Make yourself employable with a postgrad as Gaeilge

Job prospects for gaeilgeoirí boosted by Languages Act and EU recognition of Irish along with Government pledge on public service

Students seeking to study through Irish are attracted by the prospect of well-paid jobs interpreting and translating texts and legislation into Irish in the EU’s institutions

Students seeking to study through Irish are attracted by the prospect of well-paid jobs interpreting and translating texts and legislation into Irish in the EU’s institutions


Irish universities offer a range of options for those wishing to take postgraduate courses through Irish.

New employment opportunities have emerged in recent years for graduates with skills in the language, especially since the introduction of the Official Languages Act 2003 and the recognition of Irish as an official working language in the European Union.

Students seeking to study through Irish are attracted by the prospect of well-paid jobs interpreting and translating texts and legislation into Irish in the EU’s institutions, mainly in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg.

In an interview in February with TG4 for Election 2016, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he favoured a higher level of recruitment of Irish speakers to ensure that people could conduct business in Irish.

Currently, State bodies, including Government departments, are obliged to include no less than 6 per cent Irish speakers on panels.

One-fifth of places on public service application panels will be filled by people able to speak Irish fluently, the Taoiseach has pledged.

The following is a selection of postgraduate courses that are currently available.

Fiontar at DCU

Dublin City University’s Fiontar (Irish for venture) is an interdisciplinary school established in 1993 to link the Irish language with contemporary finance, computing and enterprise, through courses taught in Irish.

MSc in Business and Technology – MSc i nGnó agus i dTeicneolaíocht an Eolais This programme provides an opportunity for students to add to the broad educational and work expertise they already possess by gaining IT and business skills which will equip them for the workplace in either the public or private sector.

It is recognised by the Higher Education Authority under the Graduate Skills Conversion Programme. This means that EU students pay fees of about €2,950, instead of the usual postgraduate degree fees of about €6,500.

The programme can be taken on either a full-time or a part-time basis. Students studying full-time will normally complete the programme in one academic year (two semesters). Part-time students will usually complete the programme in two years over 10-12 weekends on campus.

MA in Society and Language – (Sochaí agus Teanga) This programme focuses on the development of Irish in contemporary society and issues related to language planning. The programme includes training of staff who work in the public, voluntary and private service in the development and application of language policy.

The course focuses on the legislative framework of the Official Languages Act 2003 and on the provision of services through Irish .

Candidates will usually have a primary honours degree (not necessarily in the Irish language) or have equivalent prior learning and relevant work experience (about three years), according to the normal requirements of the university.

Candidates will register initially for the Graduate Certificate. A satisfactory level of fluency and accuracy in the Irish language is required (of approximately Leaving Certificate honours level), which will be assessed by interview.

Gaelchultúr – Coláiste na hÉireann

Coláiste na hÉireann is the first Irish language third-level institute and it came into existence in the summer of 2013 when Gaelchultúr was awarded the status of third-level college by Hetac.

The Dioplóma Iarchéime san Aistriúchán (Postgraduate Diploma in Translation), the first postgraduate programme offered by Coláiste na hÉireann/ Gaelchultúr, will accept a fourth cohort of students from September of this year (pending re-validation by QQI).

The Dioplóma Iarchéime san Aistriúchán is a Level 9 NFQ course and the programme lasts three semesters. It is aimed at those who already have a good standard of Irish, but who wish to acquire translation skills or to enhance the skills they already have.

It is also ideal for those who work through Irish on a daily basis – teachers and journalists, for example, who wish to improve their standard of writing in the language. The course will also benefit those who are interested in working as translators, administrators or lawyer-linguists in one of the EU institutions.

The classroom-based sessions are held on one Saturday a month at Coláiste na hÉireann/Gaelchultúr’s headquarters in Dublin city centre.

Much of the course material is available on Gaelchultúr’s e-learning website,

Further information about the Dioplóma Iarchéime san Aistriúchán programme is available at


Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge /NUIG

NUI Galway’s Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge was developed to deliver university education through the medium of Irish. The underlying philosophy of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is to provide for the specific needs of Irish speakers and Gaeltacht communities, through the promotion of academic programmes, courses and research activities in areas that are seen as being of vital importance to the future of these communities.

NUI Galway offers two Irish postgraduate opportunities. MA sa Nua-Gaeilge will give students an advanced understanding of various aspects of Irish language studies including the language itself, literature, culture and history.

The course gives students a grounding for those considering doing doctoral research in Irish in the future. The programme is available two days a week over one academic year (full-time).

MA in Conference Interpreting (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) is the only dedicated Irish language master’s programme in conference interpreting in Ireland.

This programme is in demand due primary to the Irish language status as an official language within the European Union – a development which has seen a dramatic increase in job vacancies in the EU for those with recognised qualifications in Irish language interpreting and translation skills.

Training is provided by practising professionals in both modes of conference interpreting. Irish, English, French, Spanish, Italian and German have been offered on the programme to date.

The MA programme in Language Studies (LéannTeanga) is offered as a full-time course over one year or as a two-year part-time programme through blended learning. While studying subjects such as research methodologies, academic writing and professional communication, the course offers two specialist streams, language planning and translation studies.

Language planning has emerged as an applied academic branch of the linguistic disciplines and primarily concentrates on the development of the strategic requirements and interventions of a language community. The demand for qualified translators makes this an attractive programme for those looking to gain swift employment in this area.

NUI Galway also offers an MA in Communications which includes modules in broadcasting and radio and television journalism with a strong emphasis on practical skills and work experience. The programme will be available as a full-time course over one year or as a two-year part-time programme. Places on all of the programmes are limited to 15 applicants and commence in September 2016.


Dublin Institute of Technology offers an MA in Applied Irish in conjunction with Gaelchultúr Teoranta. The MA in Applied Irish is focused on employees of the public sector who will work through Irish in the future and graduates who want to work in Ireland and Europe.

The course is suitable for those who wish to work as translators, interpreters, linguists, proofreaders and who wish to work in tourism. Candidates must have a degree of 2.2 or higher with Irish as one of their subjects at undergraduate level or be able to demonstrate a level of competence in Irish.


Students may read for a research degree, reading towards an MLitt (one-three years) or a PhD (two-five years). The college also runs a Postgraduate Diploma in Old Irish and an MPhil in Early Irish.


MA: Scríobh agus Cumarsáid na Gaeilge places focus on language, critical theory, translation, journalism and technology for students wishing to seek employment in education, research or State bodies.


The university offers a taught postgraduate course in Modern Irish (Nua-Ghaeilge). Applicants are required to have an honours BA degree with at least a 2.1 in Irish. The course, which includes modules on literature in Irish, Irish language and Irish manuscripts and palaeography, runs for one year (full-time) or two years (part-time).

The college also offers a (full-time) Level 9 postgraduate Diploma in Irish Language and European Law. The course is run by the Department of Modern Irish in collaboration with the School of Law and is aimed at students seeking specialised training in European law as well as in-depth Irish language skills. Graduates will be well placed to apply for positions within the European Commission and European Parliament upon completion.