UCC Postgraduate courses

Medieval History: Culture, Text, Image

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Medieval History: Culture, Text, Image

  • Code


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

    Full-time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees 2021

    €6,130; €3,130 (Year 1 Part-time); €3,130 (Year 2 Part-time)
    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2021


  • Entry Requirements

    Candidates will have a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in a suitable subject or the equivalent. Applications from students with a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in a suitable subject may also be considered. See Requirements for full details.

  • Start Date

    Not on offer in 2021-2022

Course Outline

The MA in Medieval History: Culture, Text, Image is a taught, one-year course that gives you the research skills to investigate and interpret the literary and artistic culture of the Middle Ages, particularly of early Ireland and Britain.

You will encounter medieval sources that are being radically reinterpreted in the light of exciting new research by course lecturers. The course is designed to give you a thorough grounding in research skills while providing maximum freedom to follow your own research interests.

You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your own ability to engage with historical sources in writing your research dissertation, and to apply your knowledge in designing an online exhibition and engaging with public history through digital platforms.

In the Autumn and Spring teaching periods, you will take a number of courses (with the option to take instruction in Latin) that explore major themes in western medieval culture and are intended to equip you with the key skills of the medieval historian. Teaching is research-led; classes focus on a range of sources, both literary and visual.

HI6094 (10 credits) Historical Contexts for Medievalists discusses fundamental turning points and transformations in the history and culture of medieval Western Europe; it consists of seminars and site visits.

HI6090 (10 credits) The Insular World in Text and Image discusses selected sources of fundamental importance for understanding the medieval history and culture of the Insular world; it consists of seminars.

HI6091 (10 credits) Skills for Medieval Historians explores and evaluates historical sources available to medieval historians and enhances students' employability and transferable skills through practice-based teaching; the module consists of seminars, group work on the online exhibition and a masterclass.

You will have the opportunity to take an introductory Latin course (LT6001), or a Latin project (LT6005). If you decide not to take Latin, you can choose from a number of selected options in consultation with your Supervisor and the MA Co-ordinator.



Map of Cork. Detail from Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Map of Cork. Detail from Civitates Orbis Terrarum [Coloniae Agrippinae: apud Petrum a Brachel, 1618]. Ed. Georg Braun and engravings by Abraham Hogenberg. U.314 (v.6), Special Collections, UCC Library. 

As part of the MA in Medieval History, our postgraduates create and publish an online exhibition. In the past we have created exhibitions on the Book of Kellsthe Luttrell Psalter and medieval and early modern maps of Cork city.


Additional Teaching Mode Information

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


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 taught modules in the MA are evenly spread across both the Autumn and Spring semesters, enabling you to balance your work commitments across the academic year, and to leave Semester Three for your research and the writing of your thesis.

The introductory module, Historical contexts for medievalists (Hi6094), is a module in which all the MA in Medieval History:  Culture, Text, Image lecturers collaborate to provide you with a solid grounding in the field, and to give you foundation for the more specialised modules to follow.

Skills for medieval historians (Hi6091) is taught as a lecture/workshop series. This module involves work in the university’s Special Collections and culminates in the creation of the online exhibition. You can explore some of these exhibitions on the UCC library’s River-side portal

Introduction to Latin (Lt6001) is taught in three one-hour classes per week throughout both semesters and is offered by the Department of Classics.

In the taught History modules, you are assessed by coursework involving the writing of an essay and the delivery of oral presentations. The Latin module is examined by continuous assessment and by end-of-year exam. You will also complete a minor dissertation (20,000 words maximum) based on your own research of a topic of particular interest to you. The MA in Medieval History:  Culture, Text, Image has a credit weighting of 90 credits, divided equally between coursework (45 credits) and minor dissertation (45 credits).

Who teaches on the programme

Dr Damian Bracken

Dr Malgorzata D'Aughton

Dr Diarmuid Scully

Why Choose This Course

  • The programme is designed to give students a thorough grounding in research skills while providing maximum freedom to follow their own research interests.
  • This course will appeal to students wishing to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the culture of the medieval West, and especially of early Ireland and Britain.
  • Students will encounter medieval sources that are being radically reinterpreted in the light of exciting new research by programme lecturers.
  • Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the period and their interpretative skills in the working environment of a museum.

Skills and Careers Information

The course will equip you with the essential skills that enable you to understand and interpret the history and culture (written and visual) of the past. It will introduce new and innovative methodologies that bring fresh insights into medieval times, and that allow us to reconstruct in considerable detail how people understood their world, and how they lived their lives. There are modules that explore and apply research methods, and also modules that train you in how these methods and skills can be used by graduates in their employment.  An essential part of the MA is instruction and experience in applied skills that allow you to create and publish an online exhibition and develop your expertise in public history, by working with the university’s Special Collections and digital humanities environment.  You will also be guided in how to develop your ability to present your findings both orally and in writing.  

Occupations associated with the MA in Medieval History:  Culture, Text, Image

MA in Medieval History:  Culture, Text, Image students have gone on to pursue doctorates with scholarship support; work in financial services; in university lecturing posts; in curatorial and museum posts.

What are our graduates doing?

  • doctoral study with scholarship support
  • work in financial services
  • university lecturing
  • teaching
  • project management
  • the heritage sector


To be considered for registration an applicant will normally have a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in a suitable subject or the equivalent. Applications from students with a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in a suitable subject may also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). These applicants may be requested to submit a proposal and/or attend an interview.

All candidates must satisfy a Selection Committee who may request applicants to provide letters of reference.

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; €3,130 (Year 1 Part-time); €3,130 (Year 2 Part-time).

The Non-EU fee for this course is €16,080.


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 .

Students may be requested to contribute towards the field trip as part of module HI 6039 Skills for Medieval Historians

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.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • Briefly describe a research proposal which may form the basis of your thesis. 
  • Please upload a portfolio of relevant work. 

Before completing the online application, intending candidates must consult with the relevant course coordinators or prospective supervisors to discuss/confirm their proposed research area.

Course Coordinator
Dr. Damian Bracken
School of History
University College Cork
Email:  d.bracken@ucc.ie
Phone:  +353 21 4902950

The School of History may ask applicants to provide letters of reference if necessary when considering applications.

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact