The emphasis in this course is on the modern language and culture. A range of modules will provide you with a broad understanding of diverse aspects of Irish culture and society and include filmmaking, the short story, the novel, and modern poetry. The growth of Gaelic identity is also explored and insight into the country’s wider heritage is developed through the study of mythology, folklore and Scottish Gaelic.
Irish Degree highlights
Queen’s is the top ranked Irish programme in the Sunday Times Good University 2016.
- You will have a chance to spend up to a year studying business in the US or you can take a semester at another university in Europe.
- The BA Irish will exempt you from examinations for An Teastas Gaeilge do Mhúinteoirí Iarbhunscoile for teaching in the Republic of Ireland.
- We have former students in senior positions in various Irish language sectors and we maintain good links with media production companies, the translation sector and language promotion agencies.
World Class Facilities
- Queen’s has an excellent library for Irish materials and an outstanding collection of resources relating to Ireland.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Queen’s has world-leading experts in the history of the Irish language and literature, Irish linguistics and Gaelic names. Queen’s had the highest ranked research unit including Irish and Celtic languages in the most recent Research Excellence Framework. (REF 2014)
- Students receive intensive instruction in spoken and written Irish and the School supports a 3-week summer school in the Donegal Gaeltacht each year.
National Student Survey:
Irish at Queen's have received the highest possible score of 100% for overall student satisfaction in the NSS 2018.
“The diverse course at Queen’s gives a unique insight into the spirit of the language through its modules on all
aspects of the culture. It is without a doubt everything I expected the course to be and more.”
BA Irish Graduate (2017)
Course Content Level 1
• Gaeilge 1* (double module)
• Irish Folklore
• Celtic Mythology
• Introduction to Modern Irish Literature
Students choose their fifth and sixth modules from the agreed faculty optional module list. Students are permitted to take a third Irish optional module as one of these choices.
• Gaeilge 2* (double module)
• Scottish Gaelic Language
• Irish Poetic Tradition 1650-1850
• Skills in Irish Translation
• Irish Film Studies
• Irish Writing and the Short Story
• Gaeilge 3* (double module)
• Modern Irish Poetry
• Language, Identity and the Emergence of Modern Irish Literature
• Dissertation (double module)
* compulsory modules
People teaching youProfessor Mícheál Ó Mainnín
Professor of Irish
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 4 (hours maximum)
hours of lectures (25-50 students) per week
Personal Study 24 (hours maximum)
22–24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including independent reading, language practice, vocabulary development, guided study, online activities, coursework preparation etc
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial 6 (hours maximum)
6 hours of tutorials or small group teaching per week; for your dissertation you will have a mixture of small group teaching and personal tutorials
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable our students to achieve their full academic potential.
On the BA in Irish we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
- E-Learning technologies
A wide range of information associated with modules is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. Typically, lecture notes are provided through QOL for each module along with other support material. Much of the recommended reading is available through the same environment. Almost all coursework is submitted and returned, with marks and feedback, electronically.
- Gaeltacht Course
Students taking a BA in Irish spend a total of six weeks on a dedicated summer course in Rinn na Feirste in Donegal. Here students engage with native speakers while staying in accommodation with a host family. Intensive, structured tuition is provided by qualified native Irish speakers during the course involving approximately 60 hours of placement learning during each course. In addition to the benefits for oral competence in Irish, the residence course provides a unique opportunity for immersion in Gaeltacht culture and establishes a tremendous camaraderie among students.
- Language enrichment classes
Intensive 2-hour language enrichment classes provide students with opportunities to develop oral skills and develop their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in real-life, practical contexts. These classes are taught in very small groups (typically 12-15 students). Students will also be expected to attend one class per week on language accuracy
These introduce you to basic information about new topics as a starting point for your own further private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in larger groups of approximately 25-50 students). Only a small number of our modules are delivered in this way.
- Personal Tutor
Students are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development. This gives students one identified contact with whom to discuss any difficulties they might encounter and who can answer any queries they might have.
- Self-directed study
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Almost all of the teaching in Irish is carried out in small groups (typically 15 students). These provide significant opportunity for you to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions and to assess your own progress and understanding with the support of your classmates. You will also be expected to make presentations and other contributions to these groups. All of our language teaching and the vast majority of our other modules are delivered through the medium of Irish in small-group situations.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- The way in which you will be assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Language modules are assessed through a variety of written tasks, class tests, a formal written examination and an oral exam at the end of the year. All other modules are assessed through a variety of forms of coursework which may include book reviews, projects, creative writing, presentations, essays and language tasks. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students at the beginning of their first year. All assessment, apart from oral exams and the dissertation, is marked and returned anonymously.
As students progress through this course they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module convenors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted. The vast majority of our written feedback is provided electronically to your personal online account.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities during or at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Immediate, on-the-spot feedback from your teacher during language classes.
- Individual consultations addressing specific queries with lecturers during designated consultation hours.
- Online or emailed comment to specific queries.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
- Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.
- E-Learning technologies
A level requirements
ABB including A-level Irish
Irish leaving certificate requirements
H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Irish
A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree, provided any subject requirement is also met
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For last year's intake, applicants for this BA programme offering A-level/BTEC Level 3 qualifications must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language). Performance in any AS or A-level examinations already completed would also have been taken into account and the Selector checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally be made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat candidates is set in terms of three A-levels and may be one grade higher than that asked from first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Access courses, BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates, and Higher National Diplomas can be considered, provided the subject requirements for entry to Irish are also fulfilled.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of BA degrees, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Studying for a degree in Irish at Queen‘s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, particularly in a world where critical thinking, cross-cultural awareness and communication skills are at a premium.
Careers pursued by graduates in Irish can include teacher, language development officer, translator, manager, TV presenter, producer, writer and researcher. Graduates may also enter careers in business, management consultancy and software development.
88% of our graduates are in employment or further study within 6 months of graduation. Starting salaries may be in the region of £21,800.
Queen’s has strong links with a number of employers including the Department for Communities, the BBC, Irish Language Broadcast Fund and other media companies, and employers are routinely invited to address the Irish students. Many of our students work in primary and secondary schools as classroom assistants and language assistants while studying for their degree. Other opportunities to gain employment experience are provided by media companies located in the area and theatre and community groups in Belfast.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards
Donohoe Prize: awarded for the highest mark in the oral examination at Level 2.
Emrys Evans Book Prize: awarded at Levels 1 + 2 for the best performance in the written language examination.
Foundation Scholarships: recognise outstanding achievement in Level 1.
Students receive a certificate of distinction for first class performance in the Level 3 oral.
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) £4,395 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250 Other (non-UK) EU * £4,395 International £16,900
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
* The tuition fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities following the agreed transition period are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit-advice/information-for-students
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Single Honour Irish students are required to spend 2 periods of residence in the Gaeltacht between Years 1 and 2 and between Years 2 and 3. The trips are subsidised by the School but each student is required to pay a contribution per residency (currently £180, i.e. £360 in total).
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2020 from 1 September 2019.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2020 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2020) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International (non-UK/EU) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2020. If you apply for 2020 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2020.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding
- Applying through UCAS