MA in Literature and Culture

* Applications for the MA in Literature and Culture for the 2024/25 academic year have now closed. Applications for 2025/26 will open on 1st October 2024.*




The MA in Literature & Culture is UCD School of English, Drama, Film and Creative Writing’s flagship MA programme in English-language literature and culture. 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. Students are invited to ground their cultural study before developing a unique pathway of study tailored directly to their area(s) of interest. Our wide-ranging module options will give you an extraordinary breadth and depth of understanding in your chosen discipline. The dissertation affords you the opportunity to develop a major research project with one-to-one mentoring from an expert researcher, along with the resources of our excellent library and archives, as well as access to Ireland’s entire library system, leading research institutions and active interdisciplinary networks. On this course, you will enhance your understanding of the rich and complex heritages of the field, hone your research and writing skills and be part of our vibrant postgraduate community, which hosts a theory reading group, a reading group, and an active link to the interdisciplinary programs at the Humanities Institute.

The program allows a range of specializations from Genre Studies and Modern and Contemporary Cultures to Environmental Humanities and Public Humanities, with all modules emerging from the current research of our faculty. Our teaching and research expertise covers a wide range of Transatlantic and World literatures, with each program experience designed to ground its students in transhistorical contexts and the deep engagement of present moments with past periods in various forms. This long excavation of modernity allows students with modern and contemporary focus to properly anchor their research in context, and affords student whose interest lies in earlier periods to explore a series of transdisciplinary and focused, period-specific modules.

At the centre of the MA in Literature & Culture is a supervised dissertation, which gives you the unique opportunity to work closely on a topic of your choosing, working one-to-one with published experts in your field of specialization.

Option modules change from year to year. Past options have included:

Concepts of Modernity

World-Systems, World-Literature: Mapping the Planet

American Lyric: Document and Memoir
Memory Cultures
Feeling Modern: Thinking and Being in 18th and 19th-Century Britain

Contemporary U.S. Genre Fiction: Intersection, Disruption, Protest
Digital Methods

American Modernism at Home

Theorising Creativity

Paranoid and Conspiracy Media

Media, Gender and Sexuality

Queer Frictions



Facilities and Resources

Conveniently situated in the heart of Dublin, students in UCD have access to the leading libraries and cultural archives of Ireland, including UCD’s excellent James Joyce Library and the UCD Special Collections, the National Library of Ireland, the Irish Film Archive, the Irish Theatre Institute, Royal Irish Academy, National Gallery of Ireland and Marsh’s Library. vibrant and welcoming postgraduate community, with weekly School research seminars, an active, dynamic English Graduate Society, and regular conferences, symposia and other events that our MA students are encouraged to get involved in. MA students are also encouraged to draw on the extensive expertise and range of events hosted by our exceptional research institutes and networks, including the Humanities Institute, UCD Environmental Humanities, Single Lives: the Singleness Studies Research Group, Architecture and Narrative, the Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland and many others.

IRISH PATHWAY new for 2024/25

Students enrolled in the MA in Literature and Culture, 2024- 2025 may pursue a pathway in Irish Literature

Following the pathway in Irish studies will involve taking a core course and an optional module in Irish literature and culture each semester and pursuing a thesis topic on an Irish- related subject.

Course modules may include the following:
Modern Irish Poetry
Tradition and the Contemporary: Irish Fiction
Special Topics in Irish Literary Studies
Public Humanities and Ireland
Irish Theatre
Irish Film

Students will also be able to choose optional modules from other School offerings, including the modules offered by the Creative Future Academy 

See MA Literature and Culture Irish Pathway webpages for more information.


The MA in Literature and Culture is an excellent programme that allows students to delve into a wide range of literary studies whilst also allowing students to pursue more focused interests. I thoroughly enjoyed my time on this course, largely due to the outstanding cohort of teaching staff and fellow students.

The research and analysis skills I developed throughout my degree have been invaluable both on a personal level as I pursue further research and study and professionally, in my current position with the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

  • Chloe Power       


Pursuing the MA in Literature and Culture on a part-time basis helped me to further my interest in modern and contemporary literature and develop an understanding of the origins and cultural influences that incited these works. The course was thoughtfully devised to offer modules that focused on foundational concepts and texts which expressed them, outlining a clear connection between key theories and their representation in literature. The expertise and enthusiasm of the faculty, and support they provided during the programme, not only provided me with a concentrated knowledge of this field but also made the experience wholly enjoyable.

  • Dierdre McEvoy

Where are they now?

Our students go on to a wide and diverse range of exciting careers including journalism, advocacy, arts management, advertising, publishing, copy editing, further research, teaching and medicine and associated sciences.

MA in Literature & Culture teaching team:

Our teaching and advisory team changes with each programme, but has recently included

Professor John Brannigan

Dr Lucy Cogan

Dr Luca Crispi

Professor Nick Daly

Dr Sharae Deckard

Associate Professor Fionnuala Dillane

Dr Katherine Fama

Professor Porscha Fermanis

Professor Jane Grogan

Dr Clare Hayes-Brady

Dr Naomi McAreavey

Professor Gerardine Meaney

Dr Anne Mulhall

Dr Michelle O’Connell

Associate Professor Niamh Pattwell

Associate Professor Emilie Pine

Dr Emma Radley

Associate Professor Rebecca Stephenson

Dr Maria Stuart

Associate Professor Nerys Williams


  • Please be aware that applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until places have been filled by suitably qualified and capable applicants. 
  • Referees are contacted via automated email once you have entered their details into your application.

Full programme details, entry requirements and a link to apply can be found on the MA Literature and Culture UCD webpages.

For further information on this programme, please contact the MA Coordinator Professor Nicholas Daly (nicholas.daly@ucd,ie).
For further information on the application process, please contact Fiona French, the Graduate Administrator (