Course Overview

This new MA in Irish Studies (Literature and Music) offers an intensive academic curriculum in Irish Literature Studies and Irish Music Studies, focusing in particular on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Using a dynamic interdisciplinary approach, aspects of Irish historical experience and Irish identities are examined through the prism of music, from traditional to popular, and through critical reading of literature in Irish (studied in translation) and in English.

Applications and Selections

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

Who Teaches this Course

Module convenors:

  1. Music: Dr Méabh Ní Fhuartháin / Dr Verena Commins

  2. Literature: Dr Louis de Paor / Dr Marie-Louise Colohan

Requirements and Assessment

Course assessment of all modules is by continuous assessment; essays, dissertations, and oral presentations may be in either English or Irish.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

NFQ 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 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please view the offer rounds website.  

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting





Course code

GYA72 (full-time)
GYA73 (part-time)

Course Outline

MA Irish Studies (Literature and Music) offers two alternative, academic pathways. All students share modules in both Literature and Music, and select additional modules in their specific area of interest, weighting their studies towards Literature or Music. Irish language literature will be studied in English translation.

Students select three modules each semester

Semester 1

IS105 Young Ireland to the Free State: Writing in English 1949-1922 (10 ECTS)
IS106 Decline and revival: Language, literature and society 1800-1939 (10 ECTS)
IS6103 Writing Irish traditional music: The development of Irish music studies, 1792-1950 (10 ECTS)
IS6101 Tuning the archive: Irish traditional music and the digital humanities (10 ECTS)

Semester 2

IS108 The Politics of modernity: Writing in English from 1922 to the present (10 ECTS)
IS109 Gaelic and free: Cultural politics and writing in Irish since 1939 (10 ECTS)
IS6100 Representing Irish music: Irish music studies, 1950 to the new millennium (10 ECTS)
IS6102 Popular music and Ireland (10 ECTS)

Dissertation (30 ECTS)

An 18,000 word minor dissertation is submitted at the end of the year. The research topic is chosen by the student with support and supervision provided.

Irish language classes

In order to support bilingual approaches and the study of Irish language materials, Irish language tuition at a level appropriate to students’ needs are delivered in both semesters.

Interdisciplinary seminar

A discussion based seminar offering critical and theoretical approaches to key ideas and concepts across the different disciplines is offered in both semesters.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The Centre for Irish Studies is 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.  Since its inception in 2000, the Centre has attracted outstanding graduate students from Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Japan, and Europe to NUI Galway. 

This new MA programme draws on the achievements of outstanding scholars and a vibrant postgraduate research cluster in Irish Music Studies at NUI Galway. Irish Music Studies is central to teaching and research at the Centre for Irish Studies, an established Area of Excellence at NUI Galway which is ranked among the world’s top 2% of universities.  It blends survey and thematic modules, allowing students to weight module selection towards music or literature studies according to their interests.

Employment and career opportunities

Graduates of this programme may find employment in teaching (primary and secondary), the arts, heritage and tourism sectors, journalism, media, 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

Find out More

Ms Samantha Williams
T: +353 91 492 051