The Online MA in Gaelic Literature is a unique and affordable postgraduate degree focusing on all aspects of Gaelic literary culture, from early to modern times. It is taught by experts in the Department of Modern Irish, University College Cork. It is currently taken by students from their own homes in all parts of the world.

At a cost of $7,622 (€7,000) for non-EU students, the course may be taken full-time in one year, or part-time over two years. All lectures and reading materials are provided online. As registered students of University College Cork (Sunday Times University of the Year 2016-17, and a constituent college of the National University of Ireland), those who take this course enjoy access to all the electronic facilities of the renowned George Boole Library.

The Online MA in Gaelic Literature is delivered entirely through English, and no previous acquaintance with Irish or with Scottish Gaelic is required. Applications will be considered from graduates of all disciplines, who will normally have an honours primary degree (equivalent to a cumulative GPA of 3.2).

The course consists of modules on Gaelic literature from earliest times to the present day. Emphasis is placed on continuity and divergence in manuscript traditions and in language development. Monastic books and texts are discussed in the context of the introduction of Christianity and the durability of myth and saga. The development of the poetic voice is explored as found expressed in the common Gaelic heartland shared by Ireland and Scotland. The international aspect of Gaelic literature is one of great variety and is dealt with in a dedicated module. Modules on the connection between language and landscape, and on important the role of women in poetry and song, highlight the diversity of Gaelic literature. There is also an optional module on Irish for beginners, which introduces the spoken language to those who would like to explore one of the Gaelic languages.

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From all over the world, this course attracts students who wish to avail of the opportunity to take a high-quality postgraduate degree, accredited by a leading and long-established Irish university, without having to leave their homes. Pre-recorded lectures mean that students can learn in their own time and space, and this flexibility is complemented by the important feature of interaction with fellow students through online discussion groups. The module discussions are monitored by lecturers, who are always available to answer questions and address issues that are raised.

Online MA in Gaelic Literature.

Online MA in Gaelic Literature.

University College Cork was established beside the monastic lands of a settlement founded by St Finbar in the late 6th century. The University therefore represents a continuous history of education and scholarship extending over fourteen centuries. This deep sense of tradition informs a commitment to sharing knowledge and expertise with a world audience, and it is in furtherance of this commitment that the Online MA in Gaelic Literature is offered. Drawing from the living traditions of the Irish-speaking areas in the hinterland of the University, and on the unparalleled expertise of the community of scholars who deliver the course, the Online MA in Gaelic Literature is a unique high-end qualification in the culture of a society that has survived for millennia on the western edge of Europe and that has contributed significantly to world literature.

Here are some testimonials from current students:

‘I'm really enjoying the course and the course materials. It's exactly what I wanted to study.’ (Siobain, Italy)

‘For people with . . . reduced abilities, I would call this program very accessible.’ (Johanna, California)

‘I'm enjoying the course immensely and am finding it fascinating, stimulating and hugely enjoyable. The discussion boards and online delivery are working very well and I'm finding the interaction with my fellow students hugely beneficial.’ (Barry, Leeds, UK)

‘No one else offers a programme like this online. UCC offering this programme has allowed me finally to pursue a decade-old dream and to make that dream a reality . . . It is a fantastic course, of which I am proud to be a part’ (Falicia, Florida)

For further information please contact Professor Pádraig Ó Macháin (, or visit