UCC International Office courses

Early Start Semester in Irish Folklore and Tradition - Early Start Folklore

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Early Start Semester in Irish Folklore and Tradition

  • Code


  • Subject Title

    Early Start Folklore

  • College

    International Education Office

  • Duration

    Three week pre-session course running from August to September, after which, students will continue with the normal Autumn Semester

  • Teaching Mode

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

  • Qualifications


  • Fees

    €8,250 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

Course Outline

Folklore is often understood as a hallmark of Irish culture, and the Department of Folklore at UCC is ideally placed to offer unique perspectives and insights into Irish life, popular culture, and traditions. It is one of only two such departments in Ireland. Folklore has a special place in the formation of Irish consciousness, literature and culture in general. The main difference between folklore and other fields is that folklore places ordinary life at the very centre of its interests. This cannot be accessed in other disciplines that study life from more distant or documentary perspectives. Years of experience in teaching and conducting original research into Irish life, traditions and folklore has made the Early Start Semester in Irish Folklore one of the most popular courses of its kind on offer and has led to the provision of a rich and rewarding Early Start Semester. 

Course Details

The Early Start Semester in Irish Folklore and Tradition offers an opportunity to students to begin the study of everyday life in Ireland, in all of its rich diversity and vast range of cultural expressions. Folklore, like its synonym popular culture, makes a study of everyday life, and represents the folkloric expressions of both past and present alike. It studies life from the bottom up, looking at how people lived their day-to-day lives – their houses, technologies, stories, rituals, beliefs, religion and cosmological understandings.

Students will explore key aspects of the study of folklore including:

  • Oral Literature
  • Narrative and Story
  • Popular Religion
  • Belief
  • Healing
  • Festivals
  • Popular Material Culture.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

Lectures, seminars, field-trips

Course Practicalities

For the three-week course, we incorporate three to four day-lectures per week from 9.30-12.30pm. The course incorporates field-trip(s ) whenever possible or practicable. A field-trip may last from one day to several days.

In-class assessments and/or continuous assessments throughout.

Staff of the Department of Folklore and/or invited guest speakers and lecturers.

Why Choose This Course

Irish Folklore is an academic subject in only two departments in Ireland that teach and research in it, and the Department of Folklore at UCC is the leading one of these. The discipline itself is unique in making everyday life, traditions, beliefs and popular behaviour the actual focus of its attention. No other discipline can provide the insight or the perspective on Irish life and traditions that Folklore does. This Early Start programme provides a genuine opportunity to experience aspects of Irish life from within a genuine ethnographic and historical point of view.

Skills and Careers Information

In addition to developing archival and analytical skills, students on our Early Start programme will develop an understanding of Irish popular culture, both past and present, in studying the stories, rituals, beliefs, traditions, religion and cosmological understandings of the people. Graduates of our department have gone on to work in the media, television and radio; to train as teachers; to work in the heritage sector (museums, folk parks, etc); to work as translators; to manage community-based folklore and arts projects and to work in academia. 


The minimum grade point average (GPA) requirement for admission to the program is normally 3.0 out of 4.0

Fees and Costs

€8,250 Minor costs may be incurred for snacks or meals on field-trip(s)

How Do I Apply

See Visiting US and Non-EU Students for how to apply.


Contact details for this course

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