The MA in Irish Studies is made up of 6 courses ('modules') and a Dissertation
Full time students take 3 modules in Semester 1 (S1: September to December); 3 modules in Semester 2 (S2: February to May) and complete the Irish Studies Dissertation (IRS7010) over the Summer (for submission by mid September).
In 2020-21 all full-time students will take IRS7011 'Belfast: Place, Identity and Memory in a Contested City' in Semester 1, and choose 2 additional options in Semester 1 and three in Semester 2.
Part-time students take either 1 or 2 modules each semester (3 per academic year) as advised by the programme director.
For 2020-21 we have a new Option Module (S1) on
'Trauma and Memory in Contemporary Irish Literature'
Follow your own interests through selecting your Option Modules from our Irish Studies related course list (below for 2020-21).
Students must choose one research methods module from across the AHSS faculty list in either semester 1 or semester 2. These modules are indicated by asterisks*:
Students are required to take:
Students also choose two option modules from the list below:
School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics
HAP7001 – Approaches and Debates in Research Design*
MHY7011 - Individually Negotiated Topic in History
MHY7020 - Becoming an Historian*
MHY7090 - Pathways through History
PAI7022 - The Politics of the Republic of Ireland
PAI7028 - Violence, Terrorism and Security
ANT7008 - Advanced Anthropological Perspectives
School of English, Arts and Languages
ENG7163 - Literary Research Methods*
ENG7365 - Trauma and Memory in Contemporary Irish Literature
School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work
SOC9012 - Approaches to Social Research*
Students are required to take three option modules from the list below:
School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics
MHY7081 - Topics in Irish History (Ireland and the World / Memory and Commemoration in Modern Ireland)
MHY7025 - Presenting sources
MHY7035 – Theory in History
MHY7077 - Public History Internship
ANT7007 - Advanced Anthropological Methods*
ANT7023 - Anthropology of Conflict: Ireland and Beyond
PAI7021 - The Politics of Northern Ireland
PAI7027 - Conflict Intervention
School of Arts, English and Language
ENG7119 –Special Topic in Irish Writing [TBC]
ENG7305 - Irish Poetry
ENG7370 - A Space for Radical Openness? Writing for the Margins in Contemporary British and Irish Literature
School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work
SOC9062 - Conflict and Change in Northern Ireland: New Sociological Research (10 CATS) AND another 10CATS MA module offered by SSESW [taken together as one module choice]
Students complete research on: MHY7010 Irish Studies Dissertation
(Submission in mid September, 2021)
Non-credit bearing courses in Irish Language and Ulster Scots are also available from the Language Centre.
Duration and Mode of Study
This degree can be taken on either a one year (12 months) full-time or two year (31 months) part-time basis. The course consists of six taught courses (modules), and a 15,000 word research dissertation. International (non-EU) students may only take the full-time study option. The first semester runs from September until end December and the second semester from late January until end May. For details of the University calendar click here.
Full-time students take three modules in each semester, with the dissertation due in mid-September at the end of the academic year. 'Belfast' is a core module in Semester 1; the other 4 modules may be chosen from the available Irish-Studies related and research skills modules on the guidance of the MA Irish Studies convenor.
Part-time students take one or two modules per semester over two academic years, with the dissertation due for submission by 1 May of third year.
Some options may require that a relevant research methods module be taken or that the student have a particular academic background. The dissertation may be supervised by Institute staff or, subject to the agreement of the Director of Irish Studies, by Research Associates in our partner Schools.
Aims of the programme
1) To provide students with the methods and knowledge to undertake research.
2) To offer students a range of modules that will allow them to pursue challenging cross–disciplinary themes.
3) To explore the possibilities and opportunities in inter-disciplinary work.
4) To introduce the students to conceptual tools which allow them to explore, critically, aspects of Irish Studies.
5) To assist the students in developing focused research and providing them with the skills necessary to write academic papers.
Six taught modules usually assessed by written assignment(s), and a research dissertation of up to 15,000 words, supervised by an Irish Studies specialist.
Students of the Institute of the Irish Studies go on to make careers, not only as scholars, but in the media, in the heritage sector and in business.
The normal entry requirement is a primary degree with high honours (usually a 2.1 or equivalent) in a relevant subject; applicants with lower degree grades with appropriate research experience may also be considered. For overseas students, a cumulative grade point average of 3.3, or better, from an accredited institution is normally expected.
[Updated 7 April 2020]
This module will explore the development of anthropological approaches to conflict, examining what social and cultural anthropologists have added to our knowledge of conflict. It will particularly examine issues of group identity and cohesion in relations to conflict. Examining theories of ethnicity and nationalism it will examine power and hegemony of the state. In relation to this there will be a focus upon aspects of remembering and social memory, on the use of rituals and symbols and of the way acts of violence are legitimised or delegitimised. The course will look at example from Irish case studies but work on a comparative basis.
This module has two key purposes:.
First it introduces students to some important themes in the philosophy of the social sciences. Second, it develops students' skills in research design through an examination of selected qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. In doing so it addresses key issues in the design and preparation of the dissertation.
Students are introduced to historiographical pathways followed by Queen’s staff and examine some of the grand debates that have taken place within political, social, culture and gender history. They are encouraged to reflect on their own pathway through history and to consider the range of historiographical and thematic approaches open to them as part of their postgraduate studies.
Students probe some of the approaches used by historians to examine the past, including oral history, literary and visual sources and quantitative data. They receive training on the use of archival sources and on other key skills such as critical writing and high level presentations. The module also offers a careers-focused element by reflecting on the employment of historians inside and outside academia.
An exciting opportunity for students to work with a research leader in their field on an essay topic that is selected by the student. Students work in a small Study Group (up to 3) and individually (with the supervisor), to assess the historiographical literature on a research question of their choice.
This module enables students to focus on a range of themes and topics relating to modern Irish history. Students take two mini-modules over the course of 12 weeks in semester 2. Each mini-module is taught through weekly seminars.
The current minimodules are:
1. Ireland and the World. This focuses on Ireland's relationship with the world from the later 18th century to the mid 20th century through studies of Ireland's place in the British empire (and especially its relationship with India), mass Irish emigration to the New World and the fate of the people (especially women) who went there; and the global political ramifications of Ireland's revolution of 1916-23.
2. Memory and Commemoration in Modern Ireland. This minimodule considers the dynamics of public memory in modern Ireland through a review of a number of case studies: the 1798 Rebellion, Great Famine, Home Rule Crisis, Great War, Irish Revolution and Partition, and the NI Troubles and museums.
In this module individual lecturers introduces students to a theoretical approach that has inspired or influenced their research. The module examines some of the big theoretical debate about history and truth, history and class, history and gender, and history and identity. The module uses case studies to bring passion and insight to the students’ understanding of theoretical approaches. Staff teaching on the module are asked to reflect on the key books and articles that made them either shake with disbelieving anger or race to the archives full of inspiration!
Students are given an opportunity to undertake practical work on a selection of primary sources. This can include the production of a calendar of previously uncatalogued documents, a finding aid to primary sources on a defined theme, or a database drawn from primary sources.
This module aims to examine the principal debates and issues in Northern Irish politics and includes both an analytical survey of the history of the entity, and a treatment of key political themes. The overall aim of the module is to place Northern Irish politics in appropriate historical and ideological context. The political conflict in Northern Ireland has generated an extensive scholarly literature. This module requires students to engage with such work, and through such engagement to develop their own interpretations of Northern Irish politics form the foundation of Northern Ireland as a political unit up until the present.
This module explores and analyses the political development of independent Ireland in historical context. It combines an historical and thematic approach to provide students with a sophisticated understanding of the politics of independent Ireland. It introduces students to key debates on the Irish revolution, Irish historical revisionism, and the foundations of the new state. Particular themes include partition and its impact, the achievement of stability and order, negotiations of identity, problems of modernisation, party politics and their dynamics, Ireland’s shifting place in European and world politics, and the changing nature of Irish politics and society.
The objectives of this module are to introduce advanced students to key issues in contemporary research on conflict and change in divided societies, using Northern Ireland as a case study. It will examine critical sociological debates about identity, ethnicity, inequality, and conflict management, and interrogate their usefulness in a Northern Irish context. Emphasis will be placed on how Northern Ireland may conform to, or challenge, contemporary debates in theoretical and comparative sociology.
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