Skip to main content

UCC Postgraduate courses

Irish Language & European Law

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time
Teaching ModeFull-time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateRolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

This Irish Language & European Law course is open to Law graduates, or graduates who hold other legal qualifications, or whose degree contains a substantial component of law, with a very high standard of Irish at second-level education (A in Leaving Cert Honours Examination or B2 TEG) and Law graduates who have taken Irish language modules at third level.

Our MA Irish Language & European Law programme aims to revive and build on the student’s previous Irish language experience to the extent that students are brought to a high standard (C1 TEG) during the course of the degree. The course offers students specialised training in European Law, alongside gaining in-depth Irish language skills. Students spend part of the course in UCC and part of it on an intensive residential Gaeltacht week-long course in the Waterford Gaeltacht, allowing students to immerse themselves in the language. Students graduate with a desirable qualification that is seen as a strategic combined language and law need in Europe.

The MA in Irish Language and European Law is run by the Department of Modern Irish in collaboration with the School of Law. This collaboration builds on an existing and highly productive arrangement between the two disciplines.

Part I consists of two semesters at UCC, starting in September and finishing in May. During the two semesters, students complete 60 credits in total. 25 credits are taken in core modules. 35 credits are taken in elective modules, with 25 credits allocated to a selection of law modules and 10 credits allocated to a selection of language modules.

Part II consists of a 15-credit intensive and fully-subsidised residential Gaeltacht course over the summer months, and a 15-credit research project on a subject combining a joint Irish language and Law topic.

Modules (90 credits)

Part I

Core Modules

GA2001 Úsáid agus Cruinneas na Gaeilge I (10 credits)†
GA3001 Úsáid agus Cruinneas na Gaeilge (10 credits)†
LW6650 Contemporary Issues in EU Competition Policy (10 credits)

Students who have already completed these modules as part of their primary degree will be required to take alternative modules (modules to be chosen in consultation with the programme coordinator).

Elective Modules Group A (choose 20 credits)

LW6536 Intellectual Property Law (10 credits)
LW6639 FinTech: Law and Regulation (5 credits)
LW6640 E-Commerce Law (5 credits)
LW6574 Intellectual Property and Internet Regulation (10 credits)
LW6578 Consumer Rights: Law and Policy (5 credits)
LW6581 Method in Environmental Law (5 credits)
LW6618 Climate Change Law and Policy (5 credits)
LW6634 Refugee and Forced Displacement Law (10 credits)

Elective Modules Group B (choose 10 credits)

FR5005 Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpreting and Terminology - Methodology (10 credits)
GA6001 Scríobh Acadúil na Gaeilge (10 credits)
GA6002 Beirt Bhanfhile: Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill agus Biddy Jenkinson(10 credits)
GA6020 Advanced Translation Skills (Irish) (10 credits)
GE6014 German-English-German Translation: Methods and Practice (10 credits)
HS6006 Advanced Spanish Language for Professional Purposes (10 credits)
IT6101 Translation: Methods and Practice (10 credits)

Part II

GA6027 Ardchúrsa Cónaitheach sa Ghaeilge (15 credits)
GA6028 Tionscnamh taighde sa Dlí agus sa Ghaeilge (15 credits)

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search 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 MA in Irish Language and European Law is taken full-time over 12 months. Part I within the first two semesters, Part II in the third semester. Conventional lecture hours of one per week per module will apply to the core and elective modules. The language modules also carry tutorial and conversation classes. The intensive residential Gaeltacht module (GA6027) consists of a week-long course in the third semester.

  • Written examinations in the case of the core and elective modules, with the Irish-language modules incorporating continuous assessment and oral components.
  • The 15-credit intensive Gaeltacht course (GA6027) will be assessed by in-class examinations.
  • The 15-credit research project (GA6028) will be assessed jointly by representatives of the Department of Modern Irish and School of Law.

Why Choose This Course

This course offers intensive training in spoken and written Irish to holders of legal degrees or other legal qualifications (solicitors, barristers), or degrees that include a significant element of law, and enhances those qualifications with a tailored suite of course modules in European Law. The course builds on the formal status of the Irish language within the European Commission and European Parliament, and particularly on the removal of the derogation by 2021 from the full use of Irish, thereby exploiting employment opportunities at both national and European level.

The course will benefit Law graduates by bringing their standard and qualifications to Level 9 overall and will fast-track these graduates into new employment opportunities by enabling them to annexe linguistic ability in Irish to their primary degree in Law. It will also enable them to begin adding a third language to their portfolio, should they choose to do so. Graduates will then be well placed to apply for positions within the European Commission and European Parliament, the strategic need for which has been identified by the Higher Education Authority, which is funding this programme. The programme will also prepare graduates for work in either of the legal professions as bilingual lawyers or advocates.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

The intensive Gaeltacht module will be a feature of the course that will exploit an active and growing strategic outreach engagement between UCC and the Irish-speaking areas in its hinterland and serve to enhance the student experience of Irish as a living, European language.

The intensive residential courses to be conducted over a week at Coláiste na Rinne, in the heart of the Waterford Gaeltacht, will be crucial to the course objective of the transition in the standard of Irish of the students from B2 to C1 in Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (TEG).

Skills and Careers Information

What can I do after I graduate with an MA in Irish Language and European Law?

Students graduating with this degree will be equipped to compete for Lawyer-linguist positions within the European Commission and European Parliament. With the derogation on the full use of Irish in the structures of the European Commission and European Parliament due to be phased out between 2015 and 2021, the holder of this degree will be uniquely placed to capitalise on the anticipated huge increase in employment opportunities in that period and after.

In the case of domestic employment, they will also be enabled to add a professional qualification in the Irish language to their portfolio of skills, an important element in the area of Irish Constitutional Law in particular. In the wider, non-legally specific arena, the degree will enhance employment opportunities in areas such as print, broadcast and electronic media, particularly with reference to current affairs, and social and cultural commentary relating to Ireland and Europe. Students graduating with first class honours or high second class honours may avail of further postgraduate study opportunities in either Irish or Law.

Occupations associated with an MA in Irish Language and European Law

  • Lawyer Linguist
  • Legal Translator
  • Journalism

Career Prospects?

A greater role for the Irish language in the EU

As a result of a regulation made by the EU Council (Council Regulation 2015/2264), the amount of staff in the Irish-language units will increase steadily.

The MA in Irish and European Law is aimed at people who wish to apply for the position of translator or lawyer-linguist in the institutions of the European Union. These are interesting, attractive careers with high salaries and good working conditions as well as opportunities for continual professional development. 

The important and meaningful work undertaken by translators and lawyer-linguists is increasing the status of the Irish language in Ireland and in Europe. 

What is the role of a lawyer-linguist?

EU lawyer-linguists ensure that all new legislation has the same meaning in every European language. The job requires capable lawyers with outstanding linguistic abilities, who are experienced in drafting or translating, checking, or revising legal texts. Lawyer-linguists must be able to discern precisely what EU legislation is intended to convey, and faithfully reflect that intention in their own native language.

What is the role of a translator employed in EU institutions?

Translators in the various EU institutions and bodies, working in a challenging, multicultural environment, help 500 million Europeans, in different EU countries understand EU policies. Working to some strict deadlines, the job may involve translating a broad range of political, legal, financial, scientific, and technical texts and providing wide-ranging linguistic advice to colleagues.


Successful applicants will normally have a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent in Law (or a degree comprising a substantial component of Law). 

Applications from graduates whose primary Law degree is at Second Class Honours Grade II level will be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) based on the information in a supplementary statement and interview/assessment. Applications will also be accepted from candidates holding a qualification as a barrister or a solicitor in Ireland or the United Kingdom.

A degree in Irish is not necessary but a high standard of Irish is required (e.g. an ‘A’ at the Higher Leaving Certificate Level or equivalent (B2 Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge)). Applicants will be further required to present for an interview/assessment with the Department of Modern Irish. 

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

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

  • 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.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


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

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

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

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • Please indicate your level of language expertise in the language(s) offered by this programme and include details of any relevant qualifications, skills and experiences to date.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact