Irish Studies Options

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 2018-19 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 2018-19 we have a new Option Module (S2) on 'The Irish Novel in the 20th Century'


Follow your own interests through selecting your Option Modules from our Irish Studies related course list (below for 2018-19).

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*:


Autumn Semester

Students are required to take:

IRS7011 – Belfast: Place, Identity and Memory in a Contested City


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

MHY7020 - Becoming an Historian*

MHY7090 - Pathways through History

PAI7021 - The Politics of Northern Ireland

PAI7028 - Violence, Terrorism and Security


School of English, Arts and Languages

ENG7163 - Literary Research Methods*

FLM7012 - Political Cinema: Conflict and Form


School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

SOC9012 - Approaches to Social Research*


Spring Semester

Students are required to take three option modules from the list below:


School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

MHY7025 - Presenting sources

MHY7035 – Theory in History

MHY7077 - Public History Internship

MHY7081 - Topics in Irish History

ANT7007 - Advanced Anthropological Methods*

ANT7053 - MA Specialisation: Anthropology of Ireland

PAI7022 - The Politics of the Republic of Ireland

PAI7027 - Conflict Intervention


School of Arts, English and Language

ENG7261 Reading Historically - The Irish Novel in the 20th Century  (New)

ENG7305 – Irish Poetry


School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

SOC9062 - Conflict and Change in Northern Ireland: New Sociological Research (10 CATS) AND

SOC9069 – University Research and Civil Society (10 CATS)

[SOC9062 and SOC9069 must be taken together as one module choice]


Summer Semester

Students complete research on: MHY7010 Irish Studies Dissertation

 (Submission in mid September, 2019)



Other modules offered as part of additional MA programmes, including Individually Negotiated Topics, may be available with the approval of the MA Convenor.

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.

Entrance Requirements

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.