Irish Folklore

Course Information

BA (Hons) (NFQ Level 8) OR BSc (Hons) NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN520
CAO Points Range 2018: 381
Length of Course: 3 Years
Average Intake: 350

CAO Code: DN700
CAO Points Range 2018: 392
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 500

Leaving Certificate:

DN520 BA Arts –  O6/H7 in English, Irish, a third language and three other recognised subjects.

DN700 BSc Social Sciences –  O6/H7 in English, Irish, Mathematics and three other recognised subjects.

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

The study of folklore involves the study of traditional popular culture, in the past and in the present. It is primarily concerned with the history and culture of ordinary people, and with the evolution and role of tradition at vernacular level. As an academic discipline, folklore (or ethnology) involves the exploration of oral literature, social tradition, material culture, popular belief and practice, as well as traditional music and song. It explores the dynamics of communal memory and of culture as a collective phenomenon. It looks at the nature of popular tradition and the way in which such tradition is transmitted, usually outside of official channels and often across vast distances of time and space. The course investigates Irish folklore as a local expression of international cultural phenomena, making the subject particularly suitable for international students.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

A degree in Irish Folklore is of relevance to anyone interested in popular culture, tradition and society, and their interconnections. It provides an excellent basis for careers in:

  • Heritage bodies and institutions, community organisations and local development initiatives
  • Community organisations and local development initiatives
  • The media
  • Teaching
  • Areas related to Irish studies, local studies & ethnic studies.

You can also pursue MA and Diploma courses in Irish Folklore at graduate level, as well as MLitt and PhD studies, specialising in one of the many areas of the subject.

What Will I Study

First Year
In first year, modules allow you to explore the nature and context of folklore, and provide you with a general introduction to the wide range of topics involved. You will be introduced to key texts on Irish folklore, and to some of the principal sources of information on the subject.

Modules include:

  • Introduction to Folklore
  • Folklore & the Imagination
  • Traditional Storytelling

Second Year

  • The Study of Folklore: Origins and Development
  • Material Culture
  • Social Life and Legend
  • The Narrative Art
  • Healers and Healing
  • Music and Words: Identity in the Irish Context

At the end of second year, convert your degree to a BA (Honours) International by spending a year at one of our partner universities in Europe, Canada and the USA. Further information on international exchanges is available at and information on Erasmus exchanges is available from the School of Irish, Celtic Studies & Folklore.

Third Year

  • Myth & Tradition
  • Folk Religion and Belief
  • Textual Analysis of the Irish Oral Tradition
  • Calendar Custom
  • Collectors of Song and Music

Key Fact

UCD houses the award-winning UNESCO National Folklore Collection. It is recognised as one of Europe’s largest archives of oral and cultural history.


How Will I Study

Studying Irish Folklore (BA Arts)
Studying Irish Folklore (BA Humanities)
Celtic Studies, Art History & History
Studying Irish Folklore (BSc Social Sciences) as a minor with one of the following:

International Study Opportunities

There are opportunities for students to spend a year studying abroad while pursuing their BA in Irish Folklore. Possibilities include Europe, Canada and the United States.


“I have found Folklore to be a fascinating subject with an impressive range of challenging and rewarding modules. The enthusiastic and dedicated staff have inspired my studies and encouraged my participation and engagement. So, if you are curious about popular and traditional culture, society and identity, and human existence in everyday life, then I would strongly suggest that Folklore will transform your interests into a passion. Become fabulously enriched by Folklore – you won’t be disappointed.”

Brian Simpson Irish Folklore Student

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