Drama Theatre and Performance

The Discipline of Drama and Theatre Studies was established at NUI Galway in 2014.  As of September 2019, Drama at NUI Galway has 145 undergraduates, 25 MA students and 13 PhD students.

The university has a long history of excellence in the performing arts – a history that pre-dates the establishment of Drama as a degree subject. Notable graduates include the co-founders of Druid Theatre, Garry Hynes and Marie Mullen, both of whom went on to become Tony Award winners for direction and acting respectively. The university now enjoys a close partnership with Druid Theatre, with whom we run a Druid Academy programme for training emerging theatre-makers. The university also has formal partnerships with many other theatre companies and arts organisations, including the Abbey Theatre (Ireland’s national theatre), the Gate Theatre, the Galway International Arts Festival, and others.

We have particular research and teaching strengths in Irish theatre, playwriting, acting, practice-based research, musical theatre, children's theatre, and many other areas. Every year, we stage at least two productions, as well as a series of lectures, public interviews with theatre practitioners, international conferences, and other events.

Our Graduates’ Attributes
The study of Drama and Theatre Studies allows students to develop skills that have applications in many fields. A drama graduate will be valued for his or her creativity, initiative, ability to improvise solutions to problems, skills in public speaking, and experience of team-work.

After graduation, many of our students will work in the creative arts, and we have several courses and resources that will help students to build careers in that area. But many students will work in other areas too: education, business, information and communication technology, and more. Our aim is to support all students in achieving their professional goals, whatever they are, and however they evolve over the course of their time with us.


The Discipline of English is staffed by dedicated, research-active academics drawn from universities across the world. Research and teaching strengths run from the medieval to the contemporary: Chaucerian studies, early modern literatures, book history and print culture, theatre history, colonial and postcolonial literatures, Victorian literature, Irish writing, digital humanities, creative writing, travel writing, journalism.  The research activity of our staff extends from sexuality to technology.  We present our research at international conferences, create scholarly editions, publish findings in international journals and monographs and work with a range of national and international collaborators and funding bodies. Employers value the reading, writing and critical thinking skills that are cultivated over the course of a degree in English. An English degree from NUI Galway opens the door to further postgraduate study--vocational, professional and research. Our graduates include the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and Garry Hynes, founder and artistic director of Druid Theatre Company.

Huston School of Film & Digital Media

The Huston school of Film & Digital Media provides an exciting range of academic and professional programmes, connecting a pioneering research culture with a vibrant community of creative practice. As a UNESCO City of Film, and the home of the Irish Film Board, Galway is situated at the heart of Ireland’s creative and cultural sector. Research and taught programmes at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media are built upon the strong links between the school and the wider creative community, offering students the unique opportunity to collaborate with top industry professionals in a world-renowned University environment. Established in 2003 under the patronage of the Huston family, our graduates include an Academy Award and Emmy nominee for screenwriting.

The Huston School is home to a diverse range of scholarly interests and an active research culture. Focusing on areas such as gender studies, philosophy of technology, Irish and Irish-American film, national cinemas (particularly small nations), sport and film, classical Hollywood cinema, and digital media and healthcare, we are actively engaged at the forefront of film scholarship.

Journalism and Media

The Discipline of Journalism and Media is focused on practice based teaching and research in media, communication and the creative industries. We run undergraduate programmes including the BA Journalism and BA Global Media, offer an Arts subject in media studies, as well as internationally excellent Masters programmes including our MA Journalism and MA Global Media and Communication. We also offered a structured PhD in Journalism, Media and Communication studies. Our staff have strong national and international expertise in practised-based pedagogy, and are focused on creating a positive student experience and the delivery of excellent programmes with an emphasis on creativity, innovation and employability. We invest our energies in innovative and creative approaches to learning and teaching. We have strong student-facing governance structures including a partnership approach to SET (student evaluation of teaching) and curriculum development with the SSLC (student staff liaison committee); and an external Editorial Advisory Board of senior editors and experts to quality assure standards.

The programmes we offer are busy, professionally focused training programmes designed to give students a rich understanding of the fields of journalism, global media, and communication; the role of the media in democracy and how the media operates in a free society; the regulatory and legislative constraints on the media; and dystopic forces such as disinformation. Coupled with that expert knowledge and understanding is a backbone of professional training led by working professionals across written, online, social media and broadcasting, and other specialist areas depending on students’ programme of study and choice of electives.



This course offers a BA in Music and one other subject. It allows students to develop an understanding of the history, theory and practice of music. The broad scope of the degree makes it ideal for those with an interest in teaching music after graduation, as all the requirements of the Irish Teaching Council for students wishing to take a postgraduate course in post-primary teaching are covered by the end of the second year. But the BA in Music is much more than a preparation for teaching: it also prepares students for a wide range of other music-related careers, such as composition, performance, music therapy, arts management and music journalism. Indeed, such is the range of transferable cognitive and professional skills that students develop during the course of their Music studies that it is an excellent preparation for occupations in many walks of life. 

During the course of their degree students take core modules in history, traditional music, theory, harmony and keyboard harmony, music practice (performance), composition, sound technology, performance analysis and, in their final year, either a dissertation or a composition portfolio. From the second year of the degree, students also have a range of optional modules to choose from, including further modules in music practice and traditional music, musical theatre and opera. Students regularly have the opportunity to work with the university’s creative partners, among whom are the Galway ConTempo String Quartet and Music for Galway. 

In the second half of year 3 of the degree it is possible to study abroad for a semester (something that is compulsory for students taking Music with a modern language) or to undertake a locally based work placement in music. Partnerships have been established with the Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, the University of Bologna and Notre Dame University, among others. Placement opportunities include music teaching in certain local schools or through the Music Generation programme, and arts management with the Galway Music Residency or Music for Galway.