Ireland hosts some of the best universities in the world and has massive connections to other prestigious universities through the Erasmus exchange program and bilateral agreements. Through these connections, students can gain global competencies and qualifications that will help them enter the labor market more easily.

The Arts and Humanities programs at Irish universities provide either an interdisciplinary or a research-intensive approach to help students align their interests and career prospects. Graduates can choose to seek employment immediately after graduation or select from plenty of graduate and postgraduate programs for further education.

Some top Irish universities also combine their expertise in Data Science and Information Technology programs with Humanities majors to provide graduates a ticket to the lucrative tech market.

Below, we discuss some of the best humanities universities in Ireland.

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Top Humanities Universities in Ireland

1. University College Dublin

University College Dublin (UCD) opened in 1854 as the Catholic University of Ireland. It later acquired its current name in 1908 and gained autonomous status in 1997. It currently has over 35,000 students—nearly a quarter of which is comprised of international students from roughly 140 countries.

Recognized as one of the best humanities universities in Ireland, UCD’s Bachelor of Art in Humanities degree is a four-year program, where students can choose one among 14 diverse courses. They can also decide whether to broaden or deepen their knowledge through going on an exchange program abroad, taking an internship, or conducting research. There is also an option to take a three-year BA Joint Honors degree to select two out of 25 courses. Students who choose this program may spend an additional year abroad and earn an international BA degree.

UCD also has a wide range of graduate programs under the College of Arts and Humanities. Students can choose from seven schools: Art History & Cultural Policy, Classics, English & Drama & Film, History, Irish & Celtic Studies & Folklore, Languages & Cultures & Linguistics, and Music.

2. Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin was established in the late 16th century, making it the oldest academic institution in Ireland. Trinity’s Humanities programs in English Language & Literature and Classics & Ancient History are among the top 30 in QS Subject Rankings in 2021. Many other subjects under Humanities belong to the top 100, such as History, Philosophy, Modern Languages, and Social Policy & Administration.

The School of Histories and Humanities at Trinity has excellent undergraduate programs under five departments: Classics, History, History of Art & Architecture, Ancient & Medieval History & Culture, and European Studies. The programs last four years, and students may opt to take a Joint Honors program. They can also get a dual degree from Trinity’s partnership with Columbia University.

Master of Philosophy programs at Trinity provides in-depth study opportunities to BA graduates in one year for full-time students or two years for part-time students. They may then pursue a postgraduate program: a 3 – 6-year Ph.D. or a 2 – 3-year Research Master of Letters degree.

3. University College Cork

University College Cork (UCC) traces its origins back to 1845 when Queen’s College Cork (QCC) was established under the Colleges (Ireland) Act. QCC welcomed its first students four years later and eventually became UCC in 1908. At present, the university is among the top universities in Ireland and has an excellent global reputation.

The Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Digital Humanities and Information Technology program at UCC efficiently blends a deep understanding of a wide range of arts and humanities courses with digital media and IT. Students at this top humanities school can complete the program in three years full-time. They may also opt to spend their third year at a partner university abroad for an international BA Honors degree or gain a one-year work experience. Either of these options will put one additional year into the program.

UCC also has a one-year Master of Arts in Digital Arts and Humanities program, where graduates can gain competencies to help them secure more career opportunities in a modern and technological world.

4. Dublin City University

Dublin City University (DCU) is another one of the best humanities universities in Ireland. It is a young university that is yet to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2025. Despite being young, it has managed to excel in its five areas of study: Business, Education, Engineering & Computing, Humanities & Social Sciences, and Science & Health. DCU also has the highest graduate employability rating in Ireland.

The Bachelor of Arts (Joint Honors) in Humanities at DCU offers students the flexibility to among eight subjects: English, Gaeilge, Human Development or Philosophy, History or Music, and Geography or World Religions & Theology. Like many top Irish universities, DCU also gives students the option to study abroad for a year and gain an international BA degree or spend a year doing an internship.

Graduates of the program can benefit from the wide range of career opportunities available locally and abroad. They may also gain more competencies by pursuing a postgraduate program relevant to the subjects they majored in.

5. University of Limerick

The University of Limerick (UL) is a 50-year-old academic institution famous for its sporting facilities. It also has technologically advanced research and teaching facilities. In addition, it is located in Limerick, where the cost of living is relatively cheaper than other university cities in Ireland, making it a suitable destination for prospective students who seek to pursue a high-quality yet relatively affordable Irish education.

The Bachelor of Arts degree at UL is a four-year program that is unique compared to other Irish universities because the study abroad and internship components are compulsory, with students spending one semester abroad and another semester for work experience.

The university also has a Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences program that utilizes an interdisciplinary approach, allowing students to take up numerous Humanities courses along with data science and conduct individual research. It also includes a semester of study abroad and another semester of internship in a related field in its curriculum.

 

Hopefully, this guide to the best humanities universities in Ireland was informative and helpful. You can also find more information on different European universities and scholarship opportunities on the Europe Scholarships Page!