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Course content

On this programme you’ll gain an advanced knowledge of many aspects of modern Ireland, together with the research skills you’d need to take your work further.

The Diploma and MA programmes share four compulsory modules taught by experts in early Irish history, politics, Irish language, history, cultural geography, literature, drama and women’s history.

All modules are taught in small-group seminar format, with each requiring two pieces of assessed coursework. For an MA you’ll need to research and write a dissertation of 20,000 words (60 credits).

The programme’s available one year full-time, or part-time over two years.

Why Institute of Irish Studies?

An important and influential Institute.

The Institute has played a significant part in Ireland’s recent history. The Director, Professor Marianne Elliott OBE, FBA was a major player in the Northern Ireland peace process and the achievements of the Institute have been recognised in the award of a £5million Tony Blair Chair in Irish Studies.

Links with the Irish community.

Historically, the city of Liverpool has always had strong links with the north and south of Ireland. It has long been the hub of Irish migration and you will be in an ideal position to experience living in a multicultural society with a distinctive Irish component. There are excellent links between the Institute and the Liverpool Irish community providing a rich seam to be mined for research purposes as well as opportunities for students to get involved in voluntary work.

Friendly and supportive.

The Institute is based in a fine Regency house in Abercromby Square, on the main University campus where all staff foster a particularly friendly and supportive atmosphere for students.

Renowned speakers.

The high external esteem of the Institute is reflected in the calibre of public lecturers it regularly attracts. In recent years, speakers have included President Michael D. Higgins, President Mary McAleese, former Irish President Mary Robinson, Roddy Doyle, Seamus Heaney, John Hume, Peter Mandelson, US Senator George Mitchell, Paul Muldoon, Tom Paulin, Fintan O’Toole, Jonathan Powell, Dr John Reid, the late David Ervine, the late Dr Mo Mowlam, Peter Robinson and David Trimble. The Institute also hosts events for the Liverpool Irish Festival every October and these have included lectures by the authors Blake Morrison and Patrick McCabe, the filmmaker Peter Lennon and the Keeper of Antiquities of the National Museum of Ireland Dr Eamonn Kelly.

Career prospects

Our programmes aim not only to provide an in-depth understanding of Ireland but also to provide students with key transferable skills, such as presentation skills and opportunities for networking with businesses, voluntary organisations and leading members of the Irish Studies academic community. The MA programmes have dedicated skills modules designed to equip students with key employment skills for a range of sectors such as questionnaire design, interviewing techniques and textual and data analysis. Former postgraduates have gone on to further study as well as a wide range of successful careers in areas such as teaching (at both university and secondary level), journalism, research and museum work. As Ciaran O’Neill, who completed a PhD in 2010 and the current Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford, highlights: ‘I came to Liverpool in 2006 to begin a PhD part-time at the Institute of Irish Studies. While there I won external full-time funding from the National University of Ireland which enabled me to complete my doctorate in 2010 before taking up a post-doctoral position at Oxford two weeks later. The years I spent at the Institute were among the best in my life both professionally and personally. What I will remember most is a tight-knit community of warm and friendly staff who excel in their own disciplines, a hard-working and vibrant post-grad community and a lively and engaged student body. In short, the Institute is a fantastic place to study, to research and to grow and develop as an academic.’

Visit the Irish Studies MA/PGDip page on the University of Liverpool website for more details!




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