Skip to navigation Skip to content

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

  • BBC
  • Belfast Education and Library Board
  • Civil Service
  • Conradh na Gaeilge
  • Foras na Gaeilge
  • RTE
  • The European Parliament

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Primary School teacher
  • Secondary School teacher
  • Translator
  • Irish Language Officer
  • Interpreter
  • Civil Servant


Achieve proficiency in written and spoken Irish while gaining an in-depth understanding of literature, translation, folklore and Scottish Gaelic.


Study Irish Language and Literature at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

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 the School of Irish Language and Literature 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 BA 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.

Sign up for course updates

Sign up to receive regular updates, news and information on courses, events and developments at Ulster University.

We’ll not share your information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

About this course

In this section


Students on the programme will study modern Irish language (grammar, pronunciation, writing) and modern literature, as well as modules in the development of the language since the Gaelic Revival, Irish Cultural Studies, Folklore, Irish Dialects and Translation. The literature modules will give you a solid understanding of writing in Irish from the early 20th century to the modern day, including the novel, short story, drama and verse, and the language modules will help you to achieve a high level of competence in written and spoken Irish. All students will also have the opportunity to study Scottish Gaelic language and Literature


5 years part-time (students who complete the Diploma will be considered for entry to year 2).

Start dates

  • September 2016
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

The A Level requirement for this course is BCC at A2 (B in Irish or equivalent).

The University will consider applications on the basis of experiential learning for those who do not hold the normal entry qualifications. Those applicants seeking entry with advanced standing, (eg. transfer from another institution) will be considered on an individual basis but should note that this process can be more difficult in subject combination programmes as both subjects must be satisfied.


Overall BTEC Extended Diploma with DMM award profile to include a minimum of 7 distinctions in level 3 units (please ensure that your BTEC qualification satisfies any subject requirements specified above).

BTEC Diploma

The Diploma may be accepted in isolation or in combination with A levels (please ensure that any subject requirements specified above are satisfied). Where A levels are offered as part of a profile then they should be achieved at the upper end of the standard A level offer profile (i.e. if one A level is offered with a Diploma and our standard A level offer is BBC then we normally ask for a B at A level with the Diploma offer at the appropriate differential to satisfy the total tariff points).


The Subsidiary Diploma may be accepted in combination with A levels (please ensure that any subject requirements specified above are satisfied). Where A levels are offered as part of a profile then they should be achieved at the upper end of the standard A level offer profile (i.e. if two A levels are offered with a Subsidiary Diploma and our standard A level offer is BBC then we normally ask for BB at A level with the Subsidiary Diploma offer at the appropriate differential to satisfy the total tariff points).

Irish Leaving Certificate

The Irish Leaving Certificate requirement for this course is a minimum of grades BBCCC at Higher level (B in Irish).

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is to include AABB plus the subject requirements specified above.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is to include BCC plus the subject requirements specified above.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 24 points to include 12 at higher level plus the subject requirements specified above.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile 60-64% plus the subject requirements specified above.

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

Students who successfully complete the Diploma in Irish Language are also eligible to apply to this course.

Applicants holding a HND should achieve 120 credits at level 5 including a minimum of:

2 distinctions, 2 merits and 4 passes (for entry to Year 1).

Applicants holding a HNC will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants holding a Foundation Degree should achieve an overall average of 50% in second year modules for Year 1 entry.

Applicants offering HND/HNC and Foundation degree qualifications must additionally fulfill the subject requirements shown above.

Teaching and learning assessment

Irish adopts a variety of strategies to encourage and support learning. These include lectures, seminars, practicals, conversation classes, and the provision of formative coursework such as written assignments and presentations. Lectures generally provide an overview of the subject matter to be covered, locate it contextually, direct attention to important issues of interpretation and provide a guide to primary and secondary literature. Seminars take a number of forms: intensive reading and critical examination of texts or discussion of a previously announced topic for which reading has been prescribed. The aim of seminars is to give students an opportunity to discuss material presented in lectures with their peers and their lecturer, to allow the lecturer to judge the degree to which students have understood the lecture topics, and to develop high-order intellectual skills such as critical thinking and transferable/professional skills such as oral presentation. Practicals generally take the form of small class groups and focus on the acquisition of subject-based skills such as reading skills, grammar, and pronunciation. A large proportion of modern language practicals take place in the Multimedia Language Labs and consist of both presentation of new material and linked exercises aimed at reinforcing and testing material covered by the tutor in that session. One-to-one tutorials are organised for the Dissertation.

There is a degree of differentiation in teaching methods according to level. In Year 1, various methods are used to assist students in the transition from School to University. In particular, CALL and multimedia are used in class to improve language skills, especially grammar. This provides students with a supportive environment in which they can take instruction from the tutor and immediately apply newly-acquired/revised knowledge without the pressure of public performance. Immediate feedback from CALL packages assures them that they are on the right track or alerts them/the tutor to any problems. In Years 2 and 3, greater independence is encouraged; CALL is used for independent study and students are expected to make greater independent use of media in Irish.

Students are assessed through a combination of coursework assignments and formal examinations. In the final year, all modules except the dissertation are weighted 50% coursework and 50% examination; in Year Two, most modules are assessed entirely by coursework, but this includes a number of class tests. In Year 1, students are assessed by 100% coursework in the first semester, and by a predominance of 50% coursework/50% examination in the second semester. Assessment criteria are directly related to learning outcomes.

Exemptions and transferability

Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of an approved programme provided that they shall register as students of the University for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of the award at the highest level.

Although students may transfer out of the programme to other courses within the University, transfer in is subject to this condition.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

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

  • BBC
  • Belfast Education and Library Board
  • Civil Service
  • Conradh na Gaeilge
  • Foras na Gaeilge
  • RTE
  • The European Parliament

Job roles

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

  • Primary School teacher
  • Secondary School teacher
  • Translator
  • Irish Language Officer
  • Interpreter
  • Civil Servant

Career options

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

The employability profile of our students in recent years has been more than impressive, with a disproportional number of our ex-students holding senior positions in Irish language organisations throughout Ireland. This includes: Chief Executive of Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta (Irish medium education advisory body), Senior Programme manager with Foras na Gaeilge (cross-border body responsible for Irish), Programme Manager with CCEA, President of Comhaltas Uladh, Director of An Carn Translations, Principal of Gaelscoil an tSrátha Báin (Strabane Irish-medium primary school) and a Senior Producer in the BBC. The unprecedented growth of the Irish language in recent years has resulted in an increase of demand for services through the medium of Irish. Due to this, our students find themselves in the enviable position of being able to be circumspect when it comes to choosing the career path they wish to follow.

Graduates will also be well equipped to pursue postgraduate studies in the broad field of linguistics, folklore, Celtic Studies, translation and sociolinguistics.

For information on postgraduate research opportunities see:

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.


Application is directly to the University via an online system

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

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.

Northern Ireland & EU:

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Prize for best final year dissertation.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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.


“The School of Irish creates a lot of opportunities to achieve excellence in Irish, for example, annual trips to the Gaeltacht and also assists in getting work in the Gaeltacht as summer school leaders. I really enjoyed the Irish course and the classes.”

“Is mór a chuaigh an chéim sa Ghaeilge i bhfeidhm orm. Bhí béim ar leith ar an Nua-Ghaeilge agus ar scileanna feidhmiúla teanga a chruthaigh cuid mhór deiseanna dom i ndiaidh an chúrsa. Bhí muid mar a bheadh pobal teanga san Ollscoil, rud a chuidigh liom agus mé ag cur le mo chuid Gaeilge.”