad. You will spend Year 3 studying at one of our partner universities in Asia, Europe, Canada, South America, or the USA. You will then return to UCC for Year 4 to continue your studies.

UCC School of English students have studied in a variety of locations including:

  • Boston College
  • Cardiff University
  • Concordia University, Montreal
  • Ludwig Maximillians Universität, Munich
  • Pitzer College, Claremont, California
  • St Mary’s University, Halifax
  • University of California
  • University of Groningen
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Konstanz
  • Université Marc Bloch, Strasbourg
  • University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • University of Montana
  • Universita Roma Tre
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • University of Salzburg

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. You can find out more here.

Skills and Careers Information

English is a flexible and attractive degree which can help you achieve success in such professions as:

  • journalism and broadcasting
  • teaching
  • publishing
  • theatre
  • public relations
  • arts management
  • marketing and information sciences

Graduates of the BA in English have a range of transferrable skills including the ability to:

  • Write clearly and effectively
  • Think independently and creatively
  • Organise and engage in research
  • Evaluate ideas and derive conclusions based on research
  • Craft well-supported, logical arguments
  • Apply theories to understand critical problems
  • Present information cogently and concisely
  • Collaborate and work as part of a team


The UCC BA in English supports and sustains a lifelong relationship with literature, and equips you with the skills and knowledge to become a critical thinker, an effective communicator, an elegant writer, and a creative person able to make a positive contribution to our society and culture.


Leaving Certificate entry requirements:

At Least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H5 in two subjects and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish. Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:

EnglishIrishOther Language
O6/H7 O6/H7 O6/H7

Mature students:
Mature applicants should apply directly through the CAO, include a statement of interest and must sit the MSAP exam. 

Find out about the mature entry requirements here.

International Students should visit the International Education website.

FETAC Requirements.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates 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.

Refer to our International Office page for more information on how to apply to UCC.

Fees and Costs

The State will pay the tuition fees for students who satisfy the Free Fees Criteria. In 2022/23 the Student Contribution Fee will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee will be €138. Full-time EU/EEA/Swiss State undergraduate students may be exempt from paying tuition fees.

 Please see Fees Office for more information.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

How Do I Apply

EU Applicants: Application to Year 1 of the degree programme is made directly through the Central Applications Office (CAO). Applicants should apply online at www.cao.ie. The normal closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of entry.

Non-EU Applicants

Mature Applicants:  Application is made through the CAO and the closing date for the receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of proposed entry.

EU Applicants: The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions. Refer to the CAO page for further information.

Mature Applicants (age 23 or over): See the CAO Mature Applicants page and the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) page for essential information on the application process for mature students.

QQI FET/FETAC Applicants: See our QQI FET/FETAC Applicants page.

Non-EU Applicants: Non-EU applicants apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page.

All Applicants: Please note that the modules listed are indicative of the current set of modules for this course and are subject to change from year to year. Please check the College Calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

  • In UCC, we use the terms programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact