Beginnings of Irish Christianity (The) (MA)

University College Cork Ireland

For more information about Beginnings of Irish Christianity (The) at University College Cork, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
1 - 2 Years

Domestic course fees
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How you will study
full-time, part-time

Course starts

International course fees
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All study options

About Beginnings of Irish Christianity (The) at University College Cork


This programme provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the religious culture and spirituality of early medieval Ireland, from the conversion to Christianity down to the end of the twelfth century. The new religion transformed Ireland in fundamental ways, but was also able to accommodate many aspects of indigenous tradition which retained their importance for Irish Christians. Besides exploring these developments, and the impact which Irish Christianity had on the rest of Europe, students will engage in the close study of various genres of religious literature, and can also begin the study of early Irish and of Latin. The writing of a dissertation, under the supervision of a member of staff, will develop and refine research skills. The programme provides an overview of the subject area which is unrivalled in its inclusiveness and diversity; field trips are an optional part of the programme, enabling students to encounter the physical remains of this fascinating culture.

Course Details

The programme consists mainly of Celtic Civilisation modules, together with designated modules in Archaeology, History, Folklore and Latin. Students will examine the coming of Christianity to Ireland, the often complex and subtle ways in which the new religion established itself within the framework of indigenous culture, and the influence which a Gaelic ecclesiastical diaspora had on the growth of the Church in medieval Europe as a whole. Irish religious culture will also be explored through the lens of such key areas as the cult of the saints, and tales of supernatural voyages and visions. A student's particular interests are served not only by the wide range of modules on offer, but also through research on a special topic; and for a more direct engagement with the primary sources, instruction in early Irish and in Latin is available. The field-trip module is an optional part of the programme (participation in which entails additional costs) with visits to early Christian sites in Ireland, grounding literary study in encounters with what physically survives of a distant world. Students will put what they have learned to use, and hone their research and writing skills, by producing a Masters thesis.

For further details on the programme content, click HERE

Fact File

Course Code: CKE19 Full-time, CKE42 Part-time

Course Title: Beginnings of Irish Christianity (The)

College: Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

Duration: 1 Year Full-time; 2 year Part-time

Teaching Mode: Full-time, Part-Time

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Qualifications: MA

NFQ Level: Level 9

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU Fee: EUR 6,000 full-time; EUR 3,000 per year part-time

2016 Entry Requirements: Candidates must have at least a 2.2 honours primary degree in a relevant discipline.

Closing Date: See details in application procedure section below

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

Course Practicalities

The programme may be studied full time (over 12 months) or part-time (over 24 months). Attendance at taught modules (approximately 100-125 lecture hours) is compulsory. In areas of supervised study, supervisors for the relevant modules will be organised by the teaching staff of the Department. The thesis topic and supervisor will be chosen by the student in consultation with members of staff.

For the full-time one-year option, you are required to choose modules to the value of 60 credits. Most modules have a value of 10 credits and involve weekly classes for the duration of the academic year (24 weeks); some of the electives however are worth 5 or 15 credits, and the optional field trip has a value of 15 credits. Depending on options, a full-time student will have a minimum of 5 classes per week (though many will also contain weekly assignments). For one-on-one supervised studies, and for the 30-credit dissertation, students are expected to meet with their supervisors on a regular basis.


The taught modules are assessed by continuous assessment and/or by end-of-year examinations. In the supervised-study modules, assessment is by essay/project; in the research presentation, public delivery to an academic audience is also assessed.

Full details and regulations governing Examinations for each programme will be contained in the Marks and Standards 2013 Book and for each module in the Book of Modules

Application Procedure

Applicants are encouraged to apply early for an early decision.

Application for this programme is on-line at Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here. For full details of the application procedure click How to Apply.

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional/supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of this form is available to view here: CKE19AdditionalQuestions (9kB)

All other required supporting documentation (e.g. letters or reference, copies of non-UCC exams results) must either uploaded via the PAC "Application Status" link or posted sent in hard copy to The Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway.

Further Contact Information

Ms. Ciara Ní Churnáin,
Executive Assistant
Email Address:
Telephone: +353-21-4903360
Address: Department of Early and Medieval Irish, UCC

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyFull-time, Part-timeHow long you will study1 - 2 year
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU Fee: EUR 6,000 full-time; EUR 3,000 per year part-time

2016 Entry Requirements: Candidates must have at least a 2.2 honours primary degree in a relevant discipline.

Closing Date: See details in application procedure section below

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

Entry requirements for this course

Contact University College Cork to find course entry requirements.

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