Irish Writing (M.Phil. / P.Grad.Dip.)

NFQ Level 9
1 year full-time / 2 years part-time
20 Places


Course Overview

The M.Phil. in Irish Writing explores Irish writing in English from the late seventeenth century to the present. Amid a diverse and dynamic community of students and scholars, this course will allow you to engage with a wide range of Irish writing in English, from canonical figures such as Maria Edgeworth and W.B. Yeats to contemporary critical debates around gender, sexuality, class and race.

Trinity boasts an extraordinary literary heritage, ranging from Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde to Eavan Boland and Anne Enright. It is situated in the heart of Dublin, a UNESCO City of Literature full of writers past and present, and containing a wealth of theatres, literary events and festivals, and cutting-edge magazines and publishers. Trinity has also long led the way in the teaching of Irish writing. Its current faculty includes many of the foremost scholars in the field, as well as several distinguished contemporary Irish writers. Trinity’s historic library also offers a peerless collection of books and archival materials relating to Irish writing for you to explore.

Is This Course For Me?

This course is aimed at students interested in how Irish writing connects with Ireland's culture and history while exploring the Irish people's identity and appreciating the complexity and diversity of the Irish experience. It is also a way to gain insight into Ireland's many voices and understand its people's struggles, joys, and triumphs.

Career Opportunities

Graduates have gone into careers in education, the arts and culture sector, librarianship, publishing, journalism, broadcasting, public relations, social work, the civil service and management consultancy. Many alumni have also gone on to become successful writers.

This course also provides an excellent platform for moving on to doctoral research as well as offering transferable skills and careers in a variety of industries.

Course Structure

Teaching for the course is primarily delivered through small-group seminar teaching. Much of this takes place in the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing, which offers a lively working and social environment for the School of English M.Phil. students and creative writers.  Students taking the course part-time complete the three core modules in their first year of study. In their second year, they complete two option modules and their dissertation.

Course Content

The centre-piece of the course is the core perspectives in Irish Writing module. Running across two semesters, it introduces students to the multiple contexts in which Irish writing in English has developed from the late seventeenth century through to the present. Further exploration of the field of Irish writing is offered through the core Conditions of Irish Writing module. This focuses on the publishers, periodicals and institutions through which Irish writing has been produced and mediated, covering a wide range of historical periods, genres and writers. Further foundational grounding in issues of importance to studying and researching literature at postgraduate level is provided through the Research Skills for Postgraduate English module.

Students also take two specialist option modules, reflecting our commitment to cutting-edge research-led teaching. Within the Irish Writing programme, these modules focus on examining the work of significant Irish writers in detail. In recent years, these included Maria Edgeworth, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and Eavan Boland. A wealth of option modules from our other M.Phil programmes, including the chance to take a creative writing option, are also available.

In the final phase of the course, students complete a dissertation of 15,000-18,000 words. This allows them to pursue in-depth research on a subject of their choice under expert supervision and drawing on our fantastic library and archival holdings.

Click here for further information on modules/subjects.

Study Irish Writing (M.Phil. / P.Grad.Dip.) at Trinity

Trinity College Dublin's School of English runs a world-leading postgraduate programme in Irish Writing. Meet Christopher Morash, Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing.

Course Details


NFQ Level 9

Number of Places

20 Places

Next Intake

September 2024

Course Director

Dr. Sam Slote and Dr. Julie Bates

Closing Date

31st March 2024

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Admission Requirements

Applicants should have an honours Bachelor's degree (at least of upper-second class standard or GPA of 3.3) or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject (such as English, History, Art History, Irish Studies, or Modern Languages).

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

Get in Touch

Telephone Number

+353 (0)1 896 2885

Dr Sam Slote (course co-ordinator):


Register Your Interest

Register your interest in studying at Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.

Register Your Interest

The Irish Writing programme was a wonderful opportunity for me both to build a foundational understanding of the trends in Irish Studies and to continue to develop my own academic interests. The course is generally structured chronologically, which helps to contextualise the literature within broad cultural, social and political movements in Ireland and abroad. The Briena Staunton Practice of Writing Seminar is a great initiative that allows the Irish Writing students to continue to exercise their creative writing muscles by conversing with prominent Irish writers in the second semester. The class sizes are small enough that you get to know everyone well and enjoy time spent inside and outside the Oscar Wilde Centre. I feel privileged to have been a part of the programme.

Tom Monahan


My year in the M.Phil. in Irish Writing was a fantastic experience that deepened my appreciation of Irish Studies and laid the foundations for my academic career. The course was rich and diverse, taking in figures such as James Joyce, Seamus Heaney, Samuel Beckett, and Elizabeth Bowen. It also introduced me to a host of fascinating writers that I had the pleasure of writing on for the first time, such as Maria Edgeworth. The teaching staff always set a lively and engaging tone for each seminar, providing their invaluable expertise while at the same time encouraging each student to express themselves and to develop their ideas. Yet perhaps the most unique asset of the M.Phil. is the special atmosphere created within the confines of the Oscar Wilde Centre. It was there in the common room and at the seminar table long after classes had finished where I got to know my fellow students and struck friendships that have lasted to this day. The place felt like home after only a few weeks. I could not recommend the M.Phil. in Irish Writing more highly to anyone looking to further their study of Irish literature.

Conor Linnie


The teaching staff are leaders in their field and present an exemplary programme of learning, with great scope to develop one’s own areas of interest. I would recommend this fantastic graduate course to anyone and everyone with an interest in Irish history, literature and culture.

Emma Webb