Identities and Cultures of Europe (M.Phil.)

NFQ Level 9
MPhil-1 year full time /3 years part time; PG Dip – 1 year full time / 2 years part time; PG Cert – 1 year part time 
15 Places


Course Overview

Identities structure our reality, our desires, and our ideas. As such, they assume many shapes and forms: the self and the nation, language and gender, migration and trauma, myth and ideology, class and religion, capitalism and populism, ecology and technology. Above all, identities are crystallised in their representation: in the media and popular culture, in literature and film, but also in imagined communities and destinies, contested histories, and collective memory. 
On our programmes in Identities and Cultures of Europe:

  •   You will investigate questions of identity in the context of European and related cultures.
  •  You will develop effective intercultural and interdisciplinary competencies for successful engagements with diverse audiences.
  •  You will take part in an international field trip to Brussels, Belgium.
  • You will have the option of a work placement as part of your programme (Master’s only), which will further advance your network and real-life experiences. 
  • You will be equipped for a career in cultural outreach & policy, creative & cultural industries, museum curation, diplomacy, international & non-governmental organisations, journalism, media & public relations, project management, or academia.
  • You can study full-time or part-time. 

Is this Course for Me?

If you wish to explore and analyse issues of identity as they have unfolded and continue to unfold in Europe and beyond, this programme is for you. It will equip you with the critical tools and real-life experience to understand the complex and varied challenges posed by shifting notions of identity and their very real consequences. 
Our flexible course delivery, through full-time and part-time options, will enable you to develop strong intercultural communication skills for successful engagements with diverse audiences and a competitive advantage in global job market. 

Career Opportunities

As our graduate, you will be equipped with extensive interdisciplinary and intercultural competencies, strong critical and analytical abilities, and advanced research and presentation skills, a profile that is highly sought in a broad range of industries. 
Recent graduates have secured careers via placement networks and pursued a wide range of opportunities in cultural outreach & policy, diplomacy, international & non-government organisations, journalism, project management, creative & cultural industries, media & public relations, museum curation, and academia.
Our graduates have gone on to take up positions with the EU Commission, Accenture, The Design Museum London, Ireland's Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Alliance française Dublin, EPIC The Irish Immigration Museum, Museum of Literature Ireland, Science Gallery Dublin, University College Dublin, and more.

Course Content

The full-time Master’s (M.Phil.) programme consists of:

  • two core modules (one in each semester) on Questions of Identity in Europe. Consisting of a selection of key identity topics, the core modules approach the issue of identity from a range of disciplinary perspectives through theories of identity and case studies.
  • four optional modules (two in each semester), selected from a wide range of options offered by the programme as well as by other Master’s courses at Trinity, such as “Food, Drink and European Cultural Identities”, “Forced Migration and Identity”, “Cultures of Memory and Identity in Central Europe”, “Art, Gender and Identity”, “Racism and Resistance”, or “Empire, Colonialism and Globalisation in the Middle East and North Africa”.
  • a three-day field trip to Belgium (in semester one), where you will have an opportunity to network and create links with key cultural institutions, organisations, and NGOs on the continent. (Please note that non-EU students are responsible for their own visa arrangements and must ensure that they can travel to Belgium and re-enter Ireland.)     Please note that the bulk of field trip costs (train/coach transfers in Belgium, accommodation, programme visits & activities, speaker fees, staff presence & support in situ, and administrative costs) are included in the fees. However, the fees do not include the following: coach/taxi transfers to/from Dublin airport, flights to/from Brussels, visa fees, travel insurance and subsistence
  • an option to do an internship (in semester two) at an approved NGO or cultural institution in Dublin. (Please note that securing a placement may depend on availability in any given year and on the outcome of a selection process conducted jointly with partner institutions.)
  • identity workshop (in semester two) which features speakers from civil society, the creative industries, and/or academia. 
  • research dissertation on a topic of your choice, receiving guidance from researchers who are experts in their respective fields.

Part-time Master’s students complete the above course components over three academic years.
The Postgraduate Diploma (P.Grad.Dip.) programme – full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years) –follows the same core components as the Master’s, with the exception of the dissertation. You will have an option to sign up for the dissertation module after the Diploma programme is completed, should you wish to pursue the Master’s (M.Phil.) degree. (Please note that the internship option is only available to students on the Master’s pathway.)
In the Postgraduate Certificate (P.Grad.Cert.) – part time (1 year) – you will enrol in two core modules (one in each semester) on Questions of Identity in Europe and take one optional module, selected from a wide range of options. (Please note that the internship option is only available to students on the Master’s pathway.) 
For more information and for examples of optional modules please visit the dedicated programme website:   

For more information on part-time and stackable options:

Course Structure

The Master’s programme can be studied full-time over 1 year (90 ECTS) or part-time over 3 years (30 ECTS per year). 
We also offer the option of a postgraduate Diploma (60 ECTS, 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time) and a postgraduate Certificate (30 ECTS, 1 year part-time).
For more information on each option, please visit the dedicated programme website:

Study Identities and Cultures of Europe (M.Phil.) at Trinity

This video provides an understanding of Identities and Cultures of Europe as a subject of study at Trinity College Dublin.

Course Details


NFQ Level 9

Number of Places

15 Places

Next Intake

September 2024

Course Coordinator

 Dr Justin Doherty

Course Director

 Dr Hannes Opelz

Closing Date

30th June 2024

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Admission Requirements

Entry Requirements

  •  A minimum 2.1 (upper-second class) Honours Bachelors degree from an Irish university or its international equivalent in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects include but are not limited to the following: Anthropology, Languages, Literature, History, Cultural Studies, Comparative Literature, Human Geography, Sociology, Religious Studies, Gender Studies, Textual and Visual Studies, Visual Arts, Art History, Economics, Political Science. We also welcome students from non-Humanities backgrounds with a keen interest in questions of identity.
  •  Proficiency in English. For candidates who are not native English speakers and have not completed a degree through the medium of English, a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 in each category or its equivalent. While there is no formal requirement to be proficient in a language other than English, students with a reading proficiency in a language taught in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies (French, German, Italian, Spanish, Irish, Polish, Russian) are particularly welcome.

For further information on the course structure and the modules we offer/ (bearing in mind that modules vary from year to year), please visit our Course Details page.
Applications are open from November until June and you may apply at any point. Places are offered to the best applicants on a first-come first-served basis. Places are limited, and for that reason, it is recommended that you apply as early as possible. The deadline for applications is June 30th.

Required Materials

For this course, you will need to submit the following materials to apply:

  • Personal Statement Form

The Personal Statement Form is an important part of our assessment process. It is your opportunity to state your reasons for applying to this programme and how they match what the programme delivers. Please complete this form to submit your Personal Statement.

  • Sample of Academic Writing

As part of your application, you also need to submit a sample of no more than 2,500 words of your best academic writing in English. When we assess your application, we will pay particular attention to:

  • your ability to build and present a logical, cohesive argument
  • your ability to analyse and evaluate the arguments of others
  • your ability to adhere to the norms of academic writing (referencing, quotation, and bibliography)
  • your command of academic English
  • English Language Qualifications

Unless you have completed a degree through the medium of English or are a native speaker, you are required to prove your proficiency with the language. Trinity prefers IELTS, but will accept alternative tests run by international organisations, such as TOEFL. A minimum of 6.5 in each IELTS category or its equivalent is required.

  • Degree Certificate(s)

You will need to provide degree certificates (in PDF format) that prove you have completed all of the degrees you mention in your application. If you haven’t yet completed your degree, you can still apply and supply these documents when you have them.

  • Degree Transcripts

You will need to provide official transcripts (in PDF format) showing all of the components you have completed as part of your degree(s).

  • Two Reference Letters

You will need to provide reference letters from two referees who can provide references written in English, explaining why you would be a strong candidate for the course. It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact their referees and inform them of their intention of applying for this programme. Referees listed by the applicant on Trinity's online application system will automatically receive an electronic reference request, providing them with a Trinity reference template and a link to upload their references.

  • Online Application Form

Once you have all of these materials, click “Apply” below and fill out the online application form in full, not forgetting to upload all the requested materials as attachments.
IMPORTANT: please note that you must specify the category of each attachment you upload (for example, when uploading an official transcript, you need to specify that the attachment is an “Official Transcript”). Otherwise your application may be deemed incomplete

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

Get in Touch

Telephone Number

+353 (0)1 8961706


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This degree, and especially the skill sets you acquire as part of the course, opened up many career paths for me.

Ira Haeussler