UCC Postgraduate courses

Women's Studies

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time; 2 Years Part-time
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-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

Our MA in Women’s Studies programme is offered by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences (CACSSS) at University College Cork (UCC).

This MA course has been offered in UCC for over 20 years and is an inclusive course ideally suited to Irish, international and mature students. The Women's Studies MA involves a wide variety of possibilities for interdisciplinary study, and for contact with the community and other organisations dealing with women’s and gender issues.

We cover a range of themes including representations of women in history, literature and popular culture (music and film); gender and sexuality; women and politics; women, work and family; and gender violence.

You will be provided with training in research skills and introduced to theoretical material that will enhance your personal research in Part II of the course, the dissertation.

For further information please see our Women's Studies page.

Course content

The MA in Women's Studies is offered as a full-time interdisciplinary programme running for 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme or as a part-time programme taken over 24 months from the date of first registration for the programme. The teaching team is drawn from a range of departments/schools which may vary from year to year but has usually come from among the following: Applied Social Studies, English, Folklore, French, History, Law, Philosophy and Sociology.

Students take 90 credits as follows:

Part I

  • WS6002 Feminist Theory (10 credits)
  • WS6003 Gender and Society I: Contexts (5 credits)
  • WS6005 Gender and Society II: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (15 credits)
  • WS6007 Research Skills Part I: Feminist Methodologies (5 credits)
  • WS6008 Research Skills Part II: The Literature Review (10 credits)

Part II

  • WS6004 Dissertation in Women's Studies (45 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

You will normally have a minimum of six contact hours per week from September to May and there are additional, timetabled, research skills training hours.

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

You will participate in seminars, directed reading, research skills training, essay and report writing, maintaining the reflective journal, student presentations, and one or two field trips. You will also have the opportunity to attend some sessions with visiting speakers.

In December and March, the review weeks provide you with an opportunity for research, revision, reading, and essay writing. From May to September, you will concentrate on completing your thesis, under the supervision of a dedicated member of staff. This will allow you to develop your research skills and your knowledge of an area of particular interest or passion.

Who teaches this course

The teaching team is drawn from a variety of college disciplines and may vary slightly from year to year. The following areas are usually involved: English, Film Studies, Philosophy, Sociology, Applied Social Studies, Folklore, Hispanic Studies, Italian, German, Law, and History.

Connected Curriculum

Our learning approach reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections across the disciplines.

Why Choose This Course

I have worked as a women’s rights lawyer for close to 10 years and I was interested in a MA in Women’s Studies...

Wuraoluwa Ayodele, Lawyer and Graduate

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This program is incredibly interdisciplinary, and the presence of many international students enriches our discussions, allowing us to learn from various perspectives and understand global issues...

Elisa Castrillon

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The lack of female scholars in Islamic philosophy feeds into the misinterpretation of Islam. We need more women academics to research and investigate religious texts...

Samar Khan, Graduate, MA Women's Studies

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The MA in Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary course that brings gender aspects of diverse disciplines together making it open to innumerable career choices one wants to pursue...

Aditi Singh, MA Women’s Studies

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Our MA Women’s Studies course suits students from a wide range of academic disciplines and employment backgrounds. As well as those whose life and work experience directed them towards Women’s Studies, we have had mathematics, science, business, and law, as well as social science and humanities, graduates among our students.

On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • formulate arguments that reflect a critical and comprehensive, interdisciplinary knowledge of feminist debates around social and cultural issues;
  • communicate those arguments effectively both orally and in writing;
  • apply concepts, theories, and methodologies appropriately at the postgraduate level;
  • assess how differences (race, ethnicity, class, sexual identity, time, place, values, etc.) inform theoretical positions;
  • critically evaluate evidence drawn from existing research and scholarship;
  • design and pursue independent research;
  • & use the transferable skills developed through engagement with the self-directed learning, research and academic writing aspects of the course.

Skills and Careers Information

You will develop skills that enhance your employability, including critical thinking; analytic skills; innovative approaches to social issues; gender expertise; understanding of power dynamics and diversity; awareness of social justice and legal issues.

Our graduates enter a wide range of occupations in the public and private sectors, including equal opportunities/equality advisory; research and education; non-governmental/civil society organisations; journalism and the information sector; and the social and health sectors.

There are also academic possibilities such as studying for a PhD, and some students enter further professional training, e.g. studying law, training as a social worker or counsellor, moving into the equality or community sectors.

Many graduates suggest that the course reinforces their self-confidence and encourages them to become involved in community or political activism.


To apply for this course, you will have a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or the equivalent

If you have relevant experience in the areas of community work, industry, or professions, you can also apply.

You will be asked to submit an essay of at least 1,000 words on a book, experience, or personal contact which stimulated your interest in women's studies. Further examples of your work may be requested. It is likely that you will be required to attend an interview.

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 detail your computing/technical/IT skills.
  • Please upload a short analytical/critical/report writing sample or essay (1,000 words approx.) on a book, experience, or personal contact, which stimulated their interest in Women’s Studies. The essay provides an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their referencing skills and it should have a bibliography attached.

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.

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For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact