UCC Postgraduate courses

Medieval History: Culture, Text, Image

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time; 2 Years Part-time
Teaching ModeFull-time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
EU FeesFull-time €6,130; €3,130 (Year 1 part-time), €3,130 (Year 2 part-time)
See Fees and Costs for full details.
Non-EU Fees€16,400
Start DateProgramme not on offer 2023/2024

Course Outline

Our 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.

On this MA programme 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 Imaging the Medieval City: Historical Contexts for Medievalists (10 credits)
  • HI6090 The Insular World in Text and Image (10 credits)
  • HI6091 Skills for Medieval Historians: Sources, Methods and Public History (10 credits)

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 coordinator. 

See the University Calendar (Medieval History) for more information on course content and module options.

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 & engravings by Abraham Hogenberg. U.314(v.6), Special Collections, UCC Library


Student MA Exhibitions

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.

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 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 3 for your research and the writing of your thesis.

  • The introductory module, Historical Contexts for Medievalists (HI6094) provides you with a solid grounding in this field, and the 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 an 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 at UCC.

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

The MA programme has a credit weighting of 90 credits, divided equally between coursework (45 credits) and minor dissertation (45 credits).

Who teaches this programme

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 allows 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.  

What are our graduates doing?

Our Medieval History graduates are working in a variety of careers including:

  • doctoral studies with scholarship support
  • work in financial services
  • university lecturing/teaching
  • project management
  • work in the heritage sector including curatorial and museum positions.


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 applicants must satisfy a selection committee who may request applicants to provide letters of reference.

International Master’s Pathway – Higher Diploma in Academic Discourse and Skills

There is an alternative entry route for international applicants via the International Master’s Pathway (IMP) – Higher Diploma in Academic Discourse and Skills (NFQ, Level 8). See the IMP page for more information.

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. Vsit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is Full-time €6,130; €3,130 (Year 1 part-time), €3,130 (Year 2 part-time).

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 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.

  • 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.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • Briefly describe a research proposal that 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.

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