Student testimonials on the MA in Women's Studies

On this page you will find student testimonials about the MA in Women's Studies.

In this video, Aoife Campbell, Ellen O' Sullivan and Doris Murphy (2018-2019 cohort) relate their experiences as students in the MA in Women's Studies and the positive impact it had on their career and further studies.

Doris Murphy's testimonial

Doris completed a dissertation titled: Repealed the 8th: What motivated activists to get involved in the campaign, how did they sustain their activism, and how did they experience the aftermath?

I completed the MA (Women’s Studies) from 2018-2019 at UCC. I found the course to be an excellent introduction to and exploration of feminist theory, from first wave feminism through to recent debates and issues. The interdisciplinary teaching team provided insight into a wide range of areas. The small class size allowed for rich discussion of readings and topics, and the in-class debates were always engaging. I learnt so much about the research process from completing my dissertation, and received a lot of support from my supervisor. I would highly recommend this course.

Rosana Rosar's testimonial

Rosana completed a dissertation titled: Mapping the childfree spatial turn in Brazil 2016-2018: Affects and effects on children’s and mothers’ (in)visible bodies

During my year (2017-2018) as an international student of the MA in Women’s Studies at UCC, I learned in-depth feminist and gender theories and methodologies and how to write an interdisciplinary dissertation. I also shared my insights from a Brazilian perspective in very relevant discussions with classmates from Ireland and the United States and lecturers from different countries. The fact that you can learn from academics from a variety of fields such as history, music, law and film studies is, in my view, the greatest achievement of the programme, which I strongly recommend to everyone interested in feminist, gender and human rights issues.

Imelda Coffey's testimonial

Imelda completed her dissertation titled: What were the factors preventing women from gaining a third level education in 1980s Cork Ireland?


Studying Women’s Studies at University College Cork (2017-2019) has been a most enjoyable and enlightening experience, I would thoroughly recommend it. Through Women's Studies, I gained an insight into the broad and critical issues surrounding gender, culture and ethnicity. I gained valuable skills in reflexive writing, researching, and methodology to name but a few. I am very appreciative of this learning opportunity, which I financed myself. I hope to apply my learning to ground level work to empower women and girls through education. I trust my MA in Women’s Studies will assist me in building my professional career in this direction.

Helen McGonagle's testimonial

Helen McGonagle works at Cork City Library and is the author of A Room of Their Own: Cork Carnegie Free Library & its Ladies Reading Room (2015)

This MA bridged the gap between time spent at home as a full time parent and returning to the workplace and set me on a whole new career trajectory. I can’t recommend it highly enough!



Nicola Depuis' testimonial

Nicola Depuis is the author of  Mna an hEireann - The Women Who Shaped History (2009)
When I entered the MA in Women's Studies at UCC, I had no formal background in academia, but was accepted on merit. It had been about twelve years since my last days of education, and I had a deep fear that I wouldn't have the language or skills necessary to keep up. Thankfully, my fears were unfounded, as I was guided and helped through the year by excellent supervisors and tutors, and from early on in the course I became confident that I could do it. I really loved the content of the course. It opened my eyes to ideas of gender construct, women and philosophy...even women and rap music. I left the course with excellent research skills, a new outlook on the world and a First Class honours for my thesis! It changed my life, and I think every student would benefit immensely from this MA. 


Earlier testimonials

Students find that participating in the course opens up a new range of perspectives and opportunities, as some graduates explain:

“I so much enjoyed the MA in Women's Studies course at UCC. It provided a very interesting insight into issues of women from Ireland, as well as from all over the world. It presented women's issues from many different angles and was particularly interesting for me, coming from a different country. The course has changed the way I think about women and their role in the society forever! It has also changed the way I think about myself. The MA in Women's Studies year was highly inspirational for me and I would recommend it to anybody.” (Kasia Sieniawska, 2008-2009)

“Completing the MA in Women's Studies allowed me to explore the aspects of women's issues that deeply interested me. It has given me the skills, ability and understanding to engage with and critique what is currently happening with regard to women worldwide and most importantly left me with a greater sense of self- assuredness, confidence and authority when responding to these issues in both personal and professional realms.” (Nilmini Fernando, 2008-2009)

“The Women’s Studies MA in UCC taught me to use the tools of academia to advocate for women’s rights. The lecturers, students and course coordinator provided me with fantastic support, an academically challenging programme and access to wide variety of expertise which set me on my path to becoming the Advocacy and Policy Officer at the Irish Family Planning Association. In my current role, I use feminist theory and methodology to improve women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Because of the skills I gained in the Women’s Studies MA, I am able to contribute to the realisation of women’s human rights in fora such as the European Court of Human Rights, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the Irish parliament and the European Union.” (Meghan Doherty, 2003-2004)

“I found the course stimulating and informative. I also find it has been very useful to me in my working life. I take a greater interest in equality issues and sexism.” (Clare D’Arcy, 2008-2009)

Women's Studies

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