Summer School 2019

In 2019, University College Cork holds its fortieth International Summer School in Irish Studies, introducing students from across the world to Irish history, literature and culture. For the month of July, students explore key turning-points in Ireland’s history that shaped its destiny and identity, and examine how modern Irish writers of international significance sought to define a sense of cultural identity. These themes are explored in lectures, seminars, and in a series of field trips, delivered by leading experts.

In the History lectures we will explore major themes and events in Ireland’s past, from the remarkably creative culture of early times, to the quest for political independence in modern Ireland, and recent demographic and cultural changes. We start with the art and literature of the remote past when Irish identity was forged. That distinctive identity inspired artists and writers and led to a cultural renaissance – the Celtic Revival – that heralded the profound political changes of Ireland’s recent past. Today, that identity of post-independent Ireland is being challenged by the rise of cultural and social pluralism. The lectures and seminars lead you to an understanding of these historical forces that shaped contemporary Ireland.

Ardmore Cobh Curraghmore House

The Literature course examines the works of two major Irish Writers: the poet W. B. Yeats and the novelist James Joyce. Both writers, who had an impact of international significance, reflect in their work the tensions and creative dynamism of their time. Yeats viewed the emergence of modern Ireland as the child of the literary imagination, a place “the poets imagined terrible and gay”. A contrasting voice from the time, James Joyce, gives a very different view of the period and the role of the writer in modern Ireland. We will read a wide selection of Yeats’s poetry, from his earliest work to poems written in 1939, the year of his death, and Joyce’s novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and his collection of short stories Dubliners.

The Summer School in Irish Studies in UCC aims to provide a unique learning experience by combining a rigorous introduction to major academic themes in the development of Irish identity with an opportunity to encounter Ireland’s rich cultural landscape.


The School welcomes students who take the course for credit and those who choose not to enrol for credit. Students who wish to register for credit are expected to have a GPA of 2.85 or above. Students who attend the School for four weeks may take the course for up to 10 ECTS credits, 5 in Literature and 5 in History. Students intending to take credits should indicate this clearly on the enrolment form. Students should also forward a transcript of courses already completed at their own university or college clearly stating their GPA. They should forward the address of their home institution for processing of completed credits. For further information contact Ms Zita Riedlova, International Office, UCC.

Irish Summer School

University College Cork, Ireland