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Graduate Courses

UCD Arts and Humanities is a distinguished centre of excellence for Arts and Humanities post-graduate education in Europe. We offer an extensive portfolio of taught masters’ and research graduate programmes, the majority of which are available on both a full-time and part-time basis.

Our College is a vibrant community of world-class teachers and scholars. Students are at the core of our philosophy: we are committed to enabling each student to develop, thrive and succeed and, ultimately, to contribute to society.

Our graduates have strong creative, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, essential to today’s rapidly evolving jobs’ market. They progress to senior positions across a diverse range of industries, including business, the media, technology, education and the arts, both in Ireland and abroad. The College of Arts and Humanities offers an unrivalled range of postgraduate programmes at the (opens in a new window)UCD Clinton Institute for American Studies and in its seven Schools: 

We also enjoy a close relationship with the Humanities Institute, a hub for graduate engagement with the wider academic community. The College has been at the forefront of intellectual and cultural life on the island since the shaping of modern Ireland; it continues to be recognised at home and internationally for its innovation and excellence in research.

You can watch our 2020 Virtual Graduate Webinar series here

UCD Clinton Institute for American Studies

The United States is the most influential nation in the world. However, a number of challenges in recent years have called into question the sustainability of American leadership abroad and prosperity at home. These include but are not limited to, the notion of American decline in relation to rising power such as China; a political system that appears to have entered an extended period of dysfunction; recurring problems in race relations; and rising economic inequality.

  • This MA , which is the first of its kind in Europe or North America, allows students to explore in depth the foreign policy and political challenges facing the U.S.
  • Drawing upon the disciplines of history and political science, it explores a wide variety of topics such as the origins of American exceptionalism, the importance placed upon individual liberty, the emergence of the U.S as a world power, the cold War, transatlantic relations, presidential and congressional election, race, gender and more.

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These courses are designed to enable students to develop understanding of the ways in which media interact with war, conflict and security in international contexts. 

  • The programme analyzes the complex roles played by the media in the enactment and presentation of conflict situations and addresses the relationships among media, governments, the military, and NGOs in framing perceptions of international conflict. 
  • Only graduate programme in Ireland and one of very few in the world that blends together elements of media studies and international affairs to provide an innovative and challenging course of study
  • Students can expect to take modules similar to: Media and US Foreign Policy, New Media and New Conflict, Public Diplomacy, Challenges facing US Foreign Policy.  In addition they can select an optional modules for other Schools in the College.  In addtion student will submit a thesis 12,000 - 15,000 words.
  • The programme is available on a full and part time basis.

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This unique new course which is located in the Clinton Institute has emerged as a collaboration between UCD and CNN, the world's largest international news organisation. The primary objective of this initiative is to create a programme that combines theoretical discussions with experiential learning to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of international news media and the skills to undertake leading roles in that environment. It very directly connects the classroom to the newsroom, affording collaboration with the news industry and access to best practices in cross-platform journalism and news production. The course will start in January 2022 and September 2022.

Students will study the following modules:

  • CNN Academy Newsroom 1 & 2 (15 credits each)
  • Journalism and International Affairs (10 credits)
  • Politics and Digital Storytelling (10 credits)
  • Research Skills and Methods 1 & 2 (5 credits each)
  • The Global politics of Cyber Security (10 Credits)
  • Diplomacy (10 credits)


 School of Art History and Cultural Policy

The Graduate Diploma and MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management is aimed at graduate students and experienced cultural sector practitioners seeking to acquire or enhance their skills to be effective managers and leaders in the arts and heritage fields.

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School of Classics

The MA in Classics combines research skills modules, seminar modules, a thesis on a topic related to the ancient world. It is also possible to take modules in Greek and Latin. This one-year programme is an ideal way to enhance your understanding of the ancient world.

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA Classics.

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School of English, Drama and Film

The MA in Creative Writing builds on the well established commitment of the UCD School of English, Drama and Film to fostering and supporting new writing. The university has long been associated with some of Ireland’s greatest writers, including James Joyce, Flann O’Brien, Mary Lavin, Anthony Cronin, John McGahern, Neil Jordan, Conor McPherson, Marina Carr, Colm Tóibín, Emma Donoghue, Maeve Binchy and many others. The distinguished playwright, Frank McGuinness, is Professor of Creative Writing for the College of Arts and Humanities, and internationally acclaimed novelist, Colm Tóibín, is Adjunct Professor.

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA Creative Writing.

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The MA in Drama and Performance gives you the opportunity to analyse, explore, and reflect on modern and contemporary theatre and perforamance in theory and practice. It invites you to engage with current theoretical and practical philosophies of performance. 

  • Reflects on theatre writing and performance
  • Engages with current theoretical and practical philosophies of performance
  • Academic and Professional Theatre staff of international standing

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA Drama & Performance Studies.

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The MA in Gender, Sexuality & Culture is a dynamic, multi-disciplinary programme designed for students with a strong interest in exploring gender and sexuality in literary and cultural production and representation. Students will explore issues of gender and sexuality with specific attention to race, class, migration and citizenship within an intersectional feminist framework.

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Led by our world-class researchers and teachers, the MA in Literature & Culture combines a foundation in critical methods and literary and cultural studies with wide-ranging options for specialist study.

Learn more about the MA Literature & Culture.

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The M.A. in Theatre Practice is offered by UCD in partnership with the Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin and aims to provide students with diverse advanced skills in the practice of theatre grounded in academic and practice-based theories.

  • Hybrid approach to teaching and learning through academic modules at UCD and practice-based modules in the Gaiety School of Acting
  • Equips students to develop original conceptual ideas in theatre practice
  • Clear career pathways through access to national and international theatre networks, and theatre producers and presenters

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA Theatre Practice.

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This MA programme encourages students to develop their own writing work across different platforms and forms. Initially students will work on the fundamentals of drama, before adapting their stage writing to more visually dominant forms, such as film and digital platforms. This course seeks to equip writers with the tools and confidence and to have the flexibility to write and move between forms.

Learn more about the Master of Arts in Writing for Stage and Screen.

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 MFA Creative Writing provides close supervision and direction of a novel / a collection of short stories or a collection of poetry already in draft form or well underway prior to the commencement of the course.

  • Develop your own writing skills under experienced tuition and supervision
  • Structural and line editing of the work in progress is a core component and class groups in this module are from two to four students
  • Taught by experienced, published staff of international reputation

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MFA Creative Writing.

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School of History

The Graduate Diploma in History is targeted at students who wish to progress to further study, or who wish to develop key transferable skills vital to many and diverse careers. It is designed for students coming to history from a non-cognate subject, those who did not live up to their potential in their BA, as well as those returning to education after a long period of absence.

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)Graduate Diploma History.

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The MA Archives and Records Management is an exciting degree which qualifies students to care for and provide access to the historic and future memory contained in a range of records, from medieval manuscripts to born digital material.

  • This MA is the entry-level professional qualification for archivists and records managers in Ireland and globally.
  • UCD’s programme has an international reputation and has long-standing accreditation by the Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland).
  • The MA curriculum provides students with practical knowledge based on a strong theoretical foundation.

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA Archives & Records Management.

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The MA European History (UNICA) (MEH) is a stimulating interdisciplinary, comparative Master’s programme which offers the choice between partner universities in 6 European capitals.

  • This diverse programme focuses on the comparative analysis of European history
  • Students will develop the ability to understand historical problems in a comparative framework
  • The programme will be carried out in English, meaning English will be accepted at all partner universities for presentations and assignments

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA European History.

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The Global History MA is designed to encourage you to think about historical problems beyond their local, national and regional contexts, training you to think about how historical change happens because of the interaction of local, global and international factors. It is suitable for students who have previously studied history, as well as for graduates of related subjects like law, business and economics, modern languages, or social sciences. All of our teaching at postgraduate level consists of seminar style debates led by a world-class research leader.

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA Global History.

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This innovative MA programme enables you to critically engage with debates in welfare and medical history in the modern period, within Ireland and internationally. Themes include eugenics; migration; institutionalisation and patients’ experiences, analysed through social, gender, class and post-colonial history.

  • The MA has a reputation for excellence taught by lecturers with international profiles.
  • Modules are taught through seminars. You will develop expertise in presenting, analytical thinking, effective communication, and writing with clarity and precision.
  • The dissertation, at the core of the MA, allows you to engage your own research-based interests.

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA History of Welfare & Medicine in Society.

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The MA in International War Studies is a two-year, dual programme offered by UCD School of History and the University of Potsdam whereby students will spend the first year of the course at the University of Potsdam and their second year at UCD. This programme builds on long-standing research collaboration between the two universities.

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA International War Studies.

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UCD’s dynamic School of History, the largest in the country, has long played a vital role in leading national debate and research on the evolution of Irish society, culture and politics. This MA enables students to work closely with some of the country’s most renowned historians of Ireland to continue the tradition of providing context, insight and originality in the research of Irish history and its communication to a wider audience.

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA Irish History.

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The MA in Medieval Studies is an interdisciplinary program which draws on the range of expertise in medieval subjects at UCD, offered across a variety of disciplines, including Archaeology, Art History, Classics, English, History, Irish, Languages, and Music. 

  • Interdisciplinary approach to the Middle Ages
  • Small group work
  • Opportunity to pursue individual research interests

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA Medieval Studies.

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The MA in Public History builds upon the well-established status of the School of History in the fields of commemoration and public history.  Students will examine both the theoretical and practical elements of public history through the programme.

  • Provides successful graduates with both theoretical and practical skills to disseminate history across multiple platforms
  • Develops skillset as a historian alongside interdisciplinary analysis of memory studies and commemoration
  • Practical skills in podcasting, exhibitions, and conference organisation

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA Public History.

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School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore

The courses in Irish Folklore and Ethnology offers modules on a wide range of topics within the subject area, including research theories, the study of oral narrative, traditional music and song, fieldwork and archival methods, social tradition, popular belief systems, material culture, and Irish and European ethnology. It also offers students a choice of modules in subjects which are related to the study of Folklore and Ethnology, such as Modern Irish, Archaeology, Cultural Policy, Creative Writing, and Ethnomusicology.

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Tá fáilte romhat cur isteach ar an MA sa Nua-Ghaeilge, céim a bhaintear amach ar bhonn teagaisc fhoirmeálta chomh maith le tráchtas a chur i gcrích. Le linn an chúrsa seo déantar dianstaidéar ar an nGaeilge, idir theanga, chultúr agus litríocht. Is féidir le mic léinn staidéar cuimsitheach, cothrom a dhéanamh ar na réimsí seo, nó más fearr leo é, is féidir díriú go speisialta ar chúrsaí teanga agus cultúir nó ar chúrsaí litríochta. Tairgítear modúil ar raon leathan ábhair sa teanga, agus déantar cúram den litríocht chomhaimseartha agus den litríocht stairiúil araon. Tá réimse ilghnéitheach saineolais ag an bhfoireann sna cúrsaí a mhúintear ar an gclár teagaisc féin.

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This course is designed for students of Irish language and literature and for those who are working in the broader Irish language sector with a specific focus on a high standard of language and transferable language skills such as media, translation and interpreting.

  • Students who complete this course graduate with a high standard of accuracy in Irish language, and an understanding of its role in Irish society and Europe. 
  • The student completes a thesis on any topic in modern Irish language or literature.  
  • Work placements are also part of this course which also entail a research project encompassing interdisciplinary skills ranging from use of translation and media packages, to research skills, depending on the choices made by the student.  

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The HDip in Irish Folklore should provide students with the requisite skills, knowledge and experience to enable them to formulate and complete their own research projects in the field of folklore studies.

  • Designed for students and scholars without any previous background in general folkloristics or comparative ethnology
  • Training in original archival and fieldwork research and methods.
  • Access to the specialist library and archive holdings of the UCD Delargy Centre for Irish Folklore and the National Folklore Collection

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)Higher Diploma Irish Folklore.

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The master’s degree in Irish Studies will provide students with the knowledge and skills to develop and articulate challenging and dynamic perspectives on Ireland’s history and contemporary experience.

  • Provides students with small group teaching and personalised supervision that students need at a graduate level
  • Pathway for further specialisation
  • Nationally and internationally unrivalled concentration of expertise

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA Irish Studies.

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School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

You will develop an in-depth understanding of the structure of language, including contemporary theoretical approaches to Linguistics and the analytical methods used in research on language, and the relationship of language to society.

  • Introduction to contemporary theoretical approaches to language in a variety of fields of Linguistics
  • Introduction to the analysis of language data in a variety of fields of Linguistics
  • Transferable Skills: presentation skills, critical analytical skills, project work and academic writing

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The MA Modern Languages reflects the current need to provide high-quality education in the area of modern foreign languages, with a significant global reach. Students can specialise in one or two languages, choosing from French, German, Italian and Spanish, and will develop sophisticated, critical and theoretical tools needed for enhanced engagement with language, literature and culture.

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MA Modern Languages.

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This new MA permits students from a wide variety of backgrounds to take up language learning or to revisit or perfect a language already studied. In tandem with language studies, students are also introduced to image studies from a multilingual perspective on areas like global film, photography, art and more.  

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This Graduate Diploma in Localisation is suitable for students who have an interest in communication processes in the globalised world. Students will develop a high linguistic and cultural proficiency in two or more languages. Students will also learn excellent technical skills for employment in the modern language industry.

The aim of the course is to prepare students for a career in the multi-faceted localisation industry in Ireland and abroad.

Learn more about Graduate Diploma Localisation

School of Music

The MMus Music & Culture is an innovative modular programme, which allows students to pursue a wide range of interests, and to work closely with some of the leading musical scholars in the country.

  • Furnish a comprehensive grounding in the core disciplinary strengths of historical musicology and ethnomusicology.
  • Encourage inter-disciplinary study, by enabling students to take modules in all of these areas, whilst also facilitating specialisation.

Learn more about the (opens in a new window)MMus Music & Culture. 

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Graduate Research Programmes

All of the Schools and the Clinton institute offer structured MLitt and/or Phd programmes. For more details contact individual schools or visit our graduate admissions site.

College of Arts and Humanities

University College Dublin Belfield Dublin 4 Ireland
T: +353 1 716 7777