HDip Irish Folklore

Graduate Taught (level 8 nfq, credits 60)

The HDip in Irish Folklore should provide students with the requisite skills, knowledge and experience to enable them to formulate and complete their own research projects in the field of folklore studies
  • Designed for students and scholars without any previous background in general folkloristics or comparative ethnology
  • Training in original archival and fieldwork research and methods.
  • Access to the specialist library and archive holdings of the UCD Delargy Centre for Irish Folklore and the National Folklore Collection

Careers & Employability

The course can provide a pathway to higher degrees in Folklore. Graduates can be found across a range of occupations, including teaching, research, museums and other heritage institutions, the media and journalism.

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. No

The programme is designed for students and scholars without any previous background in general folkloristics or comparative ethnology, with the aim of providing them with a broad knowledge of the essentials of these subjects. The course is suitable as a conversion course which could provide a pathway to higher degrees in Irish Folklore.

The study of Folklore focuses on traditional popular culture, in the past and in the present. As an academic discipline, it involves the exploration of material culture, social tradition, oral literature and popular belief and practice.


The Higher Diploma programme is designed to give students in-depth knowledge of the principal forms and genres of Folklore, with reference to their historical background and global context. The programme is aimed at national and international students with an interest in popular tradition, vernacular culture and Irish studies. It is designed to deepen and enhance students’ capacity for cultural engagement across a range of issues and experiences, and provides them with a solid basis on which to develop their interest and involvement in the subject, should they so wish. 

The programmes’ educational values are centred on the promotion of a spirit of enquiry regarding the nature, persistence and dynamics of tradition in everyday life. They encourage students to develop a reflective approach to their studies, while also emphasising the centrality of fieldwork and archival sources to their learning. Teaching is carried out in lectures, in small-group tutorials, and in seminar-style participatory classes. Students are also encouraged to use digital archive resources in their learning. Assessments take the form of written examinations, journal-keeping, in-semester essays and oral presentations. They also include assignments which give students the opportunity to pursue given topics using archival data-sets. 

  • Students should have an understanding of the basic elements and theories of folkloristic research and of contemporary critical discourse in folklore and ethnology, including the ability to assess assumptions and the ways in which such assumptions have developed within society.
  • appreciate and articulate the ways in which the present is moulded by the past in the area of popular tradition and folklore.
  • demonstrate digital expertise through the use of digital resources such as www.duchas.ie.
  • demonstrate effective communication skills with appropriate use of subject-specific terminology; develop their knowledge and use of subject-specific and transferable skills.
  • indicate an understanding of the ethical responsibilities involved in folkloristic research, and an understanding of the necessity of establishing empathy with informants/co-researchers.
  • show a capacity for relating what they have learned to their own experience and to issues which arise in the wider community.

View All Modules Here

The programme cosists of 8 taught modules, two of which incorporate a series of research seminars as well as training and supervision towards an end-of-year dissertation. All students will be required to engage in original research as part of their work toward their dissertation.

HDip Irish Folklore (Z086) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 7000
nonEU    fee per year - € 15070

***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.

If English is not your native language, unless you have done your primary degree through English in an English speaking country, an English language qualification is required for all programmes.

Higher Diploma in Irish Folklore

You will need:

  • A primary degree at third level and a complete transcript of academic history including grades for each subject taken.
  • Names and contact details of two referees who can assess your intellectual ability, maturity and motivation.
  • Other documentation as required by the University.
  • A basic reading knowledge of the Irish language is also required for this programme. This may be acquired concurrently with the student’s Higher Diploma studies.

The following entry routes are available:

HDip Irish Folklore FT (Z086)
1 Years
Full Time

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