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Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Irish (Gaeilge)

Course type


Course Summary

The MA in Irish offers you an exciting opportunity to engage with Irish language and literature through historical, social and intellectual a

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.


This degree gives you the chance to gain a sound knowledge of Irish language and literature from the earliest Old Irish down to the modern day, working in small groups and studying a variety of prose and poetry texts in the original language. You will be encouraged to use a range of critical methods in approaching the material. You may choose to concentrate on certain periods, and there is the opportunity to study Scottish Gaelic and Comparative Celtic Philology, as well as to improve your fluency in Modern Irish. 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.

Aberystwyth is a world-famous research centre for Welsh and Celtic scholars. As well as the rich holdings of the University’s own Hugh Owen Library, and the departmental Thomas Jones Research Library, the National Library of Wales is close at hand. It has unrivalled collections of manuscripts, archives and historical documents of all kinds, literary archives, printed books, journals, as well as sound and moving image archives. Aberystwyth is the home of a number of other key institutions in the cultural life of Wales, notably the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments; the Mercator Centre (funded by the European Commission and based in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television); the Welsh Books Council; the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies; the Dictionary of the Welsh Language; and broadcasting studios, including the BBC.

Welsh is the everyday language of the Department and the usual language of administration, but learners are given every encouragement to start using the language as soon as they can, and to attend a range of cultural and social events. Staff and students meet in our fortnightly lunch-time research seminars, and the Postgraduate Study Room, located in the heart of the Department, next to the Hugh Owen Library, makes for a good deal of informal interaction between taught Masters’ students, research student, staff and undergraduates. Postgraduate employment stands currently at 100%

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date




Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

This course is primarily aimed at graduates who have studied a related Arts subject or who do not have sufficient formal training in Irish to proceed to an MPhil or PhD. Applicants should have a good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above. Graduates in Welsh or Celtic Studies would constitute a good background for the course. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.