MA Irish

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The Aberystwyth University MA in Irish offers you an exciting opportunity to engage with Irish language and literature through historical, social and intellectual approaches.  You will study a rich array of Irish texts and cultural phenomena through a wide array of study modules.  Few courses offer such a tremendous range of study options; consequently, you will be able to tailor your study to your interests perfectly.

By studying the central canon of Irish texts, you will develop a sound knowledge of the language across a broad period.  You may also get to grips with relevant languages, including a comparative study of Scots and Irish Gaelic.  You will also be able to converse in these languages.

Along side this process, you will examine the subject from a range of historical and contemporary perspectives to sharpen your critical faculties and prepare to make your own contribution to the subject in your dissertation project.  You will do this by developing complex concepts within the field of study and apply to them the same critical and analytical rigour.  In developing, testing and coherently presenting your own argument, you will become a formidable academic of Irish literature.

In addition to the subject-specific knowledge, this study programme is constructed in such a way to develop you personally, and equip you with a strong compliment of skills that you can draw upon in many postgraduate employment situations.  Your confidence in writing, reporting and discussion will be backed up by tried and tested skills in critical evaluation and argument formation and you will be an attractive opportunity for any employer who prizes clarity, independence of thought and self-motivated, analytical rigour.

The Department’s expert staff will teach you through a complementary pattern of supervisions, supervised reading, seminars, tutorials, preparation and writing of essays and presentations, and directed reading.  You will be assessed via formal examinations, language tests, coursework and oral assessment.  In addition, you will have access to substantial library resources in the form of the Hugh Owen Library, the Thomas Jones Collection (within the Old College Library) and the National Library of Wales (copyright library).

Key Facts

Duration:

One year full-time. The academic year is divided into three semesters, but this course is administered in two parts: Part One runs from October to May; Part Two runs from June to September.

Contact Time:

Approximately 10-14 hours a week in the first two semesters.  During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.

Assessment:

The taught part of the course (Part 1) is delivered and assessed through lectures, tutorials and essay projects. Successful completion of your portfolio (Part 2) leads to the award of an MA.

Entry Requirements:

This course is primarily aimed at graduates who have studied a related Arts subject or who do not have sufficient formal training in Irish to proceed to an MPhil or PhD. Applicants should have a good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above. Graduates in Welsh or Celtic Studies would constitute a good background for the course. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.

Funding:

Funding opportunities may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.

Overview

This degree gives you the chance to gain a sound knowledge of Irish language and literature from the earliest Old Irish down to the modern day, working in small groups and studying a variety of prose and poetry texts in the original language. You will be encouraged to use a range of critical methods in approaching the material. You may choose to concentrate on certain periods, and there is the opportunity to study Scottish Gaelic and Comparative Celtic Philology, as well as to improve your fluency in Modern Irish. The dissertation will allow you to develop a topic of your choice and to produce a sustained piece of work up to 20,000 words which will demonstrate to future employers your ability to research independently and to exercise your critical faculties and writing skills in a demanding field of study.

Aberystwyth is a world-famous research centre for Welsh and Celtic scholars. As well as the rich holdings of the University’s own Hugh Owen Library, and the departmental Thomas Jones Research Library, the National Library of Wales is close at hand. It has unrivalled collections of manuscripts, archives and historical documents of all kinds, literary archives, printed books, journals, as well as sound and moving image archives. Aberystwyth is the home of a number of other key institutions in the cultural life of Wales, notably the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments; the Mercator Centre (funded by the European Commission and based in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television); the Welsh Books Council; the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies; the Dictionary of the Welsh Language; and broadcasting studios, including the BBC. 

Welsh is the everyday language of the Department and the usual language of administration, but learners are given every encouragement to start using the language as soon as they can, and to attend a range of cultural and social events. Staff and students meet in our fortnightly lunch-time research seminars, and the Postgraduate Study Room, located in the heart of the Department, next to the Hugh Owen Library, makes for a good deal of informal interaction between taught Masters’ students, research student, staff and undergraduates. Postgraduate employment stands currently at 100%

Our Staff

All academic staff in the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies are research active scholars and experts in their chosen fields of study, including the study of languages and literatures as well as creative writing.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Year 1 Core (60 Credits) Dissertation

Semester 3

Dissertation IRM2060

Year 1 Options Choose 120 credits of modules from this list

Semester 1

Old And Middle Irish Language And Literature I IRM3100

Old And Middle Irish Language And Literature Ii IRM3200

Classical Irish Language And Literature I IRM3320

Modern Irish Language And Literature I IRM3500

Modern Irish Language And Literature Ii IRM3620

Modern Irish Language And Literature Iii IRM3700

Comparative Celtic Philology IRM3920

Celtic Ethnography IRM4120

Scottish Gaelic Language And Literature 1 IRM4220

Semester 2

Old And Middle Irish Language And Literature I IRM3120

Old And Middle Irish Language And Literature Ii IRM3220

Classical Irish Language And Literature Ii IRM3420

Modern Irish Language And Literature I IRM3520

Modern Irish Language And Literature Iii IRM3720

Modern Irish Language And Literature Iv IRM3820

Scottish Gaelic Language And Literature Ii IRM4320

Employability

Qualification: MA in Irish

This degree will suit you:

  • If you wish to study Irish language and literature at an advanced academic level;
  • If you desire a strengthen your critical and scholarly abilities through engagement with Irish texts;
  • If you wish to explore your enthusiasm for this exciting and highly satisfying subject;
  • If you aim to foster transferable skills and engage in professional and personal development for entering employment.

Employability

Every element of the Aberystwyth Master’s in Irish enhances your employability.  Alongside the development of your subject-specific knowledge and experience, an especially noteworthy strength of this course is the emphasis on personal development.  As an emerging language specialist, your strengthened research and critical faculties will make you a strong candidate for any post where ideas and topics need research, analysis, discussion, expansion and classification.

Throughout the course you will demonstrate initiative and self-motivated learning, supported by the crucial self-awareness to be flexible and independently-minded.  Allied with strengthened skills in communication, you will be fully confident in framing coherent and insightful questions and expressing them in oral and written form. 

Employers in every industry value such skills and the pattern of creativity, research, analysis and discussion you will undertake in this course creates highly marketable skills which will, upon graduation, stand you in excellent stead for entry into the jobs market.  The organisational skills you will learn on this course will help you direct and therefore make the most of your individual flair, bringing a balance of skills that prospective employers will find attractive.

Personal, Professional and Project-Management Skills

The MA will require of you a high level of personal and professional discipline.  As the assessment for this Master’s course is done through essay-writing, tutorial and seminar presentation, culminating in the dissertation of up to 20,000 words, you will receive much practise in writing and reporting, as well as rigorous feedback on your submissions.  This will develop in you a thorough knowledge of the structure, conventions and development of written communications, which will, in turn, make your writing clear, accurate and authoritative.  These skills will stand you in good stead for your future progression into employed and academic environments. 

You will have to work independently and pursue your own individual dissertation topic with care and energy.  You will be required to cultivate a professional work ethic to deliver the combination of research, analysis, communication and presentation demanded by your dissertation.  This rigorous part of the MA will require you to employ project management skills which are entirely transferrable to almost any work context that Master’s graduates apply for.

Studying for this Master’s degree will allow you to sharpen up all your research and analysis disciplines, your professional work ethos and your presentation and communication skills.  A host of employers look for accuracy, thoroughness, an eye for detail and the ability to find and prove connections across broad subject matter, and you certainly will have proven yourself, simply by graduating from this prestigious MA course.

How to Apply

Postgraduate applicants can submit their application either on-line or off-line. Please see our How to Apply page for further information.

Departmental contact details 

Tel: (01970) 622116

Fax: (01970) 622976

Email: welsh@aber.ac.uk

Department of Welsh

Aberystwyth University

Old College

King Street

Aberystwyth

SY23 2BH

If you'd like to see how we assess your application please click and watch our Application videos.

Further Information

As a Postgraduate Student you will be inducted to the University and join one of the top Graduate Schools in the world (Igraduate2012).

It is important you feel at home in the Department, University and Town. Here are some links for you to explore these areas further:

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