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UCC Undergraduate courses


Course Fact File
Duration3 or 4 Years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBA (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesEU/EEA/Swiss State Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,138 See Fees and Costs for full details.
CAO Points2023: 379
CAO Points Range2023: 379-589

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.

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

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
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
EU/EFTA/UK Qualifications

EU/EFTA/UK applicants presenting an equivalent school-leaving qualification should review the EU/EFTA/UK Applicants page for information on equivalent grades and how to prove their level of English.

Mature Students

To compete through the mature entry route, applicants must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the application year and apply online via the CAO by 1 February. The application should include a statement of interest, and prospective students must also apply for and sit the Mature Student Evaluation (MSE) test.

Further information on applying as a mature student is available on the Mature Applicants and Mature Student Entry support pages. 


Applicants who meet the required level of distinctions in required subjects can apply for entry to this course using specific QQI FET qualifications. Please review the Programme Requirements on our Information for QQI FET Applicants page for information on related QQI courses, and visit Access UCC’s QQI/FET Entry section for further support. 

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

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