IRFL20010 The Study of Folklore: Origins and Development

Academic Year 2023/2024

This course will examine the history of folkloristics and the documentation of popular tradition and folklore in Ireland and abroad, with reference to the various movements and interests which have shaped their development. Particular attention will be paid to early collecting work in Ireland, and to the work of pioneers in the field. The evolution of collecting methodology in this country, and some of the more important approaches to the study of folklore, will be examined and traced from the late 18th century to the present. The course will make reference to the National Folklore Collection's unique archive holdings at UCD, and to the library in the UCD Delargy Centre for Irish Folklore with its comprehensive collection of 18th and 19th century writings and publications.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the module, students should be able to:

1. Explain the historical development of folklore collecting and folkloristics in Ireland.
2. Assess the importance of individual collectors and writers in the field and review their contribution to the subject in the context of their own time-period.
3. Analyse and evaluate the principal sources for the study of Irish oral tradition and ethnology.
4. Indicate a familiarity with contemporary approaches to the subject, and with significant trends in current research.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Teaching in the module is geared towards the promotion of a spirit of enquiry among students and towards encouraging them to develop a reflective approach to their studies. Teaching is carried out in lectures and, in the academic year 2021/22, it is expected that classes will be delivered in person rather than online. Assessment will take the form of an in-semester essay and an end-of-term essay OR an end-of-term in-person exam. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
IRFL20080 - Myth and Legend

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: c.2000-word essay to be submitted online. Depending on the ongoing health situation, students may be required to sit an in-person exam rather than completing an online essay. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Essay: c.2000-word essay, to be submitted online. Week 6 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback in this module is centred around the in-semester continuous assessment component, enabling students to draw on feedback provided for the earlier in-semester component to improve their performance in the later component.

Name Role
Dr Kelly Fitzgerald Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 13:00 - 13:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Wed 13:00 - 13:50