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

Our BA in English 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.

The English Department at UCC 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.

Our BA 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 you to gain invaluable experience and skills in research, creative and critical thinking, effective communication, presentation, and teamwork.


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

  • EN1010 Critical Reading and Writing (5 credits)
  • EN1011 Literature in Time (5 credits)
  • EN1012 Literature in Question (5 credits)
  • EN1101 Contexts: the Production and Reception of Literature and Film (5 credits)
  • EN1103 Problems in Literature (10 credits)

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

Year 2 Modules

  • Core: Critical Skills Seminars; Introduction to Old English Language; Special Topics in Literature and Culture.
  • Electives: Introduction to Renaissance Literature; Modern Drama; Adaptation, Literature and Culture; Romance and Realism; American Literature to 1900; Eighteenth-Century Literature; Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales and Related Texts; Women and Literature; DH2006 Curation and Storytelling in the Digital Age; LL2003 Aspects of the Classical Tradition.       

Year 3 Modules

  • Core: Special Studies Seminars; Dissertation.
  • Electives: The Irish Literary Revival and Irish Modernism; Victorian Literature; Modernism; Romance: Medieval to Renaissance; Contemporary Irish Writing; Studies in Shakespeare; Contemporary Culture; Of Monsters and Men: Old and Early English Literature; Modern and Contemporary American Literature; Romantic Literature.

See the College Calendar (BA English) for more information.

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.

Professional Work Experience Module

The College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Science (CACSSS) offers an optional accredited Professional Work Experience module (PX3001) that enables CACSSS students to explore and develop their career interests. This optional module can be taken in any year of your undergraduate degree.

Why Choose This Course

I have always loved English... All my tutors are so helpful and you feel very welcome...

Fiona Murphy, BA English

Find Out More
I love it... It was really good for me as a foreign student...

Anna Radaelli, BA English

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The intake is small, allowing everyone to know their classmates as well as creating stronger relationships with the Department of English staff.

Lia Curtin, BA English

Find Out More

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

We offer a challenging and enriching range of courses and allow you to shape your degree according to your interests. You will 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.

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

Placement or Study Abroad Information

You will have the option to add a year on to this three-year degree should you wish to spend a year studying abroad. The BA English (International Pathway) means you spend Year 3 studying at one of our partner universities in Europe, Canada, or the USA. You will then return to UCC for Year 4 to continue your studies.

In recent years, UCC School of English students have studied in a variety of locations including:

  • Agder University, Norway
  • Boston College
  • Cardiff University
  • Ludwig Maximillians Universität, Munich
  • University of Malta
  • Concordia University, Montreal
  • University of Vienna
  • University of Groningen, Netherlands 
  • St Mary’s University, Halifax
  • University of California
  • University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • University of Montana

For more information on the International Pathway see the BA English (International Pathway) page.

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. See our Mature Applicants page for more information.

Other qualifications: EU/EFTA/UK students presenting an alternative school-leaving qualification (e.g. A-levels or International Baccalaureate) or QQI/FE course should visit our EU/EFTA/UK Applicants pages for further information. 

International (non-EU) Students should visit the International Education page.

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 appicants 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

The State will pay the tuition fees for students who satisfy the Free Fees Criteria. See the Fees Office for more information.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

How Do I Apply

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)

All interested mature applicants must make an application through the Central Applications Office (CAO). See the CAO Mature Applicants and the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) pages. Visit our Mature Student Entry page for more information.


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

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information.

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. 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