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Ireland: Subject Guides - Must read

3 Fields to study in Ireland

Our overview of three key fields to study in Ireland


There’s no denying that Ireland is a cultural powerhouse. With complex, deep-rooted historical traditions and a rich cultural legacy, studying abroad in Ireland gives students the unique chance to broaden their social perspectives and develop their creativity. Married with the typically bright, cheery disposition of the Irish, there’s hardly a better place to complete your studies. Read our guide to three key fields you should consider studying in Ireland to help kick-start your study abroad planning process.

English Language and Literature

Ever heard of Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Grey or Ulysses? Ireland may be small, but it has bred some of the greatest literary minds of our time. Heavyweights Bram Stoker, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Becket and George Bernard Shaw all call Ireland home: a national repertoire to set any cultural aficionado in awe. With a complicated and sometimes dark history, Ireland’s robust heritage has inspired works that have revolutionalised the ways we use language and think about the world around us. Ireland’s revered poetic history finds its lyrical roots in Gaelic, a language with one of the oldest and most unique literature and poetry traditions in the world.

Unsurprisingly, Irish institutions rank highly worldwide in areas English Language and Literature: Trinity College Dublin comes in at 25th, whilst University College Dublin and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth are both within the world’s top 100. Students will have the chance to experience first-hand the land that inspired so many influential works, as well as enjoy access to a wealth of excellent reading material.

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Who can say they can’t identify that sprightly chime of fiddles against buoyant drum beats as traditionally Irish? Music is a key part of the Irish identity, and draws from a rich tradition of storytelling. In fact, the harp is the national symbol of the Irish Republic.

Ireland has a spirited oral tradition that relies on listening to and understanding music by ear rather than writing it down. With upbeat, complex melodies wrought from uniquely Irish reed, pipe, drum and string instruments, students are exposed to these age-old learning methods and taught to approach their work from a broader, more lyrical perspective. Irish music has influenced modern country, blue grass, folk, jazz and rock musicians all over the world, as well a number of home-grown international acts. Van Morrison, Enya, U2 and The Corrs all call Ireland home.

Music in Ireland is taught through a number of different approaches: composition, performance, theory, history, musicology, and music technology. Between Dublin Institute of Technology’s Conservatory of Music and Drama and Cork Institute of Technology’s music school, students have a spectrum of music study programmes across all study levels at University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and National University of Ireland, Maynooth to choose from.

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Ireland’s history dates all the way back to 8000BC, and cites some of the most dramatic and enthralling moments of any country in the world. Whilst dark in places, the nation’s complex past has affected a rich, distinct sense of heritage and identity that offers any student of History the chance to develop a new perspective and build an invaluable understanding of another culture. As well as high quality of education, students have the chance to visit historical sites of archaeological, political and mythical significance. Whichever supplementary social science fields you’re interested in, Ireland’s historical resources will offer you a new take on ideas of a nation’s politics and cultural identity.

Trinity College Dublin ranks 48th globally for History, with University College Dublin ranking within the top 100.  Students have the chance to focus on specific areas of history such as Medieval Studies, Irish history, Latin and Old Irish Studies to Modern European and American History, across Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Doctorate levels.

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Inspired to write the world’s next great work? Why not browse courses in Ireland now and pursue your study abroad dreams?

Useful Links

Applying to Study in Ireland

Common Cultural Misconceptions about Ireland

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About Author


Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.

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