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Course content

The MA in Irish Studies at Queen’s provides students with an unrivalled opportunity to examine Ireland in its global contexts. With options from Literature, History, Politics, Archaeology, Anthropology, and Sociology the MA allows students to pursue challenging cross-disciplinary themes such as heritage and identities, language and arts, peace and conflict, reflecting the rich cultural legacy of Ireland at home and across the world. Students will explore the possibilities and opportunities in inter-disciplinary work in one of the world’s leading centres of Irish Studies research. Our new core interdisciplinary module on ‘Belfast: Place, Identity and Memory in a Contested City' introduces students to debates in Irish Studies through the case study of Belfast in its historical, cultural, political and social aspects. We will guide students in choosing Irish-related options to meet their particular interests and provide appropriate research training to undertake a research dissertation on their chosen subject.

Course Details

The MA is arranged into thematically-focused groups of modules to include culture, art and literature, political identity, conflict, politics and human rights. Students will take a number of compulsory and optional modules. One of the modules in the first semester must be a research methods course.

Some options may require that particular methods courses be taken or the student to have a particular academic background. The dissertation may be supervised by Institute staff or, subject to the agreement of the Head of School, by members of co-operating academic departments.

A wide variety of modules is available, arranged in thematic and conceptual groups. Current thematic areas include:

  • Ireland: Communities, Identities and Conflict
  • Ireland: Culture, Tradition and Heritage
  • Ireland: History and Politics
  • Ireland: Literature, Language and Art
  • Ireland: Peoples and Place

For detailed programme information please see the Irish Studies Gateway section on the School website.

Assessment and Feedback

Taught modules are assessed by a combination of examinations, written language assignments and creative practice. Students who have reached a pass in these will submit a dissertation (not exceeding 15,000 words) or a practice as research project, which will include a critical reflection of approximately 3,500 words.

Career Prospects

Students of the Institute of Irish Studies go on to pursue careers not only as scholars, but also in the media, in the heritage sector and in business.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.


Visit the MA Irish Studies page on the Queen’s University Belfast website for more details!

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