Prospective Students

MA in Intercultural Studies (PAC Codes: DC611 Full-Time, DC612 Part-Time) Closed for Applications for 2016


Fact File

Duration: 1 year full time, 2 years part time
Contact: Dr. Ciaran Dunne
Fee informationClick Here
Indicative Timetable(Weeks 1-12)

Degree Information:

This course has closed and is not accepting applications for a September 2015 start.

Over recent years and in response to an increasingly internationalised environment, Intercultural Studies has emerged as a key discipline for enhancing our understanding of the historical, social and cultural dimensions of language study and of intercultural contact.

Hear what our students think of the programme

Why study Intercultural Studies?

Rapid developments in technology, as well as the globalisation of politics and economics have resulted in unprecedented levels of international human mobility. As a result, the societies in which we live are increasingly culturally diverse and intercultural contact is increasingly frequent. However, while exposure to other cultures offers huge potential benefits to individuals and societies, there are also challenges to overcome. Different value systems, coupled with diverging communication styles and behaviours can result in miscommunication and conflict between cultural groups, both within and across societies.

With this in mind, Intercultural Studies aims to provide individuals with both the knowledge to thoroughly understand the dynamics of intercultural contact and the practical skills to enable them to successfully engage with cultural diversity, be it in their work environment or elsewhere.

Aims and Objectives:

  • To examine a range of issues relating to the areas of cultural difference and communication across cultures, including how we describe cultural difference, the relationship between language and cultural identity, globalisation and internationalisation, moral and ethical dimensions of cultural conflict, cross-cultural communication and the importance of socio-economic factors in cultural contact
  • To investigate the intercultural dimensions of literature and film, particularly in relation to French, German, Japanese and Spanish speaking communities.
  • Some modules take a more applied approach, such as those dealing with multiculturalism and the intercultural workplace.

Programme Structure:

The MA in Intercultural Studies comprises a number of core and optional modules. While the core modules ensure all students become familiar with the fundamental concepts relevant to the field, the wide variety of optional modules allows students the opportunity to pursue and explore specific topics of personal interest.

Modules are delivered via lectures and interactive seminars, which give students the opportunity to engage fully in the learning process. DCU has an ethos of creating a welcoming and supportive learning environment for all students and this is a central tenet of the MA programme. Over the course of the programme, students will work autonomously and in collaboration with fellow students on a variety of different tasks, and in doing so will reflect on their own cultural identity and personal experiences of intercultural contact.

View the subjects currently taught on this course (2016 - 2017)

Why DCU:

Universities both identify and respond to educational needs within society, and the ability to communicate and interact successfully with people from different cultures has been identified as one of the key competencies needed for the 21st century. With this in mind, DCU's MA in Intercultural Studies represents a unique offering in Irish higher education. It seeks to equip graduates with the ability to understand intercultural contact from both theoretical and practical perspectives, drawing on a variety of case studies, cultural outputs and personal experiences to facilitate this process.

The programme attracts students from all around the world, as well as those from the local community, and offers a wide range of stimulating modules which discuss and explore intercultural contact from multiple perspectives. For a full list of modules offered on the programme please click here.

Student Profile

Given that intercultural contact is a defining characteristic of modern societies, the MA is of relevance to everyone. Students come from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, both local and international, and each has their own specific reasons for choosing the programme.

For individuals who work - or wish to work - in industry sectors in which cultural diversity has become a central feature, such as healthcare, education, policing and other social services, the programmme offers the opportunity to reflect on their changing workplace, identify the key challenges and opportunities associated with cultural difference and operate more effectively. Equally, for those who work in fields which are international by nature, such as international business and tourism, the programme gives them a new lens through which to analyse their experiences and improve their competencies.

Furthermore, for individuals who have migrated from one cultural environment to another - or who plan to do so in the future - the exploration of topics such as cross-cultural adaptation can offer important insights into the experience of adapting to a new culture and can assist in the development of strategies to overcome the related challenges. This is also true for individuals who have had extremely rich experiences of intercultural contact throughout their lives - for example, 'third culture kids' who have lived in numerous countries - and who wish to make sense of this by locating it within a relevant theoretical context.

The programme is also relevant to policy makers and community activists interested in overcoming the challenges and harnessing the benefits of diversity within communities, while also appealing to individuals who are interested in how intercultural contact is depicted and examined in film, literature and other creative arts.

Overall, the programme is designed for individuals who are curious about culture and how its varied manifestations and representations shape our experience of the world.

Career Prospects:

Given the diverse backgrounds of our students and the equally wide variety of motives for choosing the programme, our expanding network of graduates from the MA in Intercultural Studies can be found working in many areas. Many of our graduates come to the programme already in employment and after graduation continue in their chosen field, applying the new knowledge, ideas and attributes they have developed. Other graduates use the programme as an opportunity to develop skills which are important to their desired area of work, be it nationally or internationally based. In addition to this, graduates may also wish to continue further academic research following graduation, and the MA has a strong track record in this regard.

Entry Requirements:

This course will not run in September 2015.

Applications are usually invited from recent and mature graduates (Honours 2.2 minimum) with degrees in foreign languages or other relevant disciplines. Exceptionally, we also welcome applications from those with proven ability in foreign language/s or relevant work experience in a multicultural environment. Selection is by application form and must be supported by a written piece of work, e.g. an essay or thesis, or by a statement outlining why the applicant wishes to pursue the course (max. 500 words). Applicants may also be interviewed.

International Applications

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.

Dates for Submission of Applications

EU Applicants

This course is closed and is not accepting applications for a September 2016 start.

Non-EU Applicants

This course is closed and is not accepting applications for a September 2016 start.

Applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of gaining entry into Ireland are advised to apply as early as possible.

Study Visas - Important Information

Applicants who require a student visa for entry to Ireland are encouraged to seek clarification from the relevant Irish embassy regarding the closing date for application for such a visa. Applicants who do not secure a study visa in time will be unable to take up their offer of a place on any DCU programme.

Applying through the Postgraduate Applications Centre (

Queries on Completed Applications

Queries on completed applications can be made by e-mail to

Fee information

Indicative Timetable
(Weeks 1-12)