The Structured PhD in Contemporary Irish Studies at Mary Immaculate College aims to provide a suite of modules that are focused on contemporary issues in Irish society, politics and culture. The focus will be on contemporary Irish studies, and how, specifically, the study of a series of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary areas of the Irish experience can lead to a clearer understanding of the Ireland of today, which will be a baseline for the study of the Ireland of the future. The modules will be delivered by experts, all of whom have a track record in publishing in their respective fields.
Assessments are by research essay and thesis. The essay ranges from 4,500 to 5,000 words and each module is assessed by a single essay. The titles and topics of these essays are negotiated between the student and the course lecturer, with the parameters of choice being set by the lecturer.
A number of generic research and methodology modules are also undertaken, which provide preparation for the work of the thesis. The other element of assessment is an 85,000 to 100,000-word research thesis.
There are two pathways to the degree:
- Students spend Year 1 in MIC, where they study three modules of their choice per semester.
- The students will then progress to the thesis. There is no residential requirement beyond the initial year so students will be able to work from home on their thesis, with supervision being undertaken by Skype, Moodle and email.
- Students attend a two-week winter school in January and a three-week summer school in June, where the six academic modules, and research and referencing modules are taught through a mixture of intensive lectures and masterclasses.
- Essays can be completed in the months following the summer and winter schools. The students will then progress to the thesis.