Study  ›   Undergraduate courses

Irish Studies

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Apply for this course

Although the UCAS equal consideration date has now passed, many of our courses are still accepting applications from UK students for 2024 entry through UCAS.

The deadline for international students is 30 June 2024.

Related courses

There is only one course in this subject area.

Change country or region

We’re showing entry requirements and other information for applicants with qualifications from: United Kingdom.

Commonly selected...

Change to the United Kingdom

Not on the list?

If your country or region isn’t listed here, please contact us with any questions about studying with us.

Get a prospectus or course leaflet

Bachelor of Arts

A Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) is a bachelor’s degree awarded for an undergraduate programme in the arts.

Return to top

Course overview

This degree offers students a unique opportunity to study the history, politics, culture, literature, and language of Ireland. The interdisciplinary nature of the course provides students with a broad grounding in the humanities and social sciences, equipping graduates with a diverse and versatile skills set suitable for a wide-range of careers.


You will explore Irish identity and society from a number of perspectives including the historical, the linguistic, the political, the literary and the ethnographic. You will then have the opportunity to develop expertise in your chosen area of study through the range of modules available in your second and third year.

The role of Ireland as an emerging independent nation, as well as part of a broader matrix of British and global history is explored. Its outstanding contribution to English literature in writers such as Wilde, Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Bowen, McGahern, Heaney, and Edna O’Brien feature as part of this absorbing degree. Students can undertake in-depth study of the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ and explore the lessons which can be drawn from the region’s peace process for divided societies around the world. Students will also have the option of studying the Irish language, with modules catering to beginners as well as those who may already have a background in the language.


What you'll learn

  • Knowledge and understanding of Ireland, it’s culture, history and politics
  • Ability to formulate informed, sensitive and well-articulated arguments
  • Debate skills
  • Ability to integrate a diverse range of primary and secondary materials (such as literary and historical texts, oral interviews, sound recordings,  visual screenings of events, places and people) into your work
  • Bibliographical, library and internet research skills
  • Opportunity to learn the Irish language

Teaching Excellence Framework 2023

We’re proud to announce we’ve been awarded a Gold rating for educational excellence.

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

Year one introduces you to Irish literature, Irish legends, Irish history and gives you the chance to learn the Irish language.

Optional modules


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces students to a broad range of Irish Literature from Swift to Joyce and to the idea of an Irish Literary Tradition in English. A new author is introduced and apart from Joyce and Swift, and the module is taught in a lecture/seminar format.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module enables students to understand the historical background to the development of the Troubles in Northern Ireland with reference to the underlying political, social, economic, cultural and religious context. It gives an overview of the main events and underlying causes of the outbreak of violent conflict in the late 1960s and examines the motives of main participating elements including the Northern Ireland and British governments, extra-parliamentary and political movements.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This course provides a survey of Irish culture and society from prehistory to the end of the Middle Ages. It begins with the arrival of Celtic language and ends with the efforts of Henry VIII to impose English rule. This long time span witnessed radical change, including the arrival of Christianity, invasions of Vikings, the English, and the Reformation. These events shaped Irish identities and contributed to longer term demographic, economic and political trends affecting the lives of people at all levels of society. Through close analysis of primary sources we can attempt to enter the mental world of people living in Ireland’s past to interpret their motivations, actions and ideals. This course will explore the experiences of the past but also highlight how debates about history still influence perceptions of Irish identity today.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This course will provide an introduction to Ireland’s indigenous language, offering the chance to deepen your understanding of the culture and history of Ireland and to begin exploring Irish-language art, writing and film. Starting with some basic words and expressions, the course will guide students through the first steps towards achieving an A1 ‘beginner’ level in Irish (following the European framework for language learning). No previous knowledge of Irish is required.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module is aimed at those students who already have a beginners’ level (A1) knowledge of Irish language. Students will continue learning Irish language and grammar, with an emphasis on Irish culture, history and literature. Students wishing to take this module must have either completed IRIS241 and IRIS242 or have completed studies in Irish language to GCSE/Junior Certificate level or equivalent.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The aim of the course is to give you grounding in analytical skills, an appreciation of the significance of film as a medium, and an ability to write about film in an accessible and well informed way for different audiences and different purposes.

Furthermore, the course will introduce you to the basic components of the audiovisual ‘language’ which film uses to communicate with its audience, and to the methods that you should use when analysing how any one film uses this language. We will look at a wide variety of films selected for their particularly innovative or influential treatment of different aspects of this ‘language’.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces students to a key skill in literary study, that of precise and informed analysis of text (close reading).


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module covers a period of crucial significance for European history, including interactions between Europe and other parts of the world in the premodern period. Much of it will be unfamiliar to many of you, but, we hope, will be all the more interesting for that reason. At its broadest, this module covers more than a millennium, from the rise of Christianity to the European arrival in and settlement of the Americas. We start with the origins of Christianity in the eastern Mediterranean, before moving on to the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Islam. In Europe, we chronicle the rise of post-Roman kingdoms, the settlements of Vikings in Europe and more distant locations, the launching and objectives of the crusades. In light of the expansion of the papacy, we assess the emergence of new forms of spirituality and heresy, political conflicts between nascent states, and the impact of the Reformation and Catholic Reformation on other parts of the world. Underlying these events are some continuous themes, such as the foundation of the Christian Church, the development and evolution of notions of holiness, and the effect of religious belief on methods of education, ideas of difference and deviance, and responses to natural disasters. Another theme that runs through the module is to assess how gender mores affected the experiences of and possibilities for individuals who lived in these periods. Course content also looks at the practice of, and ideology behind, political activity and war. We aim to give you an appreciation of world views and of methods of representation based on the mental horizons possible in the age before modern technology.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module covers the ideas, policies of the main political parties in UK politics and how they are conditioned by wider ideologies. It examines the key reasons why people vote the way they do, analysing recent elections. The module assesses the importance of the media and political rhetoric and also analyses the importance of gender.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module is intended for first year students taking the Irish Studies programme. It explores a range of perspectives and methods in Irish Studies through detailed exploration of one city or region in Ireland/ linked to Ireland.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module aims to explore the various ideas that have contributed to the development of modern Ireland. It will explain how these ideas have interacted with one another and how they have shaped political debates and brought about social change.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This course follows on from IRIS141: Beginners’ Irish Language 1, bringing students to a more detailed understanding of Irish. We will continue to cover themes based on the TEG (Teastas Eorpach Gaeilge) syllabus and will delve further into key aspects of Irish language, literature and culture.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

The aim of this course is to introduce you to key theoretical and conceptual debates within Film Studies. It will develop your ability to apply these concepts to close readings of film texts and, in doing so, enhance your skills of critical analysis and independent thinking.

Ways of Reading (ENGL113)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module will allow students to develop critical methods of reading and contextual analysis of literary texts. Lectures and tutorials will explore a range of critical methodologies (for example psychoanalysis and postcolonialism) as well as topics focused on the modes, attitudes and concerns that underlie the production of literature in relation to politics, society and culture. In doing so students will be introduced to key debates within literary study, as well as addressing topics important to different periods including issues of race, gender, sexuality, literary form, environment and economy.

This module aims to develop and challenge accepted modes of reading in order to expand and strengthen original critical enquiry while also improving students’ written, oral and digital communication skills.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module provides students with an introduction to modern British history.   It broadens their existing understanding by first considering factors of a general importance in the development of modern Britain, and then looking at particular events and themes.   In this way, students will be given a grasp both of broad themes in British history – such as demographics, political units, ideologies and social change – and of the specific way history unfolded at key moments and turning points.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This introductory politics module focuses on the distribution of power in Britain and the nature of the British state. It outlines the traditional conception of the British political system as the ‘Westminster Model’ and considers the implications of this model for how democracy is conceived and how political power is mobilised, in whose interests and with what consequences, primarily in the UK but also in former British colonies and dependencies. The module examines the various component parts of the British political system including the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Parliament, the judiciary, the civil service , regional and local government and devolved institutions, from both a constitutional and political-sociological perspective. It also assesses the emerging impact of Brexit on the UK political system and for the distribution of political power within it, including consideration of the role of ‘imperialist imaginaries’ in shaping discussion of the UK’s post-Brexit future. The module assumes no prior knowledge of the British political system or the particular issues under consideration.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Global Opportunities

University of Liverpool students can choose from an exciting range of study placements at partner universities worldwide. Choose to spend a year at XJTLU in China or a year or semester at an institution of your choice.

What's available on this course?

Year in China

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture on an optional additional year at Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University in stunning Suzhou.

  • Learn Chinese
  • Study in a bustling world heritage city
  • Improve employment prospects
  • Study Chinese culture
  • 30 minutes from Shanghai
  • Learn new skills

Read more about Year at XJTLU, China

Language study

Every student at The University of Liverpool can study a language as part of, or alongside their degree. You can choose:

  • A dedicated languages degree
  • A language as a joint or major/ minor degree
  • Language modules (selected degrees)
  • Language classes alongside your studies

Read more about studying a language

Combine this subject

With a combined degree, you can study two subjects as part of the same degree programme.

  • Choose from 30 subjects and over 300 combinations
  • Choose joint or major minor subjects
  • Adjust the weight of your subjects at the end of your first year
  • Same number of credits as single honours students
  • Same classes as single honours students
  • Appeal to a wide range of employers

Explore combined degrees for Irish Studies courses

Your experience

The Institute of Irish Studies is part of the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures and is based in 1-7 Abercromby Square. The Institute of Irish Studies runs an acclaimed public-lecture series, and as a student you will gain the opportunity to meet and engage with prestigious speakers from across the globe. Former speakers have included two Nobel Laureates, three Presidents of the Republic of Ireland, four Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland, a Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and numerous prize-winning authors and cultural commentators.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Careers and employability

An Irish Studies degree provides you with a range of transferable skills will allow you to pursue a career in many different areas. Alternatively, many of our graduates go on to undertake further academic research.

Recent employers of Irish Studies graduates include:

  • British and Irish Local Government
  • English language schools abroad
  • Local education authorities
  • National museums
  • Newspaper groups
  • FTSE 100 companies’ graduate schemes Non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

100% of Irish studies students find their main activity after graduation meaningful.

Graduate Outcomes, 2018-19.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £9,250
Year in industry fee £1,850
Year abroad fee £1,385
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Year abroad fee £11,200
Fees are correct for the academic year 2024/25. Please note that the Year Abroad fee also applies to the Year in China.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to provide tuition fee discounts and help with living expenses while at university.

Check out our Liverpool Bursary, worth up to £2,000 per year for eligible UK students. Or for international students, our Undergraduate Global Advancement Scholarship offers a tuition fee discount of up to £5,000 for eligible international students starting an undergraduate degree from September 2024.

Discover our full range of undergraduate scholarships and bursaries

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

A levels


Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is BBC with A in the EPQ.

You may automatically qualify for reduced entry requirements through our contextual offers scheme.

T levels

T levels considered in a relevant subject.

Applicants should contact us by completing the enquiry form on our website to discuss specific requirements in the core components and the occupational specialism.

GCSE 4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

Applications considered. BTEC applications are encouraged. We evaluate each BTEC application on its merits.

International Baccalaureate

30 points, with no score less than 4

Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher

BBB in Advanced Highers, combinations of Advanced Highers and Scottish Highers are welcome

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Accepted with grades BB at A level.
Access 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit in graded level 3 units in a relevant Diploma.
International qualifications

Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our entry requirements. Completing your Foundation Certificate, such as that offered by the University of Liverpool International College, means you're guaranteed a place on your chosen course.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component below 5.5
TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 17, writing 17, reading 17 and speaking 19
Duolingo English Test 120 overall, with no component below 95
Pearson PTE Academic 61 overall, with no component below 59
LanguageCert Academic 70 overall, with no skill below 60
Cambridge IGCSE First Language English 0500 Grade C overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking and listening. Speaking and listening must be separately endorsed on the certificate.
Cambridge IGCSE First Language English 0990 Grade 4 overall, with Merit in speaking and listening
Cambridge IGCSE Second Language English 0510/0511 0510: Grade B overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking. Speaking must be separately endorsed on the certificate. 0511: Grade B overall.
Cambridge IGCSE Second Language English 0993/0991 0993: Grade 6 overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking. Speaking must be separately endorsed on the certificate. 0991: Grade 6 overall.
International Baccalaureate Standard Level grade 5 or Higher Level grade 4 in English B, English Language and Literature, or English Language
Cambridge ESOL Level 2/3 Advanced 176 overall, with no paper below 162


Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 6 weeks On campus
5.5 overall, with no component below 5.5 10 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no component below 4.5 20 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no component below 4.5 30 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no more than one component below 4.5, and no component below 4.0 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.5, with no component below 5.5, for further details.

Contextual offers: reduced grade requirements

Based on your personal circumstances, you may automatically qualify for up to a two-grade reduction in the entry requirements needed for this course. When you apply, we consider a range of factors – such as where you live – to assess if you’re eligible for a grade reduction. You don’t have to make an application for a grade reduction – we’ll do all the work.

Find out more about how we make reduced grade offers.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new UCAS cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

Recent changes to government policy which determine the number of students individual institutions may admit under the student number control also have a bearing on our entry requirements and acceptance levels, as this policy may result in us having fewer places than in previous years.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. For this reason, we consider a range of factors in addition to predicted grades, widening participation factors amongst other evidence provided. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted in the prospectus and on the website.

Alternative entry requirements

  • If your qualification isn't listed here, or you're taking a combination of qualifications, contact us for advice
  • If you are returning to learning, have had a disrupted education or are switching career pathways, the one-year Go Higher diploma qualifies you to apply for University of Liverpool arts, humanities and social sciences programmes
  • Applications from mature students are welcome.

Changes to Irish Studies BA (Hons)

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

7 June 2022: New course pages

New course pages launched.