MA Philosophy & Literature

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MA in Philosophy and Literature will be useful for any job requiring a subtle understanding of debate and disagreement, or requiring close attention to texts, especially in the cultural sector. It is a an interdisciplinary one-year programme (or two years part-time) designed to offer graduates either Philosophy or Literature (English and other literatures) the opportunity to study the many areas of overlap between the disciplines.  The central questions concern the status of the text, the status of the world represented in the text, and the relationship between the reader, the text, the author, and that world.

  • Unique combination of philosophy and literature
  • Close attention from dissertation supervisor
  • Vibrant academic and social community

Careers & Employability

It is very difficult to generalise about the career paths of our MA graduates. A small number continue into PhD programmes both at UCD and abroad. Others have gone into journalism, the civil service, arts management, secondary school teaching, and the corporate world.

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

Our MA in Philosophy and Literature programme is aimed at students who wish to deepen their knowledge of the core areas of philosophy and literature at graduate level.  It is also intended to provide a good foundation of graduate work for students who wish to continue to more advanced graduate research. It aims to provide an integration of literary theory and text-based work with the philosophical implications of the area.  The School of Philosophy encourages our students to be critical philosophical thinkers with the ability to reflect on current philosophical debates, history of philosophical thought and add their own contribution.  We aim to provide a learning environment that fosters collegiality and a pluralistic approach to the main areas of philosophy and encourages students to engage critically with questions.  As the largest teaching and research centre in philosophy in Ireland, the programme benefits from many world-leading figures in philosophy that give invited seminars and conferences throughout the year.  Small group seminars and participation in conferences and workshops are a key element of the programme design.  As such, the programme uses key approaches to teaching such as philosophical debates, critical reflections, essays and paper presentations.

  • A deepened appreciation of the significance and value of ideas in and for internationalisation and globalisation
  • A grasp of how to pursue a career in academic life and the acquiring of transferable skills in research and organisation
  • A knowledge of how to write research proposals and attain funding from national and international organisations
  • An awareness of how to compose and structure philosophical writing for peer reviewed journals, book collections and monographs
  • An awareness of how to present and defend philosophical papers in seminars, workshops, conferences and other fora.
  • An enhanced awareness of how to work with texts, organise a thesis and set out extended philosophical arguments clearly and compellingly.
  • An enhanced awareness of the relevance of philosophy to other academic disciplines and to personal, professional and political life.
  • An extensive knowledge of library and online sources that facilitate research, including classical and foreign language sources.
  • Detailed studies of these complementary disciplines (philosophy and literature) and of literary theory through a programme delivered with the Schools of English and Modern European Languages.

View All Modules Here

Students have to take the 'flagship' module, 'Philosophy and Literature', co-taught by a philosopher and a literary theorist. In addition, students must take two further modules.  Please see website for details.

The other three modules are to be taken from a list of approved modules in other literature schools.

While it is recommended that full-time students take three modules in each semester, it is up to the student.

Students must then complete the dissertation by the end of August, and this will be worth 30 credits.

MA Philosophy & Literature (W179) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 10100
nonEU    fee per year - € 22600

MA Philosophy & Literature (W180) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 5460
nonEU    fee per year - € 11300

***Fees are subject to change
Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

Applicants must present an undergraduate degree in either Philosophy or a Literature. If the undergraduate degree is in literature, you should have at least two courses in literary theory, each with a grade of at least B- (60%). An overall grade of B- (60%) in your undergraduate degree (to be confirmed by a transcript); two academic letters of reference; a sample of philosophical or literary-theoretical writing, such as an undergraduate essay.

  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.
  • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

The following entry routes are available:

MA Philosophy & Literature FT (W179)
1 Years
Full Time
MA Philosophy & Literature PT (W180)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised