UCC Postgraduate courses

Irish Mythology & Folklore (Online)

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time; 2 Years Part-time
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
FeesSee Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing DateClosed for applications
Non-EU Closing DateClosed for applications
Course Delivery MethodOnline
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

Our unique MA Irish Mythology & Folklore (Online), offered by the Department of Early and Medieval Irish and the Department of Folklore & Ethnology at UCC, explores Irish tradition, focussing both on the earliest and the most recent sources: medieval tales evoking the pre-Christian past; and the folklore of the last few generations. This programme very popular and we advise you to apply early.

Apart from Latin, Irish is the oldest literary language in western Europe, reflecting the vigorous cultural self-confidence of the early Irish themselves; and a wealth of Old Irish and Middle Irish tales, poems, and other texts speak of the culture and beliefs of the pagan period, evidently drawing on the materials of ancient myth.

Ireland is also unusual in the energy and thoroughness with which its folklore has been collected, especially in the early part of the twentieth century. The Department of Folklore and Ethnology embrace this in our department collaborations with ongoing research projects across both the University and community. 

Despite the many changes brought by its eventful history, Ireland's traditions have been remarkably durable, and continuities can be identified by linking the popular lore of modern times with the world of primeval myth. Various course modules trace these continuities, examining enduring themes such as gender, kinship, and the supernatural.

Course content

This is an online programme running for 12 months (full-time), or 24 months (part-time), from the date of first registration.

  • In Part I students take 60 credits consisting of six core modules
  • In Part II students complete a research dissertation worth 30 credits

All lectures are pre-recorded, and both they and ancillary lecture material (notes, slides, bibliographies, etc.) will be made available via Canvas, the online teaching platform used by University College Cork. 

Part-time option: Part-time students will complete a minimum of 40 credits and a maximum of 60 credits in Year 1. In Year 2, they will complete their taught modules as well as submit the 30-credit dissertation by the end of the second academic year.

Part I

Core Modules (60 credits)

  • CC6024 Tales of Kings & Heroes in Medieval Ireland (10 credits)
  • CC6025 Celtic Paganism & its Irish Legacy: The Medieval Evidence (10 credits)
  • CC6027 Gender Perceptions in Medieval Ireland (10 credits)
  • FL6011 Doing Irish Folklore: Archival Collection & Dissemination, Past & Present (10 credits)
  • FL6012 The Gaelic Otherworld: Stories &Theories (10 credits)
  • FL6013 Feminine Genealogies from Myth to Folklore (10 credits)

Part II

Dissertation in Mythology or Folklore (30 credits)

  • CC6026 Dissertation in Irish Mythology (30 credits) or
  • FL6010 Dissertation in Irish Folklore (30 credits)

Course Practicalities

This is an online programme. The taught part of the programme takes place in Semesters 1 and 2. It comprises a judicious blend of lectures, directed study, mediated activities, and self-directed study. There is inherent flexibility around inquiry-led components, with ample time for research and critical reflection. Most weeks, you will have 15-18 hours of reading in addition to assignments.

We expect our online students to participate fully in the programme through sustained engagement with lectures and related materials, contribution to mediated online activities, reading and interacting with sources (a wide range of online publications in Celtic Studies and Folklore, and online cultural heritage repositories and resources), and preparing assessment submissions.

You will be expected to interact with each other’s contributions via mediated online activities in a supportive and engaged manner throughout.

  • Technical expertise

As this course will be delivered online, it is understood that you will have constant access to internet-delivering technology. While elementary computer literacy is required, UCC also provides technical guidance and support.

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.

Why Choose This Course

Although there are courses in Mythology and Folklore at other universities, this is the only postgraduate course in the world that is specifically dedicated to the myths and folklore of Ireland. Besides its relevance for anyone with an interest in Irish culture, the course’s approach focusses on various key areas: the existence in Ireland of a rich medieval literature — the oldest in Europe — that is largely concerned with the pre-Christian past, with its legendary history and supernatural beliefs; the vast and many-sided world of Irish folklore and popular culture, recorded in more recent times in remarkable depth and detail; and the continuities that exist between these two bodies of evidence, revealing the existence of an organically integrated mental world spanning the centuries.

All sources are read in translation. Besides a full curriculum of lectures by internationally recognised experts in the relevant fields, students will explore the subject matter in discussion sessions. The dissertation, written under the supervision of a member of the teaching staff, will give students the opportunity to make use of their knowledge, and to develop their research skills, in an extended independent project. Knowledge and skills gained in the course have broad applicability elsewhere in the humanities.

Connected Curriculum

We encourage innovative teaching and learning practices at UCC and this is embodied in the online delivery of this programme. Our accessible learning approach reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff from the Department of Early and Medieval Irish and the Department of Folklore & Ethnology (Béaloideas agus Eitneolaíocht) have made significant contributions to their discipline and will support you in making meaningful connections across the breadth of Irish Mythology and Folklore.

Our teaching staff include:

Skills and Careers Information

An MA in Irish Mythology and Folklore is an ideal qualification for those wishing to pursue careers in sectors such as education, academia, heritage, librarianship, local history, broadcasting and media, creative arts, culture, archives, museums and cultural bodies. 

This MA also allows you to pursue further research primarily in Irish Folklore, Early and Medieval Irish and Celtic Studies through the College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Science (CACSSS). Please see their CACSSS research page for more information.


Applications will be considered from graduates of all disciplines. Successful applicants will normally have a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or the equivalent.

Candidates who hold a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) will also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), based on the information provided in a supplementary statement and/or interview.

For North American students a cumulative GPA of 3.2 is normally expected.

Applicants must complete a short personal statement outlining their academic background and interests and reasons for applying to the programme.

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

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

At UCC we support our postgraduate student community by offering scholarships and prizes to prospective and current students. Please see the Scholarships & Prizes page for more information.

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.

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.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

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:

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme. Please outline your academic background and interests and reasons for applying to the programme.


Please note that successful EU applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €500 on acceptance of their place.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Closed for applications

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For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact