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Irish studies: An interdisciplinary course in Irish civilisation

Admission Requirements

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Course overview

This is an exciting interdisciplinary programme, devised by the departments of English, History (both ranked in the top 40 in the world in the 2013 QS World University Rankings) and Irish in collaboration with the departments of Geography, History of Art and Film/Drama. This programme offers a unique opportunity to study outside the traditional academic disciplines and to experience the integration, creativity and freedom associated with an interdisciplinary education while still taking courses in established subjects such as History and English. The emphasis throughout is on the interaction between Ireland and the wider world, including specific courses in British, European and American history and literature. Irish studies provides you with a very diverse range of options, thus guaranteeing a rich and rewarding educational experience, which will stand you in good stead in a competitive employment market that is demanding increasing flexibility.

There are two distinct strands in the Irish studies programme:

Strand A - All of the courses in this strand are taught through the medium of English. Note 1: There are no special entry requirements for Strand A.

OR

Strand B - This strand contains a number of Irish language modules. Note 2: Applicants who wish to choose this strand must attain at least a grade HC3 in Leaving Certificate Irish or a grade C in A-level Irish.

Students choose one strand (A or B) after admission to the Irish studies programme.

Irish studies is an accredited degree programme with the Teaching Council for the following subjects:

Strand A: English and History

Strand B: Irish and History

Is this the right course for you?

If you have an interest in the history, literature, and culture of Ireland in a broad, interdisciplinary, comparative, global context then this is the programme for you. Students are encouraged to avail of the full range of academic opportunities provided by Trinity College. For example, students on this programme have successfully competed for the TCD Foundation scholarship and chosen to study abroad in their third year in Europe on the Erasmus programme or in the United States.

Course content

There will be a mixture of compulsory courses in years 1-3 and optional courses in the final year, allowing you to specialise in areas where you have developed particular interests. Course details are available on our website at www.tcd.ie/courses/irishstudies. Assessment throughout the four years consists of both continuous assessment and examination. You will also write a dissertation in your final year. Courses include:

Strand A

All courses in this strand are taught through the medium of English.

Junior Freshman (Year 1)

Interdisciplinary: Imagining Ireland I

English: Theorising Ireland; Romanticism; Genre: The novel

History: Doing history; Ireland, c.1250-1500: Gaelic revival and the English Pale; Ireland and the wider world, 1534-1815

Irish Dept: Irish language and literature I (taught through the medium of English)

Senior Freshman (Year 2)

Interdisciplinary: Imagining Ireland II

English: Irish writing in English 1590-1800; Theories of literature; Introduction to postcolonial literature; Victorian literature

History: Ireland and the union, 1801-1922; Change and expectation: Socio-cultural history of 20th-century Ireland

Irish Dept: Irish language and literature II (taught through the medium of English)

Junior Sophister (Year 3)

Interdisciplinary: Imagining Ireland III; A Broad Curriculum module (see http://www.tcd.ie/Broad_Curriculum); History of Irish cartography

English: Nineteenth-century Irish writing; Irish writing, 1890-1945; American literature

History: History of the USA; 20th century Europe

Senior Sophister (Year 4)

Interdisciplinary: Imagining Ireland IV; Dissertation. Students choose Sophister modules from an approved list of English and History courses, including specific modules in British, European and American history and literature.

OR

Strand B (Irish-language strand)

This strand contains a number of Irish language modules.

Junior Freshman (Year 1)

Interdisciplinary: Imagining Ireland I

Irish: An Ghaeilge: Ceart na teanga I; Cleachtadh teanglainne; Nualitríocht

History: Doing history; Ireland, c.1250-1500: Gaelic revival and the English Pale; Ireland and the wider world, 1534-1815

English: Theorising Ireland

Senior Freshman (Year 2)

Interdisciplinary: Imagining Ireland II; A Broad Curriculum course (see http://www.tcd.ie/Broad_Curriculum)

Irish: An Ghaeilge: Ceart na teanga II; Nuafhilíocht; Nualitríocht

History: Ireland and the Union, 1801-1922; Change and expectation: Socio-cultural history of 20th-century Ireland

English: Irish writing in English 1590-1800

Junior Sophister (Year 3)

Interdisciplinary: Imagining Ireland III

Irish: An Ghaeilge: Ceapadóireacht; An Fhilíocht Chomhaimseartha; Prós na Linne

History: History of the USA; 20th century Europe

English: Nineteenth-century Irish writing

Senior Sophister (Year 4)

Interdisciplinary: Imagining Ireland IV; Dissertation

Irish: Ceapadóireacht. Students choose Sophister modules from an approved list of Irish and History courses including specific modules in British, European and American history.

Career opportunities

Graduates in Irish studies can expect to arrive at a diverse range of career destinations, where the interdisciplinary nature of the programme will provide a distinct advantage; in particular, teaching (Irish studies is an accredited degree programme with the Teaching Council for the following subjects – Strand A: English and History/Strand B: Irish and History), as well as journalism, arts and heritage administration, the civil service, the diplomatic corps, publishing, media work, translation services, public relations etc. In terms of further education, graduates from this course have already been accepted onto postgraduate programmes in TCD, Oxford, Durham, Queen’s University, Belfast and elsewhere.

Further information

www.histories-humanities.tcd.ie/irishstudies/index.php

E-mail: m.osiochru@tcd.ie

Tel: +353 1 896 2626

Student Profile

Jordan Followwill:

Where you choose to go to university is as important as what you choose to study when you're there. Being able to attend the premier university in Ireland in the centre of Dublin and study Irish history, literature, language and culture is a unique experience. The location allows easy access to sites of historical and literary significance, enabling you to experience first-hand what you are studying in the lecture hall. The interdisciplinary nature of the course is one of the most amazing aspects of Irish Studies, as you can explore several avenues of study simultaneously across different disciplines - politics and poetry, history and linguistics, geography and culture. Instead of limiting yourself to one subject, you can focus on a wide range of topics while you pursue your studies, thereby heightening your appreciation of multiple subjects studied in tandem. It is an excellent and rewarding academic challenge. One of my favourite aspects of this course, which I believe is unique to Trinity, is that many of the leading scholars of Irish studies are on staff at Trinity and are often course lecturers. It is truly remarkable to read a book in the library and to have the option, as an undergraduate, to run upstairs and ask the author of that book a question. The expertise that is available at Trinity in support of this course makes Irish studies exceptional.

Alison Meagher:

I chose Irish studies because it provided a much broader choice of my subjects of interest than many other Arts programmes. I hoped that experiencing such a wide range of studies would give me a far better grounding for when I would eventually come to choose a career path or a field of further study. Throughout the past four years our class has had an unrivalled academic experience and we've always been really lucky in that, year on year, we've been able to choose classes which suit our interests and abilities and our lecturers have always been on hand to give much-appreciated guidance. Irish studies has also afforded us the opportunity to take our learning out of the classroom with several field trips to places of cultural and historical interest around the country as well as a two-month residency in the Gaeltacht. I feel that Irish studies allowed me the chance to take my degree in the direction which best suited me as well as providing a fantastic platform for further study and training.

Caitlín Nic Íomhair:

Though I didn't consciously look for an interdisciplinary course, Irish studies was the obvious choice when I found it. I was excited by the idea of studying my own culture intensely and widely. I knew I wanted to study the Irish language, and had considered both English and History as possible subjects to complement it. Though on paper Irish studies might look like a Three Subject Moderatorship, the program's greatest strength is how the different strands interact closely with each other. Combining knowledge from the other disciplines provides a fresh perspective on each, and put together they give us a detailed understanding of Irish culture. As well as closely studying three related subjects, Irish studies is unique in combining them in a fourth, collaborative element which uses them for a broader, critical study of perspectives and experiences of Irishness. It is very interesting to see how the three core subjects challenge and support each other. While the interdisciplinary process can be challenging and provocative, the result is a reflective understanding of Irish culture firmly rooted in the language, literature and history of the country. This enriches our understanding of each discipline, and gives us a unique and informed perspective of the nation as a whole.

Paul Smith (Mature student):

I retired from business in June 2009, and wanted to remain intellectually and socially engaged. I considered a number of options and decided on Irish studies. I wanted to return to Trinity, which has the finest campus in Ireland, and a reputation for academic challenge and excellence. I also felt a strong need to complete my education. I had a reasonable basic knowledge of Irish language, history and literature, but knew there were immense gaps to be filled. The last 2 years have vastly exceeded my expectations. Lectures, seminars and tutorials have been consistently engaging. Working with my student colleagues of all ages has been a vastly rewarding experience. Tutorials with small numbers of students are a powerful means of engaging with material in depth; the dialogue between lecturer and students is a great way to deepen and contextualise understanding. Broad Curriculum choices allowed me approach material that is not offered on the Irish studies programme as such. There is a compelling sense that the academic staff takes a personal interest in our wellbeing and development, which makes the learning process enjoyable and rewarding.

I would strongly recommend the course.

 

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