MA (Old & Middle Irish) [full-time or part-time]

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies

Course overview

The MA in Old and Middle Irish is designed to provide students with a thorough grounding in Irish language and literature of the period c. 600–c. 1200. It is aimed at those who already have a good basic knowledge of Irish (Medieval or Modern), or another Celtic language, and, exceptionally, at those who have the appropriate background to undertake the study of Old and Middle Irish at the outset.  

Staff help to identify thesis-topics which may lend themselves to eventual publication. While teaching is through English (to accommodate students from different backgrounds), the use of Irish is actively supported, and the University’s bilingual campus is of special benefit to all students of Irish, of whatever period. 

Key facts

Entry requirements

NQAI Level 8 degree or equivalent, Second Class Honours or equivalent. IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.


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

Next start date: September 2015

ECTS weighting: 90

Average intake: 15

Closing date: You are advised to apply early, which may result in an early offer; see the offer round dates

Mode of study: Taught

Course outline

The programme is simultaneously available on a full-time and a part-time basis. In both cases, 60 of the total 90 credits (ECTS) are allocated to taught modules, and the remaining 30 to the minor thesis.

Full-time students follow a prescribed taught course for two semesters (from September to April approximately), following which they complete a dissertation of ca. 15,000 words over the summer. They attend approximately eight lectures each week in both semesters.

The programme offers modules in the following:

  • Grammar of Old and Middle Irish
  • Literary History 600–1200
  • Close reading of medieval Irish texts
  • History, scholarship and culture in medieval Ireland
  • Comparative Celtic linguistics 



Applications and selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who teaches this course?

  • Dr Graham Isaac, BA, PhD
  • An tOllamh Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha, BA, MA, PhD
  • Dr Clodagh Downey, BA, MA, PhD 

Requirements and assessment

Assessment takes three forms: written examinations, essays, and a minor thesis. Essays are completed during Semester One and Two. Written examinations are held at the end of Semester Two. The minor dissertation is completed by the end of the summer.

Find out more

PAC code

GYA33 full-time
GYA34 part-time

Fees for this course

EU (Total): €6,015 p.a. 2014/15 (inclusive of Levy)
 - Tuition: €5,791 p.a. 2014/15
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2014/15
Non-EU (Total): €13,250 p.a. 2014/15

M.A. EU Full time programme:  €6,015

M.A. EU part time programme:  €3,065 p.a.