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BA in Early and Modern Irish (Single Honor Degree)

Early and Modern Irish provides students with a training in the critical study of the language, literature and culture of Ireland and Gaelic Scotland from the earliest period from which records are extant down to modern times. A wide range of texts and authors is studied and students are introduced to the basic skills of linguistic and literary analysis as well as to the elements of social history, palaeography, folklore and comparative philology.

Ogham stone at DungloeThe course has two components: the Early Irish component which comprises all aspects of the subject down to the twelfth century, and the Modern Irish component which similarly covers the period from the end of the twelfth century to the present day. The study of Early Irish includes a study of the Celtic and Indo-European relationships of the Irish language and, in the Sophister years, provides a course in Modern and Middle Welsh, subject to availability of staff. An integral part of the Modern Irish course is the study of Scottish Gaelic.

Students have many opportunities to choose their own areas of study within the Early and Modern Irish degree. Senior Freshman students may take a module in Linguistics or from the Broad Curriculum programme. In both the Junior and Senior Sophister years, four Modern Irish modules are chosen from a list of options. These options change from year to year and a wide variety of topics is on offer. Students may also spend a semester studying Early Irish abroad in one of our partner universities.

In their Senior Sophister year students continue their studies in either Early or Modern Irish alone. The specific aim of the Senior Sophister year is to allow the students to focus on their preferred subject. In particular the dissertation (c. 10,000 words), written under the supervision of a member of the departmental staff, provides an opportunity for the student to investigate any aspect of the subject that they choose, and to develop their scholarly skills.

Handy to have: MODULE OUTLINE - list of all modules available in the Irish Department.

See also the Course Handbook for Junior Freshman, Senior Freshman, Junior Sophister and Senior Sophister years.

You'll find the essay submission form here (Word doc).


The Single Honor degree course in Early and Modern Irish has a course-specific requirement of a minimum of H4 in Higher Level Leaving Certificate Irish.

See CAO information and other admission ifnromation on the Trinity website.