Course Overview

The MA/Postgraduate Diploma programme is an internationally recognised qualification with the course content informed by the agreed competencies and professional standards for Health Promotion in Europe. The programme is an IUHPE (International Union of Health Promotion and Education) Accredited Health Promotion Course. This means that students who graduate from this course are automatically eligible to apply to become an IUHPE Registered Health Promotion Practitioner on the voluntary register. Graduates of the programme work in statutory services (e.g., Health Service Executive), non-governmental organisations (e.g., Irish Heart Foundation, Dental Health Foundation, Irish Cancer Society), and in the academic sector (e.g., University of Galway, Sligo IT, Athlone IT), in a number of roles including dedicated Health Promotion Specialist posts. Past graduates are employed nationally and internationally, in posts in Ireland, UK, Australia, Canada and USA. Some graduates have gone onto further study in our doctoral programme (Further information on the PhD in Health Promotion is available by clicking here.)

About the programme


The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Promotion offers a taught programme of eight modules, delivered over two semesters to full-time students and over four semesters to part-time students. The MA course incorporates the taught component of the Postgraduate Diploma programme together with a minor dissertation based on original research, which is undertaken over the summer months with a submission date in late August.

Aims and objectives
The programme aims to provide students with professional education and training in the principles and practice of health promotion. Students will acquire knowledge and skills in the following:

  • Theoretical background to the concepts and principles of health promotion and the application of theory to practice
  • Determinants of physical, mental and social well-being.
  • Key factors influencing the promotion of positive health.
  • Application of a range of different health promotion approaches and strategies across diverse population groups, topics and settings.
  • Critical role of the research process and its application in the development of knowledge and best practice in health promotion.

Scholarships available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

Attached to the Discipline is the Health Promotion Research Centre which has an active multidisciplinary research programme in place. A range of teaching and assessment methods are used, including interactive lectures, work placements, small group teaching, skills development, and contributions from practitioners in the field.

If you would like to meet us:

  • We participate in the University of Galway postgraduate open days which are run twice a year.
  • We put on our own course-specific open evening in Spring where you can hear about the programme, meet staff and other potential students. 
  • You can make an appointment by email to meet a member of staff at University of Galway

Details of open days/evenings will be posted on this website and at, or email to be added to our mailing list.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System

The programme board evaluates each applicant’s academic record and relevant professional experience to date at the time of application and assesses the applicant’s level of motivation and suitability as per the Personal Statement submitted as part of the online application.

Who Teaches this Course

 Mrs Geraldine Nolan

Dr Margaret Hodgins
BA (Mod), MA, PhD
Senior Lecturer
Áras Moyola
National University of Ireland Galway
University Road
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Prof Margaret Barry
MA, PhD.
Established Professor of Health Promotion and Public Health
Discipline of Health Promotion
School of Health Sciences
NUI Galway
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Dr Verna McKenna
Lecturer (Above the bar)
Discipline of Health Promotion
Aras Moyola
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Dr Victoria Hogan
B.A., M.Sc., Cert. Ph.D
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Prof. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn
B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Personal Professor
Dept. of Health Promotion
Aras Moyola
NUI Galway
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Dr Martin Power
BA., PhD., PGCert Teaching & Learning
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Dr. Lisa Pursell
BSc, Ph.D.
Lecturer Above The Bar
Health Promotion
Aras Moyola
NUI, Galway
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Dr Jane Sixsmith
RGN, HV, DN, B.Sc., M.A. PhD.
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Requirements and Assessment

Assessment is by means of continuous assessment and an oral examination.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

As Health Promotion is a multidisciplinary field, we consider applications from candidates with a primary degree from a related discipline. For the MA, the minimum entry requirement is a 2.1 on an honours degree programme. For the PDip, the minimum entry requirement is a primary degree at any level. The programme board evaluates each applicant’s academic record and relevant professional experience and assesses the applicant’s level of motivation and suitability from the personal statement submitted as part of the online application. 

Additional Requirements

Garda vetting/police clearance is required for this programme.

1 year, full-time (MA)
2 years, part-time (MA)
1 year, full-time (PDip)
2 years, part-time (PDip)

Next start date

September 2023

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

An early application may result in an early offer: see the offer round dates.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting

90 (MA) | 60 (PDip)



Course code


Course Outline

The content of the taught modular programme reflects the programmes aims and objectives. The programme comprises four core and six optional modules. Students must complete eight modules in total, four core and four optional, from a choice of six. As a student in Health Promotion you will have the opportunity to engage with international health promotion research projects and to pursue European based study as an optional module. The full-time taught programme is supported by a workplacement where you will experience Health Promotion in action.  

Programme delivery

The programme uses a wide variety of delivery approaches including: lectures, small group teaching, group work and enquiry based learning, together with a work placement. We have delivered the programme through face-to-face teaching and through blended learning. The precise delivery format for the academic year 2021–22 will depend on the public health advice in September 2021. MA students are supported through the minor dissertation by a named supervisor who is a member of academic staff.


Module details for MA full-time

Module details for MA part-time

Module details for Dip full-time

Module details for Dip part-time

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Further Education

Students can go on to earn the PhD, MPhil, and MLitt degrees, through research work, with an optional minor taught element. Students can specialise in one of the disciplines various areas of research, working with a high degree of independence, and becoming experts on their chosen topic. This work is usually published in international conferences and journals.

Visit for more details.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

A variety of career opportunities in Ireland and abroad exist for graduates of this programme.  Graduates are qualified to pursue a full-time career in health promotion or to incorporate health promotion principles into their work, expecially those in the health and education sectors.

MA graduates have found employment in statutory, voluntary, community and academic positions in a number of roles including dedicated Health Promotion Specialist posts.

PDip graduates have found employment in a diverse range of fields of health and medical research, including MDs and PhDs and improved professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes in daily practice (Evidence-Based Healthcare).

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,990 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Tuition

€6,850 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Non EU

€17,090 p.a. 2023/24

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €4,000 towards your tuition (2023/24).  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay tuition up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €140.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = Tuition (EU or NON EU) + Student levy as outlined above.

Note to non-EU students: learn about the 24-month Stayback Visa here

Find out More

If you have queries or questions or just want to learn more about the programmes contact us by phone or email.

Dr Jane Sixsmith
Course Director

Stacey Gibbons
Course Administrator
T: +353 91 493644

See Course Overview section of this website for information on How/Where to Meet Us.

What our graduates say


Lindsay Sullivan |   Graduate, MA Health Promotion

My experience as a student in this programme exceeded my expectations. The education I have received studying Health Promotion at NUI Galway, coupled with the extraordinary and unparalleled experiences through the work placement component of this course, have undoubtedly prepared me for my future as a health promotion researcher. Overall, studying Health Promotion at NUI Galway provided me with an innovative learning experience while having the cultural experience of a lifetime.

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  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2023

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2023 PDF (20.6MB)