The MU International Office is the first point of contact for international students applying for full-degree, Erasmus, Study Abroad, and Summer School programmes, and supports MU students who wish to study abroad.
At the Department of English we have a strong commitment to Graduate Studies and Continuous Professional Development.
Our MA, MLitt and PhD programmes build on the notable international expertise of our faculty in Irish literature and drama; postcolonial studies; gender; and literary theory. Our Higher Diploma in English is designed for applicants who already hold a BA or comparable degree, and who wish to add English to their list of qualifications.
Our Graduate students become part of a Department that is committed to scholarly excellence and to expanding the boundaries of knowledge in the fields of literature and cultural theory. As part of our graduate community, you will have access to specialised Department Research seminars featuring new research by our faculty and also invited speakers.
Please read on to find a programme of study that matches your interests and ambitions.
The Higher Diploma in English is a programme designed for applicants who already hold a BA or comparable degree, and who wish to enhance their qualification with the addition of English. It is particularly useful for applicants who may already be teachers, or who wish to qualify as teachers in the future, and who would like to have the background to teach English to Leaving Certificate level. The programme may also be of interest to applicants who already hold an undergraduate qualification in another subject, and simply want to study English out of interest in the subject. Modules range from courses on Shakespeare, the Victorian Novel, to Modernism, Postmodernism, and Irish and World Literatures.
The Full-time Higher Diploma, CAO/PAC code: MHK70, requires a student to take both Second and Third Year English from the BA programme in a single year, amounting to 60 credits in English.
The Part-time Higher Diploma, CAO/PAC code: MHK71, requires a student to take Second and Third Year English from the BA programme over two-years, amounting to 60 credits in English. Students may choose any combination of 30 credits from the modules offered each year.
Additional First Year English modules may be added, if required.
We live in a moment where the key discourses which have dominated our understanding of the world – of politics, economics and culture at large – suddenly seem inadequate to the task of engaging with an allegedly ‘post-truth’ environment. New discourses are struggling to emerge; some old ones appear once again to be urgently relevant. The political challenges now confronting us are urgent and manifold, and demand serious critical thinking. These include: inequality, migration, climate change, neo-imperialism, neo-nationalism and isolationism, the exploitations and depredations of global capitalism and resurgent misogyny and racism. The MA in Literatures of Engagement addresses this sense of crisis by recognising the significant role that literature – and the critical discourses associated with the study of literature – have in both reproducing and analysing cultural values and ideologies, but also in articulating responses and resistance to those. The programme is underpinned by a conviction that any critique of contemporary culture must be rooted in an informed understanding of historical currents shaping the present.
The Department of English at Maynooth has an international reputation for producing radical and politically-engaged cultural criticism. This MA will help you to develop skills in creative critical thinking and argument, promote intellectual curiosity and excitement, and affirm the intrinsic and non-instrumental value of education as a social good.
You will benefit from the instruction of committed and energetic scholars working at the forefront of their fields, with research specialisms which include Irish Studies, American, African and comparative literature, Renaissance Studies, and digital humanities. The MA addresses questions of: ecology; economy; diversity; gender, sexuality and race relations; borders; citizenship; terrorism; sovereignty; imperialism; migration and refugees. These questions are addressed using an intersectional model, drawing on key currents in literary and cultural theory: postcolonialism, feminism and gender studies, Marxism and ecocriticism. Through their choice of elective modules and a dissertation topic, students will have the opportunity to pursue their specific research interests.
The MA in Literatures of Engagement will develop its students’ skills in critical analysis, argument, persuasion, and communication, and equip them with the ability and initiative to be engaged, responsible, and informed global citizens.
Core (team-taught) modules:
EN6001 Engaging Literature
EN6002 Literatures of Engagement
EN6003 Afterlives: The Presence of the Past
EN6004 Literature, Creativity and Society
EN6005 The Political is Personal: Radical Contemporary Literatures
EN6006 Zionism, Palestinian Nationalism and Culture
EN6007 A Literature of Their Own: Gender, Literary Authority and Women’s Writing
EN6008 Postcolonial Ecocriticsm: Ireland in a Comparative Framework
EN6009 The Novel in Africa
EN6010 Resisting Images
EN6011 Irish Modernism and Its Legacies
EN6012 Imagining the Post-Imperial City
EN6013 Orating the Nation
EN6014 Same-Sex Passion, Politics and Literature
The Master of Arts: Cultures of Migration is embedded in MU’s strong research and teaching profile in social justice and interculturalism as well as its University of Sanctuary status. The MA programme explores the multifaceted challenges and potentials created by past and current (im)mobilities in the broad contexts of the production, circulation and transformation of cultural production in Ireland and internationally. This new MA is distinctive in its specific emphasis on the Arts and Humanities as an intellectual and experiential powerhouse for generating transformative responses to the imaginative and meaningful provision of welcome, refuge and sanctuary. It addresses the transnational and transcultural environment of creative/cultural production globally, and specifically in Ireland, while highlighting the central role of public outreach programmes concerning migration.
The course connects rigorous academic investigations with the enhancement of professional skills related to the world of work. In addition to core modules, students can select three options from a range of modules (from the Departments of English, History, Media Studies, Roinn na Nua-Ghaeilge (Modern Irish), as well as the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures). The modules address the centrality of language and translation, narrative (literary, historical, everyday) and archives, as well as artistic creativity and the imagination, in the negotiation of various issues. These include: human rights and humanitarianism, border-crossing and detention, labour migration and human trafficking, asylum and sanctuary, diaspora and exile, citizenship and rights to the city, social and spatial justice, the construction of ‘race’ and ethnic boundaries, gender and sexuality rights, multiculturalism and interculturalism, transcultural memory and integration, globalisation and cosmopolitics, representation and public discourse.
The programme includes a public engagement module that aims at introducing students to a range of practice-based engagements with migration in the cultural sector in Ireland, including attending on-campus talks delivered by practitioners in the field and undertaking off-campus observation of specific activities in relevant institutions.
The MA in Creative Writing combines workshops and seminars with one-on-one mentoring of writing projects. Students may take optional modules in literature or other creative modules from across the Faculty, such as Writing for Screen Media. Assessment is through shorter pieces of writing, such as craft essays and reflective journals, and a longer project.
The MA, taught by award-winning, internationally-renowned writers, will focus on guiding each student to further develop their voice as a writer, as well as to enrich their existing interests as a writer with new perspectives and a grasp of stylistic approaches. Tactics for editing and revision will be taught in tandem with generative exercises and practices aimed at deepening each student’s relationship to their creative process.
Students will have the opportunity to build and develop networks which will sustain their writing practice beyond the MA degree.
The English Department has a very active research culture, which includes students working towards the degrees of PhD and MLitt. Research degrees consist of independent research, under the supervision of a faculty member, that take place within the context of a structured programme in which students, over the course of their degree, also take a variety of modules. These include credit given for participation in the Department's regular staff-student research seminar, the Generic Skills modules offered on a Faculty-wide basis, and other, more specialised modules. However, the core of a research degree in English remains a substantial research project, carried on under the supervision of a member of faculty.
We also accept applications from postdoctoral students interested in becoming affiliated with the Department through fellowship schemes such as those offered by the IRCHSS, and encourage prospective research students to apply for a Hume Fellowship.