Course Overview

This is an interdisciplinary programme, drawing on the disciplines of English, History, Irish, Sociology and Political Science, and is run within the Centre for Irish Studies. The programme focuses on the 19th and 20th centuries and provides a critical examination of key issues in the historical, cultural and social development of modern Ireland. The approach is interdisciplinary throughout, aiming to provide a comprehensive overview of the Irish experience from the early 19th century to the present day.

There are some scholarship opportunities available for this programme. Please visit the MA (Humanities) Scholarships website for more information.

The Centre for Irish Studies

The Centre for Irish Studies, which offers this MA, has established itself as one of the premier locations worldwide for interdisciplinary research and advanced teaching on the cultural, social and political endeavours of Irish people, in Ireland and beyond.  As the only centre dedicated to Irish Studies in Ireland, its integrated, interdisciplinary programme of learning explores key aspects of the Irish experience in its historical and contemporary settings.

As well as the Irish-language module on campus, students will receive further instruction in the Connemara Gaeltacht, attending two intensive Irish language weekend courses in the Connemara Gaeltacht. Field trips, guest seminars and workshops are also scheduled throughout the academic year.

Graduate Research Training is provided to support and direct MA dissertation research.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

Module convenors:

  • History: Dr Mary Harris
  • English: Dr Marie-Louise Colohan
  • Gaeilge: Dr Louis de Paor
  • Political Science and Sociology: Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh

Requirements and Assessment

Continuous assessment; and a dissertation is also submitted at year- end. Essays, dissertations and oral presentations may be in either English or Irish, at the students’ own discretion.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

NQAI Level 8 degree at H2.2, GPA 3.0 or equivalent international qualification. IELTS score of 6.5, or equivalent if applicable.

Additional Requirements

Duration

1 year, full-time
2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2019

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

15

Closing Date

Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.  Please view the round offer dates.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Taught

ECTS weighting

90

Award

CAO

Course code

1MLH1 (full-time)
1MLH2 (part-time)

Course Outline

Modules include:

  • Ideology, Politics and Society in Ireland 1800–1921 (10 ECTS)
  • Young Ireland to the Free State: Writing in English 1849–1922 (10 ECTS)
  • Decline and Revival: Language, Literature and Society 1800–1939 (10 ECTS)
  • Divided Ireland: Politics and Society since 1921 (10 ECTS)
  • The Politics of Modernity: Writing in English 1922 to the present (10 ECTS)
  • Gaelic and Free: Cultural Politics and Writing in Irish since 1939 (10 ECTS)
  • Dissertation (30 ECTS) Irish language classes at levels appropriate to students’ needs run in both semesters. Continuous assessment is employed and all students must be deemed Satisfactory in Irish in order to graduate.

Irish language classes at levels appropriate to student's needs run in both semesters. Continuous assessment is employed and all students must be deemed satisfactory in Irish in order to graduate. The teaching language of the MA programme is English.

Modules for Full Time Course

Modules for Part Time Course

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

Credits
You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
Module
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (90 Credits)

Required IS105: Young Ireland to the Free State: Writing in English, 1849-1922


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This module surveys Irish literature written in the English language from 1849 to 1922. Through close readings of selected texts, the development of cultural nationalism will be explored. Issues to be examined include: negative images of Ireland/Irish in Britain (and resistance to such images); colonial context of Ireland; problems of nationalism; transformative potential of literature. Within the module, an examination of genre – drama, poetry and the short story – analyses the relationship between literature, nationalism and politics.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Understand and identify key issues concerning Irish writing in English in the 19th and early 20th centuries
  2. Analyse and critique the debate surrounding cultural nationalism in Ireland
  3. Outline key contributions Irish writers made to English literature during the period
  4. Critique how key political and historical issues in this period influenced and shaped Irish writing in the English language (for example, the Great Irish Famine; the Irish emigrant experience; and the post-Famine transition from Irish to English as the majority spoken language by the end of the century)
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Modern Irish drama" by John P. Harrington (ed.)
    ISBN: 0393960633.
    Publisher: Norton
  2. "Dubliners" by James Joyce; with an introduction and notes by Terence Brown
    ISBN: 0141182458.
    Publisher: Penguin Books
  3. "The Untilled Field" by George Moore
    ISBN: 0554311410.
  4. "Inventing Ireland" by Declan Kiberd
    ISBN: 009958221X.
    Publisher: Vintage
  5. "Irish Classics" by Declan Kiberd
    ISBN: 1862074593.
    Publisher: Granta Books
  6. "The Cambridge history of Irish literature" by Margaret Kelleher and Philip O'Leary (eds.)
    ISBN: 0521822246.
    Publisher: Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  7. "The Field Day anthology of Irish writing" by Seamus Deane (ed.)
    ISBN: 0393030466.
    Publisher: Field Day Publications; 1991
The above information outlines module IS105: "Young Ireland to the Free State: Writing in English, 1849-1922" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required IS106: Decline & Revival: Language, Literature & Society 1800-1939


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This module explores the status of the Irish language during the 19th century and challenges the received notion that the Irish language literary tradition came to an end during the period. The latter half of the module particularly examines the language revival movement and attempts to create a new modern European literature through the Irish language. Emphasis is placed on key writers in this movement, Pádraig Mac Piarais and Pádraic Ó Conaire among them.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the effects of the Great Famine, emigration and the national school system on the Irish language.
  2. Outline the continuity of the Irish language literary tradition during the period, in light of demographic and sociological changes.
  3. Describe and critique the Language Revival movement and the literary achievements of Mac Piarais and Ó Conaire as key writers of the movement.
  4. Analyse and situate the autobiographical ‘island’ literature that came to prominence in the new independent state.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "The Cambridge history of Irish literature" by Margaret Kelleher and Philip O'Leary (eds.)
    ISBN: 0521822246.
    Publisher: Cambridge; Cambridge University Press
  2. "The Field Day anthology of Irish writing" by Seamus Deane (ed.)
    ISBN: 0393030466.
    Publisher: Field Day Publications
  3. "An Duanaire, 1600-1900" by Seán Ó Tuama (ed.) with translations into English verse by Thomas Kinsella
    ISBN: 0851053645.
    Publisher: Dolmen Press
  4. "The Islandman" by Tomás O'Crohan; translated from the Irish by Robin Flower
    ISBN: 0192812335.
    Publisher: Oxford [Eng.]; Oxford University Press
  5. "An old woman's reflections" by Peig Sayers; translated from the Irish by Seamus Ennis and introduced by W. R. Rogers
    ISBN: 0192812394.
    Publisher: Oxford [Eng.]; Oxford University Press, 1978
  6. "Print and Popular Culture in Ireland, 1750-1850" by Niall O Ciosain
    ISBN: 1843510723.
    Publisher: Lilliput Pr Ltd
  7. "Charlotte Brooks' Reliques of Irish Poetry" by Charlotte Brooks and Lesa Ní Mhunghaile
    ISBN: 1874280770.
    Publisher: Irish Manuscripts Commission
The above information outlines module IS106: "Decline & Revival: Language, Literature & Society 1800-1939" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required IS104: Ideology, Politics & Society in Ireland, 1800-1921


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This module explores key developments in Ireland from the Act of Union in 1800, to the struggle for independence in the early twentieth century and up to the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. Students will examine the emergence and progress of nationalism and unionism, paying close attention political strategies, interpretations of political identity and propaganda. Students will further explore social issues such as the Famine, emigration, land and labour, and critique movements, organisations and institutions which develop in response. The role of the Catholic Church in both politics and society is also explored.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Outline the key historical and social developments in this period
  2. Explain the controversies surrounding these developments in the period under study
  3. Discuss historiographical controversies relating to key issues
  4. Identify and evaluate primary sources relevant to particular historical questions
  5. Apply key disciplinary methodologies to analyse relevant historiographical debates
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Nationalism in Ireland" by D. George Boyce
    ISBN: 0415127769.
    Publisher: London; Routledge, 1995
  2. "Nationalism and Unionism" by Peter Collins, editor
    ISBN: 0853894957.
    Publisher: Institute of Irish Studies
  3. "Ireland since 1800" by K. Theodore Hoppen
    ISBN: 0582322545.
    Publisher: London; Longman, 1999
  4. "Ireland, 1798-1998" by Alvin Jackson
    ISBN: 0631195424.
    Publisher: Oxford, UK; Blackwell Pub., 1999
  5. "Remembrance and Imagination: Patterns in the Historical and Literary Representation of Ireland in the 19th Century" by Joep Leersson
    ISBN: B0177867FE.
    Publisher: Cork University Press
  6. "Ireland Before the Famine, 1798 - 1848" by Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh
    ISBN: 0717142175.
    Publisher: Gill & Macmillan Ltd
The above information outlines module IS104: "Ideology, Politics & Society in Ireland, 1800-1921" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required IS108: The Politics of Modernity: Writing in English, 1922 to the present


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module explores Irish writers publishing in English from the formation of the State and the civil war to the present day. The focus is on both literary developments in poetry, fiction and drama, and the representation of political themes of nation, gender and society. Key areas we will explore are literary modernisms; exile, nation and multiculturalism; women and gender relations; landscape, the urban and place; identity and memory; family and change. Students will engage with theories relating to postcolonialism, gender, and cultural politics.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Outline developing literary genres (prose, poetry, drama and other forms) and key themes across the period, eg. postcolonial theory, historical materialism, ecocriticism
  2. Critically examine texts from both ‘modernist’ and ‘realist’ writers
  3. Engage with key issues relating to gender, sexuality, class and ethnicity in the texts under scrutiny
  4. Explore the politics of translation and how Irish writers in English engage directly, and indirectly, with the Irish language literary tradition
  5. Understand the transnational literary systems in which literature is produced
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Ulysses" by James Joyce
    ISBN: 1840226358.
    Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  2. "Later Poems" by William Butler Yeats
    ISBN: 142978721X.
    Publisher: Cornell University
  3. "Murphy" by Samuel Beckett
    ISBN: 0571244580.
  4. "The Last September" by Elizabeth Bowen
    ISBN: 009927647X.
    Publisher: Vintage
  5. "The Ante-Room" by Kate O'Brien
    ISBN: 1844083179.
  6. "Translations" by Brian Friel
    ISBN: 0571117422.
    Publisher: London; Faber & Faber, 1981
The above information outlines module IS108: "The Politics of Modernity: Writing in English, 1922 to the present" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required IS109: Gaelic & Free: Cultural Politics & Writing in Irish since 1939


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

The first half of this module focuses on the key Irish language writers in post-WW II Ireland, among them poets such as Seán Ó Ríordáin, Máirtín Ó Direáin, Máire Mhac an tSaoi and Eoghan Ó Tuairisc and prose writers such as Máirtín Ó Cadhain. The second half of the module examines the INNTI movement of Irish language poetry, which spawned a new generation of poets from the late 1960s onwards.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Outline and be familiar with the writings of the major Irish language writers in modern Ireland.
  2. Understand and critique the importance of dual language anthologies in making poetry in a minority language available to an international audience.
  3. Apply critical concepts relating to national identities, postcolonial theory, gender, and the politics of translation.
  4. Understand cultural and historical factors shaping Irish language literature in this period.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "The Cambridge history of Irish literature" by Margaret Kelleher and Philip O'Leary (eds.)
    ISBN: 0521822246.
    Publisher: Cambridge; Cambridge University Press
  2. "Leabhar na hAthghabhála" by Louis de Paor
    ISBN: 178037299X.
    Publisher: Bloodaxe Books
  3. "Repossessions: Selected Essays on Irish Literary Heritage" by Seán Ó Tuama
    ISBN: 1859180450.
    Publisher: Cork University Press
  4. "Selected Essays" by Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill
    ISBN: 1904301320.
    Publisher: New Island Books
  5. "The Cambridge Companion to Irish Modernism" by Joe Cleary
    ISBN: 1107655811.
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  6. "Briathra, Beithe Agus Banfhili" by Riona Ni Fhrighil
    ISBN: 1906882614.
    Publisher: An Clochomhar Tta
The above information outlines module IS109: "Gaelic & Free: Cultural Politics & Writing in Irish since 1939" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required IS204: Dissertation


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 30

MA Minor Thesis
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Employ scholarly tools, and project management skills, to successfully develop and complete a postgraduate Minor Thesis (15,000-20,000 words)
  2. Apply research skills in the areas of archival research, close textual analysis, discourse analysis, critical theory, bibliographic data collection
  3. Develop and sustain a coherent scholarly argument (exposition, description, analysis, interpretation), and to employ appropriate sources to support the main points of enquiry under scrutiny in the dissertation
  4. Expand the knowledge base in the field of Irish Studies through original research contributions
Assessments
  • Research (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module IS204: "Dissertation" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required IS107: Divided Ireland: Politics & Society since 1921


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module explores key issues and developments in Northern Ireland and in the independent Irish state. These include political divisions and identities, north and south; the influence of the Catholic Church on Irish society; mid-century debates on new directions for Irish politics and society; the changing roles of women in Irish society; the Northern Ireland conflict. The end of the module explores issues of continuity and change in twentieth-century Ireland.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Outline the steps taken to consolidate power in Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State.
  2. Critique the complex relationship between religion and identity decades following partition.
  3. Discuss issues of conflict in Northern Ireland from different perspectives.
  4. Identify key areas of continuity and areas of change in modern Ireland.
  5. Research and write essays presenting coherent arguments using tools the cognate disciplines of history, sociology and political science.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Ireland: The Politics of Enmity 1789-2006" by Paul Bew
    ISBN: 0199561265.
    Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  2. "Ireland" by Terence Brown
    ISBN: 0007127561.
    Publisher: Harper Perennial
  3. "Between Two Worlds: politics and economy in independent Ireland" by Girvin, Brian
    ISBN: 0389208760.
    Publisher: Gill and Macmillan
  4. "Twentieth-century Ireland" by Dermot Keogh with Andrew McCarthy
    ISBN: 0717132978.
    Publisher: Gill & Macmillan
  5. "From Civil Rights to Armalites" by Niall O'Dochartaigh
    ISBN: 1403944318.
    Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  6. "Family and community in Ireland" by Conrad M. Arensberg, Solon T. Kimball
    ISBN: 1900545136.
    Publisher: Clasp Press
The above information outlines module IS107: "Divided Ireland: Politics & Society since 1921" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Recent graduates have found employment in teaching (primary and secondary), the arts, heritage and tourism sectors, journalism, publishing, and the public service. A large proportion of graduates of the MA in Irish Studies have proceeded to doctoral research programmes in Ireland, Britain and North America.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,200 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€5,976 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,250 p.a. 2018/19

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your full-time tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay full-time TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.  M.A. EU Full time programme:  €6,015, EU Part time programme:  €3,065 p.a.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = tuition (EU or NON EU) + student levy as outlined above.

Find out More

Dr Louis de Paor | Dr Nessa Cronin
T: +353 91 493 660 | +353 91 492 893
E: louis.depaor@nuigalway.ie | nessa.cronin@nuigalway.ie