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«Master in Philosophy in Irish Writing COURSE HANDBOOK 2015-2016 Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing School of English, Trinity College Dublin 21 ...»

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Master in Philosophy in Irish Writing



Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing

School of English, Trinity College Dublin

21 Westland Row

Dublin 2

Table of Contents: 1

Contact Information/General Course Outline/ Weighting of Credits

Taught Elements

Required Modules 3

Option Modules 4

Taught Element Timetables 5 Schedule and Deadlines 6 Assessment Information 7-8 General Information Library 9 Computers 9 Blackboard 9 General Regulations 9-11 House Rules for Oscar Wilde Centre 12 Module Descriptions

Required Modules:

Perspectives in Irish Writing 13-14

Single Authors:

Swift 15-16 Yeats 16-17 Joyce 18 Beckett 19

Option Modules:

MT Writing the Troubles 20-21 Ireland on Stage 21-22 HT Big House Literature 23-24 Irish Poetry after Yeats 24-25 Creative Writing Workshop 25 Information about The Oscar Wilde Centre 26 M.PHIL. in IRISH WRITING

Course Director:

Prof Eve Patten Room 4023 Arts Building epatten@tcd.ie 01-869 1299

Course Administrator:

[tbc] Administrator's Office, Ground Floor, Oscar Wilde Centre oscar@tcd.ie 01-896 2885

General Course Outline:

Teaching in this course takes place in two terms of twelve weeks duration. The first term is called the MICHAELMAS TERM, the second, the HILARY TERM. In each of these terms, students will take a combination of required courses and their choice of option courses. In the third term, TRINITY EXAM TERM, students begin working on their dissertations.

Weighting of Credits:

The total weighting for European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is 90,

broken down as follows:

Taught elements: 60 ECTS Dissertation: 30 ECTS


SYSTEM (ECTS) The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is an academic credit system based on the estimated student workload required to achieve the objectives of a module or programme of study. It is designed to enable academic recognition for periods of study, to facilitate student mobility and credit accumulation and transfer. The ECTS is the recommended credit system for higher education in Ireland and across the European Higher Education Area.

The ECTS weighting for a module is a measure of the student input or workload required for that module, based on factors such as the number of contact hours, the number and length of written or verbally presented assessment exercises, class preparation and private study time, laboratory classes, examinations, clinical attendance, professional training placements, and so on as appropriate. There is no intrinsic relationship between the credit volume of a module and its level of difficulty.

The European norm for full-time study over one academic year is 60 credits. The Trinity academic year is 40 weeks from the start of Michaelmas Term to the end of the annual examination period 1 ECTS credit represents 20-25 hours estimated student input, so a 10credit module will be designed to require 200-250 hours of student input including class contact time and assessments.

ECTS credits are awarded to a student only upon successful completion of the course year.

Progression from one year to the next is determined by the course regulations. Students who fail a year of their course will not obtain credit for that year even if they have passed certain component courses. Exceptions to this rule are one-year and part-year visiting students, who are awarded credit for individual modules successfully completed."

Taught Elements:

Required Modules Perspectives in Irish Writing (20 ECTS) This is a weekly series of lectures and seminars (two hours per week) on the history and contexts of Irish Writing from the late sixteenth to the present day. This course is given by various lecturers from the School of English.

Single Authors (20 ECTS) This module, taught in a weekly two-hour seminar, covers the work of four major individual authors from the Irish literary tradition. In Michaelmas term we study Swift and Yeats, and in

Hilary term, Joyce and Beckett, as below:

Michaelmas Term:

–  –  –

Option Modules Students are required to select one of the options offered in Michaelmas Term and one of those offered in Hilary Term. Please inform the Course Administrator of your choice of Michaelmas Term option by the end of the second week, your choice of Hilary Term option by the end of Michaelmas Term: please note the earlier deadline if you wish to apply for the Creative Writing workshop. (Students are permitted to audit the options in which they have not enrolled with the exception of Option 5).

Michaelmas Term:

1. Writing the Troubles (10 ECTS) This is taught by Prof Terence Brown in a weekly 2-hour seminar

2. Ireland on Stage (10 ECTS) This is taught by Prof Julie Bates in a weekly 2-hour seminar

Hilary Term:

3. Big House Literature (10 ECTS) This is taught by Prof Paul Delaney in a weekly 2-hour seminar

4. Irish Poetry after Yeats (10 ECTS) This is taught by Prof Tom Walker in a weekly 2-hour seminar 5 Creative Writing (10 ECTS) This is taught by the Irish Writer Fellow in a weekly 2-hour workshop, open only to students selected upon presentation of a portfolio of recent creative work. Portfolios should be presented to the Course Administrator by December 2015 The Briena Staunton Practice of Writing Seminar This is a series of eight talks for the M.Phil. in Creative Writing during which writers will speak about their own experience of the practice of writing. This is open to students in the M.Phil. in Irish Writing and M.Phil. in Literary Translation as an audit option. This seminar is moderated by Professor Deirdre Madden and Professor Gerald Dawe.

Taught Element Timetables:


–  –  –

All classes take place in the seminar room on the first floor of the Oscar Wilde Centre unless otherwise stated.

Schedule and Deadlines 2015-2016


Michaelmas term (28 September –18 December 2015)

1. Students are required to submit ONE essay relating to the Perspectives in Irish Writing module and ONE essay on EITHER Swift OR Yeats. The essay relating to the Perspectives in Irish Writing is 4000 words, due by Friday of week 12 of Michaelmas Term (18 December 2015). The essay on EITHER Swift OR Yeats is 4000 words and is due by the Friday of week 1 of Hilary term (22 January 2016).

2. Students are required to submit ONE essay relating to their chosen option in this term. This essay is 4000 words with submission by the Friday of week 3 of Hilary term (5 February 2016).

Hilary term (18 January –8 April 2016)

3. Students are required to submit ONE essay relating to the Perspectives in Irish Writing module and ONE essay on EITHER Joyce OR Beckett. The essay relating to the Perspectives in Irish Writing course is 4000 words, due on the Friday of week 12 of Hilary Term (8 April 2016). The essay on EITHER Joyce OR Beckett is 4000 words and is due by the Friday of week 2 of Trinity Exam Term, 22 April 2016

4. Students are required to submit ONE essay relating to their chosen option in this term. This essay is 4000 words with submission by the Friday of week 4 of Trinity Exam Term, 6 May

5. Submission by 2 December 2015 of portfolios for students wishing to apply for Creative Writing Option in Hilary Term 2016 Submission of Creative Writing Option work by the Friday of week 4 in Trinity Exam Term May 2016 Week 12 of Hilary term (4 April) Indication and preliminary discussion of dissertation topics.

1 June 2016 Dissertation titles and outlines to be presented to supervisor for approval by course director.

May – August 2016 Consultations between students and supervisors on dissertations on the basis of individual arrangement.

31 August 2016 Submission of dissertation.

Award of degree to successful candidates at Spring Commencements in 2017.

Assessment Information:

The course is assessed by means of presented papers and a dissertation. Students must submit essays relating to their compulsory courses and to their chosen options. In the case of the Creative Writing Option, students present a portfolio of work.

Please note in the Schedule above the dates by which papers should be presented in relation to specific courses. Topics for these papers will be posted on the notice board in the Oscar Wilde Centre.

Papers should be presented to the Course Administrator before or on the due date. Essays and dissertations must not exceed the designated word count. Work exceeding the word count may be penalised. Presented papers are kept on file by the School of English.


Requests for extensions should be directed to Professor Patten, and will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. In the case of extensions requested on medical grounds, documentation may be required.

The Master in Philosophy degree is awarded on a Distinction*/Pass/Fail basis.

In order to be awarded a distinction, a student must satisfy all of the following four criteria:

1) they must achieve a mark of 70% in the dissertation element of the course (the dissertation amounts to 30 ECTS)

2) they must achieve an average mark of at least 68% (without the benefit of rounding up) in the taught modules of the course (these total 60 ECTS)

3) they must achieve a mark of at least 70% in at least half of the taught modules (ie modules amounting to an aggregate of 30 ECTS)

4) they cannot fail any course module

Grade Descriptors:

Although the MPhil degree is awarded on a Distinction/Pass/Fail basis, individual

assignments within the MPhil courses are marked according to the following standards:

1st 80–100 A paper of outstanding merit; publishable quality.

1st 70–79 A very strong and original paper: work displaying analytical and argumentative power with good command of the facts and/or arguments relevant to the questions and evidence of ability to organise them with clarity, insight and efficiency.

Upper 2nd 60–69 Work displaying analytical power and argumentation of the quality associated with a First, but with less comprehensive and thorough command of evidence. Or work showing considerable thoroughness but less analytical skill or less clarity in organisation.

Lower 2nd 50–59 Competent work with no major defects, but giving an incomplete account of the question, or marred by inaccuracies. Or work which demonstrates lapses in (but does not lack) analytical and argumentative skills.

3rd 40–49 Work that is generally weak with muddled argumentation, but containing some evidence of knowledge of facts and analytical skill. These marks are also used for work that, while competent and knowledgeable in itself, does not address the question asked.

Fail 0–39 Very poor quality work, not meeting the standards of information, understanding and analysis required for graduate level.

Weighting of Assessed Elements Dissertation = 34% Perspectives in Irish Writing Essay (x2) + Single Major Authors Essays (x2) = 33% Option Essays (x2) or Option Essay + Creative Writing Option = 33% Presentation of Dissertations Dissertation (30 ECTS) The dissertation must be between 12,000 and 15,000 words, on a topic chosen in consultation with the MPhil course directors and supervised during the summer by a member of the teaching staff. Dissertations must be bound in accordance with the University regulations and guidelines, available from the Course Administrator. A word count should be included at the end of the dissertation. Three copies should be presented. The dissertation must not exceed the designated word count. Work exceeding the word count may be penalised.

The following declaration, signed and dated, must be included in each copy:

“I declare that this thesis has not been submitted as an exercise for a degree at this or any other university and that it is entirely my own work. I agree that the Library may lend or copy this thesis upon request”.

Please note that students who are required to make minor revisions to their dissertations must complete them within two months from the date of the Court of Examiners meeting. Where major revisions are requested, the student must re-register for a six-month period and pay the appropriate fee.

Complete guidelines are available from the Course Administrator.

General Information:


The course is structured to allow students to spend a good deal of time in the library. It is conceived as very much a reading course which directs students in various aspects of the field. Reading lists should not be treated as simply lists of set texts but as guides to the individual subject areas.

There are two departments of the University library with significant holdings for literary


The Ussher Library (Level1). This holds a useful collection of basic literary texts that may be borrowed.

The Department of Early Printed Books. In addition to early printed books, this includes many works by contemporary Irish writers, which must be consulted in this reading room, and may not be borrowed.

Many volumes, not included in the Ussher Library, are stored in stacks elsewhere which will need to be requested. These may mostly be found in the library’s online catalogue and in many cases may be ordered online.

It is important to get to know the various catalogues and computer files. Library tours are arranged in the first week of Michaelmas Term.

Borrowing: Students on this course have postgraduate borrowing rights (10 books at a time).

Check the exact entitlements with the Library.

Computer Access:

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