Irish Writing Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Irish Writing?

Irish literature comprises writings in the Irish, Latin, English and Scots (Ulster-Scots) languages on the island of Ireland. The earliest recorded Irish writing dates from the seventh century and was produced by monks writing in both Latin and Early Irish.

The historical Irish literary texts are a profound window into the workings of early Irish society, and their understanding of kingship, fate, and love. They also played a major role in the Celtic revival in the 19th and 20th centuries, especially by asserting a specific Irish and Celtic identity.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in Irish Writing in the following subject areas:

  • Creative Writing for Adults – In this Creative Writing for Adults course participants will receive instruction and feedback in the writing of fiction.
  • Online Creative Writing Course – Learn Creative writing techniques in poetry and short story and other aspects of writing through exercises and examples, discussion and friendly critique in this highly interactive Online Creative Writing Course.
  • Diploma In Essay Writing Skills At QLS Level 3 – Master all the secrets and techniques of writing captivating essays that will leave your readers asking for more.
  • Irish Literature – From Macken to Meehan – What is Irish Literature? This course attempts to answer that question by reflecting on the past century of writing by reading the work of Walter Macken, William Trevor, Jennifer Johnston, Seamus Heaney, Paula Meehan, Ryan Dennis, Louise Nealon and Alvy Carragher.
  • Irish Literature – From Yeats to McKeon – An exciting new course which would be ideal for the literary enthusiast or anyone preparing to study English at third level.
  • Irish Literature – From Moore to Enright – By the end of the course, participants will have read and discussed a number of Ireland’s best-known authors and critically analysed their geographical settings and foundations.
  • Irish Literature – From Plunkett to Rooney – This carefully structured course is a general introduction to critically reading some of Ireland’s best-known literature in the context of a progressing Ireland.
  • Structured PhD in Contemporary Irish Studies – The focus will be on contemporary Irish studies, and how, specifically, the study of a series of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary areas of the Irish experience can lead to a clearer understanding of the Ireland of today, which will be a baseline for the study of the Ireland of the future.
  • Irish Language and Culture – Learn to speak Irish confidently in a welcoming and relaxed setting while also exploring some aspects of Irish culture.
  • Irish for Beginners – This course is designed for people who are completely new to the Irish language – those who did not learn it in school or otherwise.
  • A Return to Irish 2 – This course will help those looking to sit the official TEG exams.

Studying Irish Writing

There are many courses in Irish Writing that may take place over a few days, weeks or even 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. Building a portfolio of written work, especially any that you’ve had published, will help to evidence your writing skills and establish your reputation as a writer. Relevant work experience is a good way of demonstrating a genuine interest in the field and is regarded favourably by employers.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing an Irish Writing course you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of the Irish language and the written word.

The career of a writer can be unpredictable so you must be resilient, producing a steady output of work. It’s also important that you keep a close eye on the market, staying up to date with what kind of writing is selling and considering how to meet market demand.

As you gain a back catalogue of publications, income from new work (often in the form of advances) may be complemented by income from previous work, in the form of royalties on published works, public lending rights payments, payments for anthologising and so on.

Alternatively, you could find opportunities with a variety of employers, including publishing houses or editorial/technical writing service companies, advertising, marketing and public relations agencies, particularly in a copywriting capacity, primary, secondary, further and higher education institutions, media organisations, general businesses – in an administrative or general management position, national government, library or charitable organisations.

Working hours will depend on whether you are self-employed, employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various businesses or companies. Working hours typically include regular unsocial hours. Writers often use weekends and evenings to work, fitting their responsibilities around other employment commitments. However, some writers may adopt a disciplined approach, keeping strict office hours and working away from home to avoid distractions.

Related jobs include:

  • Advertising copywriter
  • Arts administrator
  • Creative director
  • Digital copywriter
  • Editorial assistant
  • Lexicographer
  • Magazine journalist
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Publishing copy-editor/proof-reader
  • Talent agent
  • Web content manager
  • Writer
  • Academic librarian
  • Concept artist
  • Film director
  • Information officer
  • Marketing executive
  • Primary school teacher
  • Public librarian
  • Public relations officer
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Social media manager
  • Web content manager

Further study

After completing a course in Irish Writing you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skill set. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas such as teaching, journalism, librarianship, publishing, communication and media studies, Irish language or literature, journalism and the performing arts.


What skills could be helpful for a career in Irish Writing?

To succeed as a writer, you will need some of the following general skills:

  • Literary skills
  • Imagination
  • A clear, entertaining style
  • Excellent written English and Irish skills
  • The ability to work to tight deadlines, while maintaining attention to detail
  • Excellent research skills, both literary and business-related
  • Self-discipline and time management skills
  • The ability to work alone for long periods of time
  • Verbal communication and networking skills in order to develop media contacts
  • Marketing skills and an understanding of new media as a tool for self-promotion
  • Commitment and the desire to succeed
  • IT, web, typing and editing skills
  • The necessary financial skills to manage yourself in the employment market
  • The ability to understand and accept criticism
  • Persistence, determination, resilience and enthusiasm

Where can I study Irish Writing?

Explore your options here

 Did You Know?

  • The Book of Common Prayer was the first book printed in Ireland, and shortly after its printing the new liturgy was formally introduced into Ireland at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, on Easter Day, April 17th, 1551.
  • Bram Stoker, best known for his novel, Dracula (1897), started his career as a theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail. He gave a popular review of Hamlet, by Henry Irving and was invited to join him for dinner.
  • Oscar Wilde was an Irish poet and is best known for writing The Importance of Being Earnest. Wilde wrote many more pieces, went to prison and was baptized right before his death in 1900.
  • James Joyce taught English at the Berlitz school of language in Trieste, Italy.
  • C.S Lewis wrote more than 30 books, became an atheist at the age of 15, lived through both world wars and eventually found his way back to religion to become one of the most influential Christian apologists of his time.

Mariza Halliday

Creative Writing Courses
Modern and Contemporary Literary Studies Courses


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