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Course content

About the course

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).

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.

Course content

Dissertation

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.

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.

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.

Visit the Irish - MA page on the Aberystwyth University website for more details!

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