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UCC International Office courses

Early Start Semester and Full Academic Year Programme

Course Fact File
Duration3 week pre-session course running from August to September, after which, students proceed with regular Full Academic Year (September – May)
Teaching ModeFull-time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.
FeesPlease refer to our section 'What will it cost?' on our Visiting Student Website See Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing DateApplications close in June

Course Outline

The Early Start Semester and Full Academic Year programme combines a three-week specialised pre-session course with a full academic year at University College Cork. During the pre- ession course, running through mid August to early September, visiting students are introduced to Irish Studies through a carefully guided approach to Ireland’s history, culture, civilisation and environment. You will gain an insight into the nature of Ireland, both past and present, and the manner in which the modern and the ancient may be examined side by side in an integrated course. Once the pre-session course is completed in early September, you can register for a range of modules which are offered over the full academic year. Ten UCC credits are awarded for the pre-session, and students may earn up to an additional 60 credits for the regular academic year.

Six separate Early Start modules are offered:

  • Irish Archaeology
  • Irish Folklore and Tradition
  • History and Modern Ireland
  • Literatures in Ireland
  • Music in Ireland
  • Management and Marketing in the European Union.

Visiting students can choose one of the Early Start programmes and follow an intensive pre-session three week course through mid- August into early-September. In early September, students will join their Irish counterparts and choose a selection of modules over the academic year.

During the regular academic year, you may combine modules from different academic departments/schools/colleges and across different levels, from introductory (year 1) to senior level (year 4). The course allows you to be flexible in selecting modules, although certain pre-requisites may be required for admission to specific modules. In addition, you should also be aware of possible timetable conflicts when putting together your schedules.

The College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences offers modules in subjects such as:

  • Applied Psychology
  • Archaeology
  • Celtic Civilisation
  • Classics
  • English
  • Folklore
  • Geography
  • History
  • History of Art
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Religions and Global Diversity
  • Social Policy
  • Sociology
  • Spoken Irish
  • Modern European languages.

The College of Science, Engineering and Food Sciences offers modules in:

  • Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences
  • Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • ICT.

Modules in many branches of engineering are also offered, including:

  • Civil and Environmental
  • Electrical and Electronic
  • Process and Chemical
  • Energy Engineering.

At UCC, we have a history of over 100 years of education and research in dairy and food sciences, and visiting students can opt to select modules in all areas of food science.

The College of Business and Law offers modules in:

  • Accounting
  • Business Information Systems
  • Economics
  • Food Business and Development
  • Government
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Law.

Within the College of Medicine and Health, the Departments of Physiology and Epidemiology and Public Health welcome visiting students and offer a range of modules in their respective subjects.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

Lectures/Seminars/Practicals/Field Trips

Course Practicalities

Courses at UCC are taught in modules. A module represents a self-contained fraction of a student’s workload for the academic year. The size of the module is represented by its credit weighting. In general, Full Academic Year modules are valued at either 5, 10, 15 or 20 credits. A standard 5-credit module offered in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, could, for example, consist of 24 lecture-hours, plus associated tutorials, essays, and reading. In the Sciences, labs or practicals, as they are known at UCC, are often a compulsory component of a module.

Assessment is usually by written examination and by work submitted during the academic year. Formal examinations are held in May. Departmental/School examinations and assessments take place at various times during the academic year. Modules offered in the Sciences will normally include a practical (or lab). As visiting students enrolled in the Early Start semester and Full Academic Year programme are permitted to choose modules from across different colleges and years, there is a possibility that examination timetable conflicts will occur. In the event of such conflicts arising alternative arrangements are made by the International Education Office.

Why Choose This Course

The Early Start Semester and Full Academic Year programme provides visiting students with the opportunity to enrol in modules across a range of subjects at UCC. Flexibility is a key component of the course. Students can basically construct their own programme of study, combining modules at an introductory level where there has been no previous exposure to a subject with modules at a more advanced or senior level where previous study has been achieved. In addition, a suite of modules, exclusively available to visiting students, is offered in areas such as Archaeology, English, Folklore, Geography, History, History of Art, Modern Irish, Music, and Spoken Irish. These modules, which require no previous knowledge of the subject, provide the visiting student with an introduction to Ireland’s history, culture, civilisation and environment.

Skills and Careers Information

To live in a country other than one’s own is a means of opening doors that otherwise would remain closed. In today’s globalised society, a study-abroad experience is highly desirable and is increasingly valued by employers. The Early Start Semester and Full Academic Year programme at UCC provides visiting students with the opportunity to experience a different academic environment and to immerse themselves in Irish culture At the end of the course, students will have gained an insight into Ireland, past and present, and will have had the opportunity to develop, both personally and academically.


Students are normally required to have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 out of 4.0.

Fees and Costs

Please refer to our section 'What will it cost?' on our  Visiting Student Website

How To Apply

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

Please note that in the case of other programmes offering study options at UCC (e.g. Centre for Study Abroad, Arcadia University, Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University, InterStudy and USAC ), different procedures and deadlines may apply. Students should contact the appropriate institution in such cases.

Contact Details For This Course

Similar Courses

Early Start semester programme, Autumn semester, Spring semester programme.

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact