MA Gaelic Literature

Online MA 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.

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: opens on an another page (press the play button to begin the recording).


Irish/EU €4,930 FT; €2,530 PT
Non EU €7,130 FT; €3,630 PT
Application is made via

 Congratulations to our recent graduates:

2020 MA Gaelic Literature Spring graduation

Some of the graduates from the MA in Gaelic Literature with President O'Shea and Professor Ó Macháin on 20th February 2020 (Spring Conferrings, 2020).


For further information, please contact Dr Ken Ó Donnchú ( or visit:


Read a description of the course modules here: 2021-2022 Online MA in Gaelic Literature, modules and indicative timetable [PDF] updated 5/9/2021



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

Read Rick's interview for UCC student magazine, Motleythe interview (Motley website) by Alana Daly Mulligan discusses the upcoming Percy Jackson Disney+ series, Riordan's time studying in University College Cork and in An Rinn, as well as his insights on diversity in Young Adult (YA) Writing. Also available to read in the Motley online magazine, Vol. 14, No 7, go to pages 32-34.


‘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 full-time; Gaelic Literature MA - CKD14 part-time

Brochure: Online MA in Gaelic Literature brochure [PDF]

Department of Modern Irish

Roinn na Nua-Ghaeilge

Áras Uí Rathaille, UCC