Taught course

Irish Writing

Trinity College Dublin · School of English

Entry requirements

Applicants should have an Honours Bachelor 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, Modern Languages).

Months of entry


Course content

TThis taught master’s programme allows 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. Core modules give a thorough grounding in the field. Special author option modules allow you to focus on a particular writer’s work in real depth. Completing a dissertation, under expert supervision, allows you to pursue you own research interests.

Trinity boasts an extraordinary literary heritage, ranging from Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde to Eavan Boland and Anne Enright. It is situated at 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.

The centrepiece 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 sixteenth century through to the present. It also considers the literary history and reception of Irish writing, covering the main critical narratives and debates, as well as revisions of the Irish literary field as regards questions of gender, sexuality, class and race. A notable strength of Trinity’s faculty is the historical range of its research interests. This is reflected in the coverage given to eighteenth and nineteenth-century Irish writing. The final portion of the course also decisively turns to the eclectic state of contemporary Irish literature.

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.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PGDip
    full time
    9 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Director Dr Sam Slote
+353-1-896 2285/4023