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.
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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.
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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.
While the Department has particular research strengths in Irish and postcolonial studies, we have published in areas ranging from Renaissance theatre to film studies. Books by Department faculty includes studies of Shakespeare and Ireland, 18th-century Irish culture, Ireland and romanticism, Irish theatre history, nineteenth-century Irish fiction, Irish famine studies, Ireland and postcolonial theory, James Joyce, Ireland and gender theory, Northern Ireland, Irish media history, Irish poetry, and Irish social memory. The Department supervises a wide range of research projects that reflect staff interests in cultural and critical theory; Irish cultural studies; Modernism; James Joyce studies; literature of migration; Colonial/Post-Colonial theory; modern and contemporary Irish literature; Irish women’s writings; feminist theory; Irish literary and cultural history, including the interaction between Irish and English literary traditions; nineteenth-century Irish literature in English; Romanticism; the literature of the Enlightenment; Shakespeare and Renaissance literature; and Shakespeare and new media.
Please click here for further information and application procedures for the MLitt in English.
Please click here for further information and application procedures for the PhD in English.