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.

Scholarships Available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

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


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

Next start date

September 2022

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

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

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




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

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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

€6,716 p.a. FT; €3,400 p.a. PT 2021/22

Fees: Tuition

€6,576 p.a. FT; €3,295 p.a. PT 2021/22

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. FT; €105 p.a. PT 2021/22

Fees: Non EU

€16,216 p.a. 2021/22

Please note:  The fee payable by EU students is listed under "Fees: EU".  This field is the sum of the student levy + tuition.  Fees are payable each year and are subject to change year-on year.

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €3,500 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 €140.  M.A. EU Full time programme:  €6,716, EU Part time programme:  €3,400 p.a.

Find out More

Dr Louis de Paor | Dr Nessa Cronin
T: +353 91 493 660 | +353 91 492 893
E: | 

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  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2022

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2022 PDF (14.3MB)