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Below is a list of prizes that you may wish to apply for in the course of your sophister studies


This prize was founded in 2003 in memory of Anne O’Cathasaigh and is awarded annually for an essay (c.5,000 words) on W.B. Yeats. Value, €400. Essays should reach the Head of Discipline of the School of English by 31st January 2024.
Topic for 2024: Yeats and the City


This prize was founded in 1921 by a bequest from Miss A.G. Woolson of Portland, U.S.A. It is awarded triennially by the Board on the recommendation of a committee for the best essay on either (a) an English author of Irish descent, or (b) the seats of learning in Ireland prior to 900 A.D. The committee consists of the Regius Professor of Greek and the Professors of Latin and English Literature. A candidate must be of Irish birth or have been domiciled in Ireland for at least ten years. The candidate must also be an undergraduate of the University or a graduate of not more than five years’ standing. The next award will be made in 2025 and essays must reach the Registrar before 1 October 2025. Value, €1,905.


Composition prizes are awarded each year to Junior and Senior Freshman students in the School of English (2 prizes), the Departments of French (6), Germanic Studies (6), Hispanic Studies (4), Irish and Celtic Languages (4), Italian (4), and Russian and Slavonic Studies (4), following two-subject moderatorship, European studies, computer science and language and single honor courses. If sufficient merit is shown, two additional prizes may be awarded in English and in French. One prize for composition in English is awarded to Sophisters. Value, €40 each. Each prize may be divided between students of equal merit.


These scholarships were founded in 1884 by a bequest from Henry Hutchinson Stewart. Two scholarships, value €500 and €400, are awarded annually to those students who have obtained the highest aggregate of marks in the two-subject moderatorship examinations and whose major subject was a modern language (English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Russian, Spanish). At least one scholarship is reserved for a student whose minor subject was also a modern language. If holders are engaged on full-time postgraduate study in the area of modern languages, the scholarships are increased to €4,445 and €3,175, and renewed at this level for a maximum of a further two years.


This prize was founded in 1972 by a bequest from Mrs L.M. Stephens. The prize will be awarded annually for an essay on some aspect of the Anglo-Irish literary movement. Value, €166. Essays should be submitted by 31st January 2024.

Topic for 2024: Happiness

Moderatorship prize: 

Established by a bequest in 1946 by Miss M.L.B. Longfield, to found an award in modern languages and English literature and language in memory of her brother, Mountifort George Longfield. €64 is awarded each year, from the funds indicated, to the first moderator, provided that a first class moderatorship is obtained.


This prize was founded by a gift from an anonymous donor in 1961. It is awarded annually on the recommendation of the Professor of English Literature for an essay on some aspect of the English language after 1400, by a student below M.A. standing. The Professor of English Literature will announce the topics for the following year before the end of Trinity term. Essays should reach the Head of Discipline of the School of English by 31st January 2024. Value, about €200.

Topic for 2024: Nonsense


These prizes are awarded annually for the best compositions on proposed topics in prose or verse in English, Greek, Irish and Latin. They are open to all students on the College books under M.A. standing, but a student cannot obtain a prize oftener than twice in succession, or more than three times in all. The examiners are the Professor of English Literature, the Regius Professor of Greek, the Professor of Irish and the Professor of Latin.
The topics for compositions are announced before 1 June. Compositions, with fictitious signatures and accompanied by sealed envelopes containing the names of the essayists and of their tutors, essays must reach the Head of Discipline of the School of English by 31 January 2024.
No prize is given of more than €80; prizes of less amount and more than one in each kind of composition, may be awarded on the recommendation of the examiners.

Topics for 2024:

Prose: Alterity
Poetry: Knowledge


This fund was established in 1980 under the Board’s trusteeship by a bequest from Iris Olive Atkins. The income is used to support two needy students, one in modern languages and one in English. Applications should be made to the Secretary of the Financial Assistance Committee.

For information regarding the criteria for the award of gold medals please see the College Calendar.

The Irish Undergraduate Awards and the Undergraduate Journal of Ireland have been established to recognise, reward and encourage excellence in undergraduate scholarship. The Awards and Journal focus on the papers, projects, essays and dissertations produced by undergraduates across Ireland's seven Universities as part of coursework throughout all years. For further information see

If you have queries regarding prizes please contact the Head of Discipline, Prof Andy Murphy (




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