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The Department of Modern Irish offers opportunities to students to pursue postgraduate study and research in the many subject areas covered by the research interests of the staff. Proposals for research topics are always welcome, and staff are available at all times to discuss proposals with students.
The modules offered by the Department of Modern Irish, and the postgraduate dissertations that receive supervision here, reflect the research interests of the staff of the Department. These research areas include:
Irish manuscripts and palaeography, 12th century to 19th century;
the poetry of Early Modern Irish: bardic poetry, and the lighter poetry of love and satire;
the prose of Early Modern Irish: historic and occasional prose, creative and functional prose;
literature of the seventeenth century, including the work of such major figures as Ó Cianáín, Keating and Ó Bruadair;
literature of the eighteenth century, particularly Munster poetry by writers such as Ó Rathaille, Eoghan Rua and Donnchadh Rua;
traditional songs of love and lamentation;
literature of the nineteenth century, particularly prose of the pre-Famine era as found in correspondence, sermons and in the diary and other writings of Amhlaoibh Ó Súilleabháin;
linguistic and dialectal studies of Irish, particularly Munster Irish;
- modern Irish literature: especially the poetry of Seán Ó Ríordáin and the work of contemporary Irish writers.
Details of CACSSS postgraduate scholarships are available here:
Registered M.A. students, who are paying income tax on their earnings may be entitled to a tax rebate/tax relief on a percentage (currently 20%) of the tuition fees paid.
Full details of this scheme are available from the Revenue website
Beatrix Faerber, An annotated edition of two Irish translations of Bernard de Gordon, De Decem Ingenus (Supervisors: Prof. Pádraig Ó Macháin, Dr Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha (DIAS))
Maireád Á. Ní Loingsigh, Scéalta Shéamuis Chaomhánaigh (Supervisors: Liam P. Ó Murchú, Prof. Pádraig Ó Macháin)
Ciara Ní Riain, Traidisiún na Gaeilge i Montana, 1880-1920 (Supervisor: Dr C. G. Buttimer)
Antoin Ó Floinn, Filíocht Phádraig Phiarais Chúndún, (Supervisors: Prof. Pádraig Ó Macháin, Dr C. G. Buttimer)
Michael S. Ó Geallabháin, Téarmaíocht an Cheoil i Litríocht na Gaeilge 800-1800 A.D. (Supervisors: Dr Seán Ua Suilleabháin, Prof. Máire Herbert)
Seán B. Ó hUllacháin, Saothar Oideachais an Ghúm, 1927-45 (Supervisor: Dr C. G. Buttimer)
Andrea Pallandri, The Irish Marco Polo (Supervisors: Prof. Pádraig Ó Macháin, Dr Seán Ua Súilleabháin)
Feena Tóibín, Dialanna an Chraoibhín (Supervisors: Prof. Pádraig Ó Macháin and Dr Sorcha Nic Lochlainn)
Masters Degree by Research
William J. C. Ryan, Lámhscríbhinní Gaeilge Choláiste na Rinne, Co. Phort Láirge (Supervisor: Prof. Pádraig Ó Macháin)
Higher Diploma in Arts (Modern Irish)
The Higher Diploma in Arts (Modern Irish) (NFQ Level 8, Major Award) is a programme of study running for 9 months (full-time) or 18 months (part-time) from the date of first registration for the programme. It is intended for those who already have a degree, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences, and who wish to study Modern Irish intensively over one or two years.
The Higher Diploma in Arts must consist of modules to the value of 60 credits (30 credits each year for part-time) taken from a range of existing Second- and Final-year Arts modules in the relevant subject. GA3001 is a mandatory module.
Students with a Level 7 degree, who have not studied Irish at undergraduate level. must take 10 additional credits.
Applications for this course are made through www.ucc.ie/apply. Each application will assessed on an individual basis.
The general entry requirements are as follows:
- GA1002 or its equivalent, or
- To otherwise establish to the satisfaction of the Department (in interview and/or examination) that the applicant is suitable for the course. In this case, candidates are advised to contact the Head of Department.
Higher Diploma in Arts students must consult with their programme director prior to the commencement of the programme to confirm their module choices; the programme director will see to it that the student is registered for these modules.
Online M.A. in Gaelic Literature
The Online MA in Gaelic Literature offered by the Department of Modern Irish aims to provide students with an in-depth introduction to the themes and the tales of the poets and singers, the storytellers and the scholars, who, through a period of over 1,200 years, created a distinctive literature of incredible variety giving expression to the many identities of the Gaelic world. The worlds of mythology, folklore, folksong and timeless traditions of poetry and story all meet in the manuscripts and books to which the student is introduced in this Online MA in Gaelic literature. Application is via the UCC Postgraduate Study system.
The MA in Gaelic Literature is taught completely online. It may be taken full-time (in one year) or part-time (in two years). The course is taught in English, no prior knowledge of any Gaelic language is required. The student chooses six taught modules from a menu that includes a module on the Irish Language for beginners; and completes a minor dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words. Access to all reading material is provided as part of the course. As registered students of University College Cork, course-participants are entitled to use all the electronic resources available through the Boole Library.
Listen to one of our graduates speaking about the course (please press the play button on the player that appears on next screen)
Irish/EU €4,930 FT; €2,530 PT
Application is made via www.ucc.ie/apply.
Read a description of the course modules: 2022-23 MA Gaelic Literature course schedule [PDF] updated September 2022
Testimonials from Current Students
'UCC’s online Gaelic literature MA provided me with everything I needed. It truly is a fantastic program for anyone interested in Irish history, literature, language or mythology.UCC allowed me to immerse myself in the subject, interact with students from all around the world, and have access to the finest faculty available for Gaelic studies, all at my own pace and on my own schedule. There is no other program like it in the world, to my knowledge.’ – Rick Riordan (author, Percy Jackson series). Bestselling author Rick Riordan is interviewed in Irish Examiner about his interest in Irish mythology and his studies at UCC
‘I'm really enjoying the course and the course materials. It's exactly what I wanted to study.’ – Siobain, Italy
‘For people with . . . reduced abilities, I would call this program very accessible.’ – Johanna, California
‘I'm enjoying the course immensely and am finding it fascinating, stimulating and hugely enjoyable. The discussion boards and online delivery are working very well and I'm finding the interaction with my fellow students hugely beneficial.’ – Barry, Leeds, UK
‘This program examines and interprets Gaelic history, culture and society through the rich medium of its oral and written traditions. Literature here is defined expansively; the course begins with the oldest manuscripts and moves on to the present using texts sacred and secular; letters, diaries, and travel accounts by the Irish abroad; lyrics of ballads, work songs, lullabies and laments; poetry and memoirs; speeches, political writings and journalism; myths, place names and folklore; and the history of the language itself. The coursework is challenging and engaging; the lecturers first-rate and responsive; and there is a fine collegial atmosphere among an international group of students of all ages and backgrounds.’ – Ellen, Maine, USA
‘As someone with a strong interest in both Irish History and the Irish Language (although without necessarily great knowledge of either) I found this course to be truly excellent. The course topics are very varied and cover a wide range of potential interests from early Irish mythology and manuscripts to modern Irish poetry and texts. The course material is well presented and challenging but very accessible. The on-line interaction with other participants from around the world and from many different backgrounds, was stimulating and a core part of my course enjoyment and learning. Given the standard of academic direction and course content, it was no surprise to me that many of my on-line colleagues expressed a strong desire to participate in some follow up, related programme with the Department of Modern Irish at University College Cork.’ – Frank, Ireland
‘No one else offers a programme like this online. UCC offering this programme has allowed me finally to pursue a decade-old dream and to make that dream a reality . . . It is a fantastic course, of which I am proud to be a part’ – Falicia, Florida, USA
This online M.A. forms an exciting part of our long-term commitment to distance learning. It will enable interested students of all ages to take an MA in the central element of Ireland's heritage without ever leaving their homes.
Course description: Gaelic Literature MA - CKD13
Brochure: Online MA in Gaelic Literature brochure [PDF]
M.A. in Irish Language and European Law
The MA in Irish Language and European Law is aimed at holders of law degrees or of other professional qualifications in law, who already have a good standard of Irish and who now wish to raise that standard significantly while specialising in European Law. The degree is part of a HEA initiative to improve the employment options of graduates in Law and Irish, especially in a European context.
The degree comprises core modules in Irish and Law, with a suite of options in European Law and in other European languages, combined with a residential Gaeltacht course.
This is an NFQ Level 9, Major Award.
Duration of Programme
The MA in Irish Language and European Law is taken full-time over 12 months. Part 1 within the first two semesters, Part 2 in the third semester.
Students will register for 90 credits as follows:
Core Modules (25 credits)
10 credits †GA2001 Úsáid agus Cruinneas na Gaeilge I
10 credits †GA3001 Úsáid agus Cruinneas na Gaeilge
5 Credits LW6589 Contemporary Issues in EU Competition Policy
† Students who have already completed these modules as part of their primary degree will be required to take alternative modules (modules to be chosen in consultation with the programme co-ordinator).
Electives A (25 credits from the options below):
LW6536 Intellectual Property Law (10 credits)
LW6541 Electronic Commerce Law (10 credits)
LW6574 Intellectual Property and Internet Regulation (10 credits)
LW6578 Consumer Rights: Law and Policy (5 credits)
LW6580 Environmental Law in Practice (5 credits)
LW6581 Method in Environmental Law (5 credits)
LW6634 Refugee and Forced Displacement Law (10 credits)
LW6636 European Corporate Restructuring, Insolvency and Rescue (5 credits)
Electives B (10 credits from options below)
FR5005 Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpreting and Terminology - Methodology (10 credits)
GA6001 Scríobh Acadúil na Gaeilge (10 credits)
GA6002 Beirt Bhanfhile: Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill agus Biddy Jenkinson(10 credits)
GA6020 Advanced Translation Skills (Irish) (10 credits)
GE6014 German-English-German Translation: Methods and Practice (10 credits)
HS6006 Advanced Spanish Language for Professional Purposes (10 credits)
IT6101 Translation: Methods and Practice (10 credits)
GA6027 Ardchúrsa Cónaitheach sa Ghaeilge (15 credits)
GA6028 Tionscnamh taighde sa Dlí agus sa Ghaeilge (15 credits)
POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN IRISH LANGUAGE AND EUROPEAN LAW
Students who have completed and passed modules to the value of at least 60 credits in Part 1, consisting of the 25 credits of core taught modules and 35 credits of electives, and who fail or do not wish to proceed to Part 2, may exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Irish Language and European Law. A student who subsequently applies to continue to Master’s level must do so within 3 years of the awarding of the Postgraduate Diploma.
“I would strongly recommend this Masters to those who are in the process of either completing a Law and Irish undergraduate degree or a Law undergraduate degree but who have Leaving Certificate Honours Irish. There is a good mixture of Irish and Law modules on offer, there is a broad range of Irish modules at postgraduate level as well as a comprehensive revision of spoken and written Irish. As regards the law modules, there is a broad comprehensive range on offer. Students are free to choose a dissertation title (8,000 words) of their preference. Furthermore, there is the added advantage of spending a week in the Gaeltacht which is hugely advantageous to improve one’s fluency in Irish. It would be well worth it for anyone completing an undergraduate in law to consider this Masters as it entails mastering two disciplines for the price of one.
The seminars are small and personal and the standard of teaching is exemplary.”
– Síle Ní Dhonnabháin, MA in Irish and European Law, 2016-17
“Mholfainn an MA seo d'éinne a bhfuil suim acu i dteangacha agus sa Dlí. Tá réimse leathan ábhar ar fáil agus mar sin, tá an-chuid saoirse ag na mic léinn a dhéanann an cúrsa. Chomh maith leis na modúil sa Dlí agus sa Ghaeilge, rinne mé cúpla modúl Fraincise. Thaitin na modúil Ghaeilge go mór liom. Bhíodar thar a bheith difrúil ó aon rud eile a rinne mé trí Ghaeilge riamh. Chuamar go dtí an Ghaeltacht ar feadh tréimhse chomh maith: bhí sé sin an-taitneamhach agus chuir mé feabhas ar mo Ghaeilge labhartha. Chomh maith leis sin, bhí modúil eile agam ag plé leis an aistriúcháin féin, scil atá thar a bheith áisúil do dhaoine cosúil liomsa a bhfuil spéis acu i dteangacha. Ó thaobh an Dlí de, bhí deis agam tabhairt faoi ábhair chomhaimseartha a bhaineann leis an saol e.g. an ríomhthráchtáil agus an mhaoin intleachtúil. Rud eile a thaitin liom ná go raibh éagsúltacht ann maidir leis na modhanna measúnaithe - bhí aistí, scrúduithe scríofa agus scrúduithe béil i gceist. An buntáiste is mó a bhaineann leis an MA ná nach bhfuil na ranganna ró-mhór agus mar sin bíonn deiseanna agat labhairt leis na léachtóirí, ceisteanna a chur orthu, agus iad a phlé. Níl aon amhras ach gur bhain mé tairbhe as an MA seo.”
– Therese Collins, MA sa Ghaeilge agus i nDlí na hEorpa, 2017-8
“Roghnaigh mé an MA sa Ghaeilge agus i nDlí na hEorpa a dhéanamh mar bhí fonn orm níos mó staidéir a dhéanamh ar an Dlí agus na teangacha leis. Rinne mé bunchéim sa Dlí agus san Fhraincis agus mar sin bhí taithí agam ar na hábhair seo cheana féin. Thaitin leagan amach an chúrsa liom: bhí go leor ama agam staidéar a dhéanamh idir na ranganna. An chuid is mó den am, aistí a bhí le scríobh agam in ionad scrúduithe agus mar sin bhí seans agam níos mó oibre a dhéanamh. Maidir leis an miontráchtas, bhí deis agam an t-ábhar a roghnú mé féin agus bhíos buíoch as sin. Chomh maith leis sin, d’fhreastail mé ar chúrsa Gaeilge sa Rinn, Co. Phort Láirge chun eolas a chur ar chultúr na Gaeltachta. Molaim an MA seo do dhaoine a bhfuil suim acu sna teangacha agus sa Dlí agus go háirithe do dhaoine atá ag iarraidh post a fháil mar aistritheoir Gaeilge leis an Aontas Eorpach.”
– Eve Ryan, MA sa Ghaeilge agus i nDlí na hEorpa, 2017-8
A greater role for the Irish language in the EU
As a result of a regulation made by the EU Council (Council Regulation 2015/2264), the amount of staff in the Irish-language Units will increase steadily between now and 2022. According to an estimate given by the Directorate-General for Translation in the European Commission, more than 180 staff members with excellent competency in Irish will be required to satisfy the translation requirements of the principal institutions of the EU: 42 translator assistants, 103 translators and 6 heads of unit/department. A team of interpreters will also be recruited and yet more employees will be needed to ensure a continuous supply of Irish-speaking professionals to meet the requirements of the European institutions.
The MA in Irish and European Law is aimed at people who wish to apply for the position of translator or lawyer-linguist in the institutions of the European Union. These are interesting, attractive careers with high salaries and good working conditions as well as opportunities for continual professional development. Translators earn in the region of €48,000 per annum, for example, and the starting salary for a lawyer-linguist is €5,500 per month. The important and meaningful work undertaken by translators and lawyer-linguists is increasing the status of the Irish language in Ireland and in Europe.
What is the role of a lawyer-linguist?
EU lawyer-linguists ensure that all new legislation has the same meaning in every European language. The job requires capable lawyers with outstanding linguistic abilities, who are experienced in drafting or translating, checking or revising legal texts. Lawyer-linguists must be able to discern precisely what EU legislation is intended to convey, and faithfully reflect that intention in their own native language.
This video gives some insight into the daily working life of lawyer linguists:
What is the role of a translator employed in EU institutions?
Translators in the various EU institutions and bodies, working in a challenging, multi-cultural environment, help 500 million Europeans, in different EU countries understand EU policies. Working to some strict deadlines, the job may involve translating a broad range of political, legal, financial, scientific and technical texts and providing wide-ranging linguistic advice to colleagues.
This video gives some insight into the daily working life of translators in EU institutions:
European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) Recruitment Process
The process of obtaining a full-time job with the EU institutions is a challenging one. For most competitions involving the Irish language, excellent proficiency in Irish and English is required as well as some knowledge of one other official European language. It is also necessary to pass reasoning tests and a number of other tests. As part of the MA in Irish and European Law, students are given guidance that enables them to take part in these recuitment competitions with confidence.
The Irish-language version of EPSO’s site is available at the following link: https://epso.europa.eu/home_ga
Applications submitted by 1 June to www.ucc.ie/apply will be considered for the award of one full-fees scholarship.
M.A. in Translation Studies
From September 2015, the Department of Modern Irish will be taking part in the interdisciplinary MA in Translation Studies. This programme is run by the School of Modern Languages in conjunction with other language departments. It offers general courses on the theory of translation, with workshops on translation between English and individual langauges. Students are required to write a minor thesis and submit verious projects for continuous assessment. A single language or two languages may be taken, depending on the background of the individual student.
The general entry requirement is a 2H1 in the language(s) to be studied, but students choosing Irish will be required to take a short language test in order to assess their suitability for the course.
This MA provides training for future translators, and also enables practising translators to improve their skills.
For further information see: http://www.ucc.ie/en/cke77/
Masters by Research: UCC Entry requirements and application procedure
Doctoral degree: UCC Entry requirements and application procedure
Read the UCC Calendar: Part 2 Postgraduate