English is one of the fastest-expanding subjects at the University of Limerick. We study and create powerful writing, encouraging enquiry across a range of perspectives and traditions, through a variety of degree programmes and activities. Our research and teaching staff work in a wide array of specialisms, including Irish, American, and world literatures, creative writing, the study of gender and sexualities, modernisms, migration and post-colonial studies. We publish widely on topics from eighteenth-century poetry to contemporary North American fiction; Irish gothic literature to the occult life of Yeats; the nineteenth-century New Woman to human rights discourse and affect theory; medieval recipes and instructional books to trauma in contemporary women’s fiction. Our students use the creative and critical skills they develop in our modules to create new cultural realities.
English at UL integrates its research interests and its teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It can be studied as a part of our BA Arts at the undergraduate level, and as a stream in the BSc in Physical Education. At the graduate level, English has two taught MA programmes: the MA in English and the MA in Creative Writing. Proceeding from the conviction that attentive reading and creative writing are intimately related, the study of creative writing at UL is workshop and literature based and integrates the expertise of our faculty in creative writing and literary study. UL Creative Writing graduates have published novels, short stories, poems and nonfiction and have won or been shortlisted for major awards including the Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year Award, the RTE Francis McManus Award, the Arts Council Next Generation Award, the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair Prize, the Listowel Writers’ Week Bryan McMahon Short Story Award, Irish Literary Critic of the Year Award, and the Carnegie Medal for Children’s Fiction. English also contributes to exciting multi-disciplinary programmes such as the MA in Gender, Culture and Society and the new MA in Global Irish Studies.
Our students have opportunities to study and work in Europe and around the world through international exchange and work placement programmes. They have the chance to follow their own inspirations to shape an extended independent thesis in their final year of undergraduate work, to work collaboratively and to engage individually with award-winning teachers and researchers. A degree in English provides vital skills such as the ability to see connections between a multiplicity of ideas and disciplines, to understand the nuances of language, to interpret written and cultural texts of all kinds, to write effectively and persuasively, and to move between print and digital worlds. Our graduates are passionate about the written and spoken word. They go on to become teachers, researchers, editors, consultants, entrepreneurs, public servants and community activists, and to work in media and public relations. Our MA and PhD graduates also work in academic institutions and as professional writers.