UCC Postgraduate courses

Gaelic Literature (Online MA)

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Gaelic Literature (Online MA)

  • Code

    CKD13 Full-time; CKD14 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


  • EU Fees 2018

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2018


  • Entry Requirements

    Honours primary degree at 2H1 (or the equivalent). Candidates who hold a primary degree at 2H1 level will also be considered. See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Applications processed in rounds: See How To Apply

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    15th June

  • Course Delivery Method


  • Start Date

    10 September 2018

Course Outline

This programme aims to provide the student with a comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of Gaelic literature. It treats of sources (manuscripts), literary texts from the Early Christian period to the modern, and emphasises the sense of place – local and international – that informs the historicity of Gaelic literature studies. It creates links over time between authors such as Colum Cille and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Gofraidh Fionn and Seán Ó Ríordáin, and presents, as a single narrative, a view of Gaelic literature as organic, redefining and reinventing itself as each historic challenge is encountered and overcome. Delivered through English (using texts in translation) by acknowledged experts in the fields of Gaelic language and literature, this co-ordinated, panoramic approach to the study of Gaelic literature over time will address and develop the various themes and influences that feed into and inform this literature, including mythology, spiritualism, historic events, landscape and diasporic studies.

Listen here to a 2017 graduate talk about her experience on the course Gaelic Lit MA Graduate 2017

This programme is delivered online and in English.  It aims to provide the student with a comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of Gaelic literature. It incorporates a strong historic and cultural perspective in order to ensure that a sense of context is present at all times. The cultivation, study and transmission of Gaelic literature from early-Christian to modern times will be presented as a continuous narrative across the various components of the programme. A highlight of the cross-module approach inherent in this course is the exposure of the student to the primary sources for Gaelic literature, especially manuscript sources in Ireland and abroad. Having established the linguistic and palaeographical foundation of practically all pre-20th-century Gaelic literature, the programme will proceed to address and develop the various themes and influences that feed into and inform this literature, including mythology, spiritualism, landscape and diasporic studies. The treatment of the development of Gaelic Ireland as an international entity, and the panoramic approach to the study of Gaelic literature over time, are innovative features of this programme.

Modules to the value of 60 credits will be selected from a choice of seven, of which two are compulsory. The production of a thirty-credit dissertation is also a requirement. These modules cover all aspects of Gaelic literature from the first appearance of poetry in the margins of Latin manuscripts in the ninth century, to an exploration of the sense of place in the work of Irish authors of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Lectures will be recorded, and both they and ancillary lecture material (notes, slides, bibliographies etc.) will be made available via Blackboard, the online teaching platform used by University College Cork. In addition to the asynchronous elements of the programme, progress will be monitored and assignments will be discussed in real-time consultations which will take place using Skype or other platforms.

Part 1

Students select 60 credits from the following:

Core Modules:

GA6012 The social and cultural history of the Irish language, 1200-2000 (10 Credits)
GA6013 The transmission and interpretation of Gaelic literature (10 Credits) 

Elective Modules

GA6010 Beginners Irish Language (10 Credits)
GA6014 The phases of Gaelic literature (10 Credits)
GA6015 Gaelic Ireland, 1600-2000 A.D : the International Dimension (10 Credits)
GA6016 Placenames and Sense of Place in Gaelic Literature (10 Credits)
GA6032 Women’s Poetry in Gaelic Society

Part II

GA6019 Dissertation in Gaelic Literature (30 credits)

Part-time option
Students taking the part-time option complete 60 credits of taught core modules in Year 1. In Year 2 they complete the 30 credit dissertation module.

Postgraduate Diploma in Gaelic Literature

Students who have completed and passed modules to the value of at least 60 credits in Part I and who fail or do not wish to proceed to Part II may exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Gaelic Literature.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

This programme will be taught online

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

A series of short introductory lectures will serve to give the students a road-map of the objectives and content of the programme, including information on what will be expected of students and on how the course is to be run. Students must have constant access to internet-delivering technology in order to attend this course.

The programme will be conducted over 12 months and will incorporate the delivery of online reading material and reading lists, and online discussion topics and reaction-pieces, to be addressed individually and also collectively in online discussion groups. Weekly pre-recorded lectures will be delivered, and real-time meetings will be convened at intervals to be determined by the class and teachers. The dissertation topic will be chosen by the student in consultation with either the course co-ordinator or the individual lecturer or both. As registered students of University College Cork, students of this programme will have access to all Library facilities, databases etc., as well as student email accounts

Continuous assessment based on assignments such as discussion papers and reaction-pieces. There will also be the possibility for group-assignments based on the online forum described above, and making maximum use of existing online facilities such as Blackboard.

End-of-module essays based on texts and text-critical material addressed in the course.

The submission of a 30-credit dissertation.

Who teaches this course

Professor Pádraig Ó Macháin

Dr. Cornelius Buttimer

Dr Aidan Doyle

Ms. Mairead Ni Loingsigh

Dr Isobel Ní Riain

Liam P. Ó Murchú

Why Choose This Course

This is the only online course offering a comprehensive programme in Gaelic literature from early times to the present, delivered by recognised academic experts in the field. All the subjects dealt with in the different modules are placed in their historic context. For instance, the module on Women's Poetry in Gaelic Society references poetry and song through its historic phases in tandem with contemporary material.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Upon successful completion of the MA in Gaelic Literature a student may elect to pursue further study to doctoral level. If such study is to be undertaken at UCC, students may choose to spend time abroad as part of their programme. Students with this qualification will also be in a position to apply for scholarships to study for further degrees at overseas universities.

Skills and Careers Information

Equipped with an MA in Gaelic Literature, a student will be well positioned to pursue further postgraduate work in Celtic studies, and opportunities will also present for academic work in other medieval or modern literatures. Students will be enabled to expand their area of interest, expertise and research into other disciplines such as Scottish Studies, Anglo-Irish Studies, Irish-American Studies, or European Literature. Transferrable skills acquired during this programme will include those of an analytic and text-critical nature, while palaeographical emphases will find obvious resonances in codicological and art-historical disciplines. In addition, the MA in Gaelic literature is an ideal qualification for those wishing to pursue careers in sectors such as heritage, local history, broadcasting and media.


Applications will be considered from graduates of all disciplines. Successful applicants will normally have an honours primary degree at Second Honours Grade 1 level (or the equivalent). 

Candidates who hold a primary degree at Second Class Honours Grade 2 level will also be considered, based on the information provided in a supplementary statement and/or interview acceptable to the Department selection committee.

For North American students a cumulative GPA of 3.2 is normally expected.

Applicants must complete a short personal statment outlining their academic background and interests and reasons for applying to the programme.

Technical expertise

As most of this course will be delivered online, it is understood that students will have constant access to internet-delivering technology. Elementary computer literacy will be required of the students. Technical guidance and support provided by UCC will be available to the students at all times.

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 €4,800 .

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 .

The Non-EU fee for this course is €7,000.

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 this form is available to view here: CKD13&CKD14AdditionalQuestions (116kB)

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


The closing date for non-EU applications is 15th June

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