UCC International Office courses

Early Start Semester in Literatures in Ireland

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Early Start Semester in Literatures in Ireland

  • Code


  • College

    International Education Office

  • Duration

    Three week pre-session course running from Monday 20th August - Friday 7th September 2018. Following completion, students continue with the regular 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

    Students must be enrolled on a BA (Hons) course. See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    15th June 2018

Course Outline

This course facilitates an exploration of modern Irish literature, the cultural contexts out of which it arose and the landscapes that inspired it. It focuses on the works of W. B. Yeats, James Joyce and Elizabeth Bowen. Classroom teaching is supplemented with field trips that are designed to give an insight into the worlds in which these renowned authors lived and worked.

Twentieth-Century Irish Poetry

In this section, students will read the poetry of William Butler Yeats. Beginning with his early work in the Irish Literary Revival, students will examine Yeats’s many reinventions of himself up to his death in 1939.

The Twentieth-Century Irish Novel

We will read Elizabeth Bowen's novel The Last September (1929), a very stylish novel that looks at life in an Anglo-Irish ’Big House’ in the early years of the twentieth century.  

Twentieth-Century Irish Short Stories

This section of the course will look at James Joyce's collection of short stories Dubliners.  Although Joyce is revered as one of the greatest writers of the modern era, students are sometimes reluctant to read his work because of its reputed difficulty. This class will make Joyce's innovative and compelling work accessible and enjoyable. 


Field-trips are designed to complement the central texts on the course, and to introduce students to the Irish landscape, which plays such a major role in the country’s literature. Day-trips include one to County Galway, in the west of Ireland, to see W. B. Yeats’s tower, Thoor Ballylee, and Coole Park, the site of the home of Augusta Gregory.

On an overnight visit to Dublin we will walk in the footsteps of Joyce's Dubliners, visit Yeats’s manuscripts at the National Library of Ireland, see the portraits at the National Gallery of Ireland and visit the Abbey Theatre, which W.B. Yeats and Augusta Gregory helped to found.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

Lectures/seminars/field trips

Course Practicalities

The Early Start in Literatures in Ireland runs for three weeks in late August / September, after which students join standard classes with their Irish counterparts. On days when no field-trip is scheduled, the class meets in the morning for lectures and discussion. Literatures in Ireland is not confined to the classroom. It incorporates several day-trips and overnight trips to sites in different regions of Ireland.


Assessment is in the form of two essays on texts and themes discussed in class, and an in-class exam.

Who teaches this course?

This course is taught by Dr Adam Hanna, Lecturer in Irish Literature in the School of English You can find out more about his research and teaching here.

Why Choose This Course

...a great introduction to Irish culture, and the field-trips we took proved to be to some of the most beautiful places.

Emily Dunn

Find Out More

The Early Start in Literatures in Ireland:

  • is a comprehensive introduction to Ireland’s literature, culture, and urban and rural landscapes 
  • incorporates field-trips to a range of sites associated with great Irish writers
  • gives students with no previous experience of Irish writing and culture the chance to study this subject in a country with an outstanding literary heritage
  • provides liberal arts students with an engaging and challenging overview of Irish literature
  • considers different aspects of Irish literature and the role of the landscape in the creation of the literary masterpieces of Yeats, Joyce and Bowen.

Skills and Careers Information

Students who take this course gain a new understanding of how Irish writers created fiction and poetry out of their experience of Irish life, culture and landscape. Reading this literature brings us closer to Irish life and culture as seen through the eyes and imagination of our great writers.

Some participants in this course choose to build upon what they have learned by taking other modules in the School of English when term begins. Some choose to take one or more modules in the area of Irish Studies offered by, for example, the Departments of History, Irish, Folklore and Music as well as English. 


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

Please complete and return this Application Form

For further information see Visiting US and Non-EU Students.