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Programs : Brochure

Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0
Minimum Class Standing: Sophomore Pre-requisite Subjects: For some courses
Field of Study: Art: Advertising, Art: Music, Art: Theatre, Engineering, History, Human Rights, International Studies, Political Science SMU Abroad Application Cycle: August 15-October 1 for Spring, November 15-March 1 for Fall
Program Description:
Northern Ireland

BCA Abroad Derry
University of Ulster, Magee College
Derry, Northern Ireland

For centuries, Derry was one of the principal centers of conflict in Ireland, but is now essential to the ongoing Peace Process in Northern Ireland. In 1689, Protestant defenders withstood a 105-day siege by the forces of King James that colored much of Derry's subsequent history up until the advent of the 1997 Good Friday Agreement.

Although Derry is home to 100,000 people, the historic city center has a cozy feeling when you walk the ancient city walls surrounding it. Known as a center for traditional Irish music (and is mentioned in the famous song, "Danny Boy"), Derry's location close to the border with the Irish republic makes it an excellent base from which to explore all of the island of Ireland.

In 1984 the University of Ulster was formed when The New University of Ulster and Ulster Polytechnic merged. It is the largest university system on the island of Ireland, with more than 20,000 students on four campuses in Coleraine, Jordanstown, Belfast and Derry. Magee College, the University of Ulster's campus in Derry, is an attractive site for students, especially those interested in peace and conflict issues.

The modest-sized campus, with students numbering around 3,000, is situated on a spectacular bluff overlooking the Foyle River. Magee College hosts the Initiative on INCORE (International Conflict Research), set up with the United Nations University in the early 1990s. INCORE has a number of innovative programs including work on mediation, monitoring and the research effort known as Community Conflict Impact on Children.

Many BCA students studying in Derry choose to focus on peace and justice studies because of Magee College's strong offerings in this area. Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume, holds a Chair of Peace Studies at Magee that was inaugurated by US President Bill Clinton, and BCA's resident director, Dr. James Skelly, who lectures in the School of History and International Affairs at Magee, is on the Board of the Peace & Justice Studies Association, and is a Senior Fellow at Juniata College's Baker Institute for Peace & Conflict Studies in Pennsylvania. You can find peace and conflict/justice courses (called modules in the UK) in the politics, cultural studies, history, law and social policy and administration departments.

You are also free to select modules from most of the other university departments, including but not limited to drama, design, business, music and psychology. For complete course offerings click here.

As a BCA student in Derry, you are strongly encouraged to take
The Global Conversation course. This three-credit, semester-long course has both online and face-to-face components that will encourage you to get involved in the local community as well as share your experiences with other students studying around the world. In Derry, you will find yourself engaged in exploratory exercises to assess needs and social issues in the society around you.


The first stop on your orientation tour is the Tower Museum, which details the history of Derry as well as its centrality to British and Irish history and its role in defining the course of European history in the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum also details the more recent history of Derry including The Troubles, and the Peace Process of the past ten plus years.

Next, students will take a walk atop the 400 year old city walls, which offer a mile-plus of exercise and a visceral sense of the history presented in the museum. Students see both the ancient fortifications and where the British placed more recent fortifications on the walls looking over the Catholic Bogside area where the 1972 Bloody Sunday Massacre occurred. A tour of the Bogside, the Bloody Sunday memorial and museum, and discussion of the various Republican murals follows. An evening discussion with experts on the conflict and the peace process concludes this aspect of the orientation.

Trips & Activities
One of the benefits of studying abroad with BCA is the excursions offered to the students throughout the semester. These short trips are included in the program fee.

Each semester includes an excursion that allows students to explore the roots of the conflict that has plagued Ireland for centuries, as well as the Peace Process now underway in Northern Ireland. In addition, students will visit the Ulster-American Folk Park, which emphasizes the historic connection between Ulster and various parts of the United States, the Giant's Causeway, and other scenic sites in Ulster and the republic.

Students live in the Duncreggan Student Village, which provides a secure home in an environment conducive to study and located close to the Magee campus. There is a common room for all residents, a self-service launderette and a kitchen with dining area.

Each month BCA will transfer a meal stipend into your bank account. You can purchase groceries at a nearby grocery store and eat at inexpensive student restaurants on campus.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2020 10/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.