UCC Postgraduate courses

Irish Language and European Law

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Irish Language and European Law

  • Code


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 year Full-time

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees 2021

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2021


  • Entry Requirements

    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). See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Currently open for late EU applications

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    30th June

  • Start Date

    13 September 2021

Course Outline

This 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. This course 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 a 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.

More information on this course is available at:   Modern-Irish Postgraduate  

Tá breis eolais mar gheall ar an gcúrsa seo le fáil ag:  Nua-Ghaeilge Iarchéime    

The MA in Irish Language and European Law will be 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 1 of this course 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 2 of this course 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.

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).

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 chose 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.


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

The MA in Irish Language and European Law is taken full-time over 12 months. Part 1 within the first two semesters, Part 2 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.

1. Written examinations in the case of the core and elective modules, with the Irish-language modules incorporating continuous assessment and oral components.

2. The 15-credit intensive Gaeltacht course (GA6027) will be assessed by in-class examinations.

3. The 15-credit research project (GA6028) will be assessed jointly by representatives of the Department of Modern Irish and School of Law. 

Staff of the Department of Modern Irish:

Dr Pádraig Ó Macháin

Dr Seán Ua Súilleabháin

Ms. Mairead Ni Loingsigh

Staff of the School of Law:

Dr Seán Ó Conaill

Staff of the School of Languages

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.

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-langauge Units will increase steadily between now and 2022. According to an estimate given by the Directorate-General for Translation in the European Commission, more than 180 staff members with excellent competency in Irish will be required to satisfy the translation requirements of the principal institutions of the EU: 42 translator assistants, 103 translators and 6 heads of unit/department. A team of intrepreters will also be recruited and yet more employees will be needed to ensure a continuous supply of Irish-speaking professionals to meet the requirements of the European institutions.

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. Translators earn in the region of €48,000 per annum, for example, and the starting salary for a lawyer-linguist is €5,500 per month. 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.

Source: https://epso.europa.eu/career-profiles/law_en

This video gives some insight into the daily working life of lawyer linguists:    

Image to video link

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

Translators in the various EU institutions and bodies, working in a challenging, multi-cultural 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.

Source: https://epso.europa.eu/career-profiles/languages_en

This video gives some insight into the daily working life of translators in EU institutions:

Image to video link


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 interview/assessment with the Department of Modern Irish.


English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here

International/non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please 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.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €6,130.

The Non-EU fee for this course is €13,000.


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 fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two 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 online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal 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 items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

5. Rounds

For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

Questions on how to apply?

Please 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 30th June

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact