UCC Postgraduate courses


About This Course

Fact File

  • Title


  • Code

    CKA11 Full-time; CKA10 Part-time

  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

    Full-time, Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications

    HDip in Arts

  • EU Fees 2018

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    You will have a degree, other than in English, and preferably in the area of arts or the sciences See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Applications processed in rounds: See How To Apply section for full details

  • Start Date

    10 September 2018

Course Outline

The Higher Diploma in Arts English is a postgraduate qualification intended for students who already have a degree in another subject and who wish to study English intensively. You study a range of second- and third-year English undergraduate modules, over the course of one academic year (full time) or two academic years (part time).

The HDip is a conversion course and so you will not normally have taken English to honours degree level in your original undergraduate course of study. A valuable qualification in itself, the Higher Diploma in Arts in English may also be used as a pathway to further study, and the course is aimed at graduates who may wish to be considered for a subsequent master’s course in English.  

Registration with the Teaching Council:  For applicants who are taking the Higher Diploma with a view to Teaching Council subject registration, the Higher Diploma in Arts English is recognised by the Teaching Council for the purposes of a teaching subject at post primary level.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that the Higher Diploma in Arts programme is NOT the teacher training programme. Graduates must complete the Professional Master of Education to qualify as a secondary school teacher. Please see www.ucc.ie/en/pec01 for further details.

The Higher Diploma in Arts English consists of modules to the value of 60 credits taken from a range of existing second- and third-year modules in English. The course runs for one year (full time) or two years (part time). Credits may be made up through a combination of lecture modules (generally 5 credits) and seminar courses (10 credits). Courses covering a wide range of periods and a diverse array of texts and critical approaches are offered every year. The range of courses offered changes every year, but the period of literature covered in modules will always range from the Middle Ages, right through to the twenty-first century.

You can take modules specialising in areas including:

  • European and American cinema
  • Irish literature
  • American literature
  • Shakespeare
  • Mediaeval and Renaissance writing
  • Victorian literature
  • Modernism and postmodernism
  • Critical theory
  • Drama
  • Poetry
  • The novel
  • The short story

This wide range ensures that students accepted to the course should be able to satisfy their individual preferences and chosen areas of specialisation. 

Registration with the Teaching Council:  For applicants who are taking the Higher Diploma with a view to Teaching Council subject registration, the Higher Diploma is recognised by the Teaching Council for teacher subject registration in English.   In general, if you wish to qualify with English as a teaching subject, you are advised to refer to the school curriculum and match the modules to that broad field.  Modules are chosen in consultation with the programme coordinator in September.  

Many subjects have discipline-specific requirements and you are advised to check the requirements for the subject area by consulting the following:

Please see the College Book of Modules for information and descriptions of modules for the current academic year. 

Additional Teaching Mode Information

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can also apply online at PAC.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these 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 term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

Course Practicalities

Depending on modules selected, class contact time in lectures and seminars will be approximately 10 hours per week, with considerably more than this devoted to directed study (primary and secondary reading and preparation for classes, completion of coursework etc.) outside class hours.


Assessment methods vary depending on modules taken, but include in-class tests or final exams, take-home essays, oral presentations, on-line journals or portfolios, and preparation and contribution in class.

Who teaches this course

All staff in theSchool of English.

Click HERE for information on Staff Profiles in the School of English

Why Choose This Course

The Higher Diploma in English is a postgraduate course offering students with degrees in other subjects the chance to change direction and develop new areas of knowledge. Over the course of a year’s full-time or two year’s part-time intensive study, you are immersed in the subject. Many students use the HDip as a route into master’s level education, often progressing to one of the School of English’s specialised MAs. If you choose subsequently not to take an MA in English, you will also have gained the opportunity to develop a range of skills much sought after by employers.

Skills and Careers Information

Students gain extensive knowledge of numerous areas of literature in English and different approaches to the study of literature. You will be given numerous opportunities to develop your oral and written communication skills. These skills are much sought after in a wide range of administrative professions, including copy-editing and journalism. Some students take the HDip in English as a way of enhancing their prospects of becoming teachers or of further developing their teaching careers.


It is intended for those who already have a degree, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences

The Higher Diploma in Arts is a conversion programme and applicants would not normally have studied the relevant subject to Honours Degree level previously.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 


View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. 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 requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €6,000 .

Part-time students:

If your course is offered full time and part time, the fee for part time courses is half the full time fee.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

Non-EU Fees

The 2017/2018 Postgraduate Fees Schedule is available here

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications in early November of each year.

Questions on how to apply?

EU students contact graduatestudies@ucc.ie

International students contact internationaloffice@ucc.ie

Additional requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these supplementary questions are available to view here: CKA11AdditionalQuestions (50kB) and CKA10AdditionalQuestions (50kB)

Please note that the Higher Diploma in Arts programme is not the teacher training programme.  Graduates must complete the Professional Master of Education to qualify as a secondary school teacher.  Please see www.ucc.ie/en/pec01 for further details.

Irish/EU Closing Date Rounds

Irish/EU places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here

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