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UCC Postgraduate courses


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 Anthropology programme at University College Cork is an exciting new postgraduate degree that represents state-of-the-art in-field training in ethnography, combined with cultural, political and social theory. Bringing together the knowledge & skills of staff at the Marginalized & Endangered Worldviews Study Centre and the Economy & Society Research Centre, the programme is taught through students’ active participation in international summer schools & colloquia, as well as classroom seminars, and with practical fieldwork opportunities in Latin America, India, and several sites throughout Europe including Ireland.

We offer our students a unique opportunity to gain intercultural competencies as well as professional and transferable skills. It will appeal to those of you with a strong international and intellectual outlook who seek a deeper understanding of the cultural, political and social challenges of the 21st Century.   


Part I (Full-time) (60 credits)

Students complete core modules to the value of 30 credits and select 30 credits from the elective modules. Our students are strongly encouraged to attend one of the Summer/Winter Schools and can take up to 10 credits from those on offer in a given year.

Core Modules

  • AY6013 Anthropology: Paradigms & Theories (10 credits)
  • AY6015 Ethnography, Practice and Writing (10 credits)
  • AY6016 Rereading the Anthropological Classics (10 credits)

Summer School/Winter School Elective Modules

  • AY6017 Atlantic Anthropological Workshop (10 credits)
  • SC6001 Economy and Society Summer School (5 credits)
  • SC6002 Economy and Society Summer School 2 (10 credits)

Standard Elective Modules

  • AY3002 Dark Heritage: Anthropology of Death, War, and Difficult Pasts (5 credits)
  • AY3003 Semiotics and Anthropology (5 credits)
  • AY6004 Anthropology and Social Control (10 credits) 
  • AY6014 CyberSocial Futures (10 credits)
  • AY6025 Anthropology and Aesthetics of Performance: Ritual and Theatre (10 credits)
  • GV6115 European Security (10 credits)
  • LW6544 Criminology: Core Theories, Context and Critique (10 credits)
  • MU6042 Ethnography of Music (10 credits)
  • MU6043 History and Theory of Ethnomusicology (10 credits)
  • SC6631 Sociology of Sustainable Development (10 credits)
  • SC6636 Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilisation (10 credits)
  • SC6638 Rethinking Borders: Sovereignty, Rights and Justice (10 credits)
  • SC6639 Feminist Epistemologies: Feminisms, Sexuality and Society (10 credits)
  • SC6642 Social Theory and Climate Justice (10 credits)
  • SC6644 Im/mobilities: forced migration and belonging (10 credits)
  • SC6645 Alcohol and Society: Use, Regulation and Harms (10 credits)

Part II (30 credits)

  • AY6003 Dissertation (30 credits) or
  • AY6010 Fieldwork Placement (30 credits)

Part-time Option

Students take 90 credits over two parts: 60 credits in Part I and modules to the value of 30 credits in Part II. See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the current part-time module options.

Fieldwork Placement

The Fieldwork Placement takes place in one of our partner universities and will be jointly supervised by a team of two supervisors, one based at UCC and one in the partner university. The supervisor in the partner university will oversee and facilitate the practical aspects of the fieldwork project.

Students will be exposed to international perspectives and possibilities facilitated in particular through summer, winter-schools and fieldwork placements.

The fieldwork placement will offer a unique opportunity for Irish students to engage in ethnographic practice at a range of institutions in India, Latin America, and Europe, and for international students to conduct ethnographic research in Ireland.

The international local and global experience of transcultural learning and communication offers unique academic think-tank and creative spaces which foster global empathy through local engagement.

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 Anthropology, on the one hand, employs conventional classroom practice and pedagogy but on the other hand, transgresses and broadens it through our schools, and fieldwork placements with partner institutions globally.

Our Summer and Winter Schools, as well as fieldwork placements, offer unique spaces for free and unconventional/alternative thinking and educational practice by means of culturally alienated educational scenarios and contexts.

The MA Anthropology programme may be taken full-time over 12 months or part-time over 24 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Part-time students take at least the core modules in year one and the remainder required for credit over years one and two.

Why Choose This Course

... I have grown as a student and an anthropologist. Today, I am still connected to the [MA] program and the anthropological community and am considering perusing a PhD in the subject.

Dakota Alexandra Oliveira, Graduate

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The MA in Anthropology complemented my previous studies & work experience and prepared me for working as an Applied Anthropologist...

Ingrid Glen, Graduate

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Overall, the MA Anthropology course has provided me with a diverse and fruitful set of tools and skills that I apply to my current work...

Conach Gibson-Feinblum, Graduate

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The MA in Anthropology is an innovative and unique programme that fills a large gap in the Irish higher education landscape

Anthropology is uniquely well-placed to provide an analysis of our contemporary local and global situation: Recent and ongoing political and economic crises bring into sharp relief the need to forefront anthropological perspectives and expertise to the benefit of the social sciences and public life.  Such a programme will offer the increasing number of international students with personal lived experience of migration, immigration and globalisation, conflict and war, a vehicle with which to voice their own thoughts and experiences to an academic standard. There is no graduate programme in Ireland and few internationally that address this intersection.

The programme will employ conventional classroom pedagogy combined with summer school, winter school and fieldwork placements with partner institutions globally. The already existing summer and winter schools will service not only the students from the MA in Anthropology programme but also students in other Irish Third Level Institutes, and, will also offer a recruitment window for international students.

The summer school and winter school plus the fieldwork placement make this a very attractive programme with a unique profile in Ireland.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

The placement will be designed by the two supervisors in consultation with the student before they depart for fieldwork. Students will go on fieldwork placement for one to two months in Ireland, Europe, or to non-European partner universities between the months of April and August. The placement will be monitored by a UCC academic mentor plus a local mentor if the fieldwork is undertaken at a non-European partner university. Students will be expected to report their experiences at agreed intervals.

The fieldwork placement allows you to engage in ethnographic practice at a range of institutions in India, Latin America, and Europe, and for international students to conduct ethnographic research in Ireland.

The international local and global experience of transcultural learning and communication offers unique academic think-tank and creative spaces which foster global understanding and empathy through local engagement.  

For a student to go on fieldwork placement pertinent conditions must be satisfied by the Programme Director including but not limited to linguistic requirements, political stability, health concerns, travel and health insurance undertaken, and logistical practicalities. Where unsure the Programme Director will consult with the Board of Studies or where conditions are unmet a student may make their case to the Board of Studies. The decision of the Programme Board of Studies is final.

Skills and Careers Information

Anthropologists can be universally employed as intercultural competency, socio-cultural reflexivity and cultural literacy represent key social and educational skills in contemporary societies. Identified career paths are

  • Research
  • Education
  • Higher Education
  • International and national politics
  • Journalism
  • International Organisations (UN, UNESCO etc)
  • NGO sector


A candidate for this MA programme must normally hold a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent, in Anthropology, or a cognate subject in social/cultural sciences (Sociology, Criminology, Management, Development, Political Science, Languages, Social Sciences, Classics, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Study of Religions) or equivalent international qualification. 

Candidates who hold a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) may also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) subject to review by the Board of Studies.

As part of the application process, all applicants will be required to submit: 

  1. A supporting statement which should outline your intellectual biography and your reasons for pursuing postgraduate studies in Anthropology.  
  2. Prospective applicants may be required to present themselves for an interview. The interviewing of overseas applicants may be conducted online. 

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:

  • 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.
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • Please detail your computing/technical/IT skills.
  • Please upload your CV.
  • Please enter the names and email addresses of two referees.  At least one referee should be an academic referee.

N.B. We may also require prospective applicants to present themselves for an interview. The interviewing of overseas applicants may be conducted online.

All other required supporting documentation (e.g. evidence of Non-UCC undergraduate/postgraduate qualifications) must be uploaded via the applicant portal.

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