UCC Postgraduate courses

English - Irish Writing & Film

About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

Our MA in Irish Writing and Film is offered by the English Department at University College Cork. This innovative programme will introduce you to an exceptionally rich body of cultural texts whose breadth and diversity continue to generate scholarly debate.

With expert guidance, you will discover the historical and cultural contexts that inform Irish culture up to the present day and engage in debate on a wide range of issues. You will read key texts from the eighteenth century to the present and be encouraged to engage with some of the most influential critical and theoretical models currently being applied in the analysis of Irish literature and film. You will also develop independent research in the field under the expert guidance of our academics, all of whom are themselves authors of important studies of Irish culture.

The writers we cover include the following luminaries: Jonathan Swift, Edmund Burke, Maria Edgeworth, James Clarence Mangan, Sheridan Le Fanu, James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Beckett, Kate O’Brien, Brian Friel, John McGahern, Éilis Ní Dhuibhne, Anne Enright, Marina Carr, Colm Tóibín, Anna Burns and Melatu Uche Okorie.

We explore the canon of classic Irish films such as Man of Aran (Robert J Flaherty, 1934) and This Other Eden (Muriel Box, 1959), alongside the work of Lenny Abrahamson (Adam & PaulRoomThe Little Stranger) and other notable contemporary Irish filmmakers.

Course Details

The MA in Irish Writing and Film is delivered in two parts and comprises 90 credits total.

Part I: Taught modules (50 credits)

The subject modules and the Literary Research Skills module comprise the taught element of the MA and run from September to March. These modules introduce students to the specific thematic area of their choice. The Literary Research Skills module aims to equip MA students for the development and implementation of their research strategy through the acquisition of a range of research skills.

Part II: Dissertation (40 credits)

The dissertation (15,000-17,000 words) is written between March and the end of August, to be submitted in September. It is supervised by a member(s) of staff, after consultation and agreement. Supervision will take place between March and the end of August.

Part I

  • EN6009: Contemporary Literary Research: Skills, Methods & Strategies (10 credits)
  • FX6010Irish Cinema - History, Contexts, Aesthetics (10 Credits)

Three of the following four modules:

  • EN6047Irish Culture - Colonial, Postcolonial Transnational (10 credits)
  • EN6048Gender & Sexuality (10 credits)
  • EN6049Gothic to Modernism (10 credits)
  • EN6050Space & Place in Irish Writing & Film (10 credits)

Note: Subject to the approval of the MA programme co-ordinators, students may substitute one 10-credit module with a 10-credit module from one of our other two English MA programmes: MA English - Modernities: Literature, Theory & Culture from the Romantics to the Present and MA English -Texts & Contexts: Medieval to Renaissance.

Part II

  • EN6017Dissertation (40 credits)

For further details and module descriptions, see the Postgraduate College Calendar.


Further details on modules can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed 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 course involves a combination of seminars, information sessions, directed study, consultation, presentations, self-directed study, and associated reading and research. You will undertake independent research for your dissertation in close consultation with your supervisor.

Continuous assessment includes a variety of methods including written assignments, in-class assignments, seminar participation and presentation, research journal, literature and IT review, and research presentation.

Why Choose This Course

I can't recommend this course enough to anyone with an interest in the remarkable output of Irish creatives...

Lara O'Toole, MA Irish Writing & Film

Click & Listen to Lara's testimonial
Studying at UCC was transformative for me... It was an honour and a pleasure to find myself in this contemporary community of diverse and ridiculously talented writers and artists...

Kimberly Reyes, Poet

MA Irish Writing & Film, 2021

Studying for an MA with UCC’s School of English was a process of continual discovery... I came away with a rare sense of fulfilment...

James Campion, MA Irish Writing & Film, 2013-2014

Click & Read James' testimonial
As an American moving to Ireland for the first time, everyone was extremely welcoming, and I didn't have any trouble at all adjusting...

MA Irish Writing & Film, 2021

Click & Read testimonials from Emma & Patricia

This course will provide you with a comprehensive analysis of Irish literature and film while also encouraging your development as an independent and creative researcher and writer.

The MA is taught by a deeply committed team who are actively engaged in research and who have international reputations in the study of Irish culture. We will guide and mentor you in your choice of dissertation topics and provide strong academic support throughout the degree.

The course is unusual in integrating the study of Irish literature and film within a carefully designed academic programme and in teaching the entire history of Irish literature and film from the early eighteenth century to the present within innovatively designed modules. We offer you a unique opportunity to receive expert teaching in Irish culture while advancing new research and developing your own critical voice.


Our School of English has a high concentration of staff with expertise in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Irish cultural theory, the study of Irish modernism, and the study of gender and sexuality. We also offer innovative teaching in such cutting-edge approaches as ecocriticism, psycho-geography and transnational poetics.

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 within and between disciplines such as literature, culture, film, and language.

Our teaching faculty includes expert scholars whose work and publications shape academic debate in this field and include:

Skills and Careers Information

This course will prepare you for a career that demands skills in independent thinking, effective writing, critical and creative approaches to problem-solving, and an understanding of culture in a broad sense.

The MA lays strong foundations for study at higher degree level and on graduation, you can opt to go on to PhD study and to an academic career. Other career paths that emerge from this high-quality and flexible graduate course include journalism, digital media, arts management, marketing and secondary and further education, publishing, and information sciences.

Skills gained as part of this course include effective writing, an ability to undertake independent research, strong communication skills, excellent organisation and creativity, and independent thinking.


To be considered for admission to an MA programme within the School of English, an applicant will normally possess a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) level or higher or equivalent qualification in English or a cognate subject. All candidates must satisfy a Selection Committee who may request applicants to provide letters of reference.

For North American students a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 is expected.

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 that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €6,130.

The Non-EU fee for this course is €16,400.


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 is at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment 

International Students can pay in two equal instalments once they have paid the appropriate deposit. The initial payment is due on registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

You can pay by Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please contact the Fees Office.

How Do I 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.

  • For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
  • Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

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.

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 add the name and email addresses of the two referees.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to ensure an early decision on their application.

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For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact