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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Belfast Education and Library Board
  • Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
  • Colaiste Feiste
  • BBC/RTE Freelance

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Primary School teacher
  • Primary Language tutor
  • Secondary School teacher
  • Irish Language Officer
  • Presenter


Achieve fluency in spoken Irish and efficiency in written Irish. Completion of this programme can be a pathway to study Irish at degree level.


The University offers a comprehensive range of programmes in Irish in both part-time and full-time mode at a number of centres which serve a diverse constituency of students. The breadth of Irish language provision at Ulster and the practice amongst staff and students of using Irish as a primary medium of communication reflects the University’s strong commitment to cultural and linguistic diversity within Northern Ireland. The University’s Irish programmes play a vital role in preserving, sustaining and celebrating Ireland’s Gaelic literary and linguistic heritage as well as serving the demands of the Irish language sector within the local and international job market. At a personal level our programmes also fulfil the needs of individuals who wish to acquire the necessary competence to fully participate in the Irish language community as confident and independent users of the language. The Diploma programme has been designed to reflect the University’s vision of leading in the provision of professional education for professional life. The commitment to support graduates in gaining stimulating and fulfilling employment is one of the School’s primary concerns.

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About this course

In this section


The Diploma in the Irish Language (Belfast, Magee, Cookstown) represents an exciting opportunity for a wide range of people to study the Irish language from a completely new beginning. Over the two years you will receive a solid grounding in the key areas of Irish pronunciation, conversation, grammar and reading and writing skills.

On completion, you will be able to display fundamental oral and written communicative skills in Irish, demonstrate a knowledge of Irish grammatical structure and be able to read selected items from the literature.

As well as serving as a possible pathway for entry to a BA degree in Irish, the course can be seen as a free-standing unit in its own right which will help open up third level education to a wider audience.

Also offered at as a validated course in Southern Regional College, Newry (contact SRC directly for further information).


Part-time (2 years). Classes normally take place from September to May every week (Monday 5.30pm - 8.45pm) with additional lectures/seminars either being offered every second Wednesday or in blocks depending on venue. The course includes on-line tuition and a full induction is provided for those with no computing experience.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level


Applied General Qualifications


Irish Leaving Certificate


Scottish Highers


Scottish Advanced Highers


International Baccalaureate


Access to Higher Education (HE)



GCSE profile to include a pass in English Language plus 4 other subjects at grade C or above (or equivalent).

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

The University will consider applications on the basis of a wide range of qualifications plus experiential learning for those who do not hold the ‘normal’ entry qualifications.

Teaching and learning assessment

Teaching and learning involve language and conversation classes, exercises in practical language skills, the examination of texts, guided-reading and self-directed learning, lectures and use of audio material, error analysis and feedback.

Assessment will involve coursework assignments, translations, class tests, aural assessments, oral examinations and written examinations.

Exemptions and transferability

Native speakers of Irish can apply to seek exemption from Year 1 and direct entry to Year 2 (based on interview).

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Belfast Education and Library Board
  • Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
  • Colaiste Feiste
  • BBC/RTE Freelance

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Primary School teacher
  • Primary Language tutor
  • Secondary School teacher
  • Irish Language Officer
  • Presenter

Career options

Employment opportunities exist in a wide range of areas including education, the media, publishing, government, librarianship and various areas of business.

Work placement / study abroad


Academic profile

All staff in Irish are members of The Irish and Celtic Studies Research Institute which was rated the second in the UK for Celtic Studies in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Staff are actively involved in world leading research that informs the subjects they teach.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our part-time undergraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

You are advised that the deadline for submission of applications is 15th May. We will consider late applications but these may suffer delays in processing and places may be unavailable.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

To find out more about fees related to this course please visit

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Scholarships may be available for GAA members as part of the 'Gaeilge sa Chlub' Scheme.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


For further information about this programme, contact the School of Arts and Humanities on +44 (0)28 7167 5133 or email Catherine Russell at

For admissions queries please contact the Admissions Service;

T: +44 (0)28 9536 7890


For more information visit

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School of Arts and Humanities


  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.


“I really enjoyed and benefitted from the Diploma course. I went from having virtually no Irish to being comfortable using Irish in everyday situations. The tutors understood that it was difficult for me to return to education and they really helped build my confidence.”

“Bhain mé sult mór as an chúrsa seo. Cé go raibh beagán Gaeilge agam ag tosú dom, chuidigh an cúrsa seo liom eolas a chur ar rialacha gramadaí na teanga agus cuid de na drochnósanna a bhí agam a dhíbirt as mo chuid cainte/scríbhneoireachta.”